Tag Archives: Soldier’s Home

Wanting to talk and then not wanting to talk

“At first Krebs, who had been at Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel and in the Argonne did not want to talk about the war at all.  Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it.  His town had heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities.  Krebs found that to be listened to at all he had to lie, and after he had done this twice he, too, had a reaction against the war and against talking about it” (69).

Hemingway, Ernest.  In Our Time.  New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons.  1970.

Notes: Lies versus truth and how they play into the idea of talking about the war, the debate of wanting to talk about it and not wanting to talk about it, report-style writing (it has a certain journalistic quality to it reporting facts but not all the details – like what stories had been told)

Underlying Tension in Soldier’s Home

“‘I had a talk with your father last night, Harold,’ she said, ‘and he is willing for you to take the car out in the evenings.’

‘Yeah?’ said Krebs, who was not fully awake. ‘Take the car out? Yeah?'” (Hemingway 73).

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York, NY: Scribner, 2003. Print.

Notes: Just in these two lines,  you can see so much strain between Krebs and his family. the short, terse sentences emphasize the lack of communication between Krebs and his mother. The fact that the mother calls him Harold while the narrator calls him Krebs shows the difference in how the mother and son relate to each other; the mother feels she is on a more personal level with her son, but the narrator states otherwise by calling Harold by their impersonal last name, almost how soldiers in an army would refer to each other. Not to mention the fact that Krebs just came back from war, but he still needs permission to drive the family car around, but restricted only at night.