Although this short story is fiction, given O’Brien’s personal experience, it holds many truisms; one of which being the battle between what a man does and what a man feels he has to do. O’Brien’s use of characterization deconstructs what it means to be a man by exploring how events and situations dictate a soldier’s
In Soldier from the War Returning, Thomas Childers writes that “a curious silence lingers over what for many was the last great battle of the war.” This final battle was the soldier’s return home. After World War II, veterans came back to the United States and struggled with stigmatized mental illnesses as well as financial and social issues. During the war, many soldiers struggled with mental health issues that persisted after they came home.
With each of the characters facing their own fate, Flanagan shows how some men could not cope and chose to prematurely end their lives as “they died off quickly, strangely, in car smashes and suicides and creeping diseases”. The return of soldiers after the Second World War is not a well-documented topic, and one that Flanagan has provided a thorough account of through the diverse ways each individual coped with their new civilian life. Through his attempt to understand and explain the behavior of the soldiers on their return, Flanagan has altered the overall perception by the public from the view of them being racist, ignorant and frequently drunken to misunderstood and suffering men. After enduring the horrendous suffering in the POW camps, some soldiers returned to more heartache as they discover that their loved ones have found other men, or they begin to feel trapped in the routines of suburban life, or they cannot cope unless they hide inside themselves and just say nothing; all of which was worsened by the army encouraging them to not talk about their experience because it was “hardly a hero’s tale in the first place”, being a prisoner of war “wasn’t Kokoda or a Lancaster over the Ruth Valley”. Flanagan successfully depicts the way in which the POWs had undergone suffering unimaginable to society at the time, but also
Like what you ate for breakfast and who ranked up you think what soldiers go through nowadays and why they act so different when they come back because of how much war changes you. This depiction of war that the writer Walter Dean Myers shows us everything these soldiers go through and how it changes a man you could be a nonviolent man and never believe in god but once you're thrown in war your whole life will be
The Dark side of War What is it felt like to be a veteran who has suffered from the trauma of war that leaves multiple scars? As a Vietnam War veteran, Yusef Komunyaka in his short poem “Facing It” narrates his experience along with his emotional struggle as he visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Phil Klay, who is also a veteran served in Iraq, in his short story “Redeployment”, attempted to show how it feels like in a war zone and what happened to the soldiers who returned. These stories gives a peek into one of the most difficult phases a person can face in a life time. The sequencing of the collection reflects the disorder of a soldier’s life.
The story “Soldier’s Joy” revolves around Hooper, post-Vietnam War, on his assigned army base. Hooper has a wife and child, but in his mind they do not exist in his life. Yes, they are there, but he feels as though he has failed them, so he leaves them out of his life. Hooper comes to terms with the fact that after the war the army has become his life, which in the beginning of the story he is not completely sure of why that is, but by the end of the story he fully
Krebs was a sheltered boy, a fraternity brother attending a Methodist college in Kansas before joining the Marines to fight in WW1. While overseas Krebs is exposed to the graphic reality of war, operating guns, witnessing death and sleeping with German and French prostitutes. One image which stands out in particular is a description of a photograph, showing Krebs with two German girls and another corporal. The girls are described as “Not beautiful,” and the Rhine River, which should be a focal point, is “not shown in the picture.” (Hemingway 1)
In Ernest Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home,” Harold Krebs is a returning soldier from World War I that receives no praise. Hemingway uses conflict and setting to develop Krebs as a depressed character who wants to avoid lying about feelings. Hemingway uses the setting of “Soldier’s Home” to influence the character of Krebs. The story takes place post-World War I, “He enlisted in the Marines and did not return to the United States until… 1919”
In Phil Klay’s Redeployment, the war in Iraq is described as an intense masculine experience. Through the pages, the presence of women is marginal, if there is any woman in the short stories, and the reader enters in a realm of men and, more important, of what it means to be a real man. The assumption of war as a complete masculine experience might seem pretty obvious; however, Phil Klay is able to offer a crude and clear depiction of it. The author tells twelve different short stories of men who have only one thing in common: the experience of the Iraq War. But this is not simply a book about the war, but also about the consequences that this terrible experience has on the soldiers.
There had been a great deal of hysteria. Now the reaction had set in. People seemed to think it was rather ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war was over.” Also when Krebs gets back to his town initially he doesn’t want to talk about the war, but eventually when he does nobody wants to listen to him. “Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it.”
Furthermore, the author uses repetition of words such as “He liked” and “He did not want” to reveal Krebs simple thought structure. Words such as these would more likely appear in a writing by a 2nd grader as children have a harder time expressing deeper emotion, beyond the concrete stems of “like” and “dislike”. Likewise, Kreb’s describes his emotions in similar almost “childish” ways. This brings forth the war which depleted him of most humanistic emotion, leaving him with nothing but elementary forms of
Hemingway begins Krebs’ story in a Methodist college in Kansas when the war starts off in 1917. When the war ends Krebs chose to stay in Germany for the next six months and when he comes back he realizes that the town moved on about the war and didn’t get the welcome he thought he deserved. This leads to the theme of not being able to find an outlet for pain. He wanted people to listen to his stories so they would be able to see the pain of what he went through throughout the war and the heroic actions he accomplished while fighting
Krebs thought girls were “not worth the trouble.” (85) Although he may not have had the motivation to pick up the girls, he “liked looking at them.” (85) This is in no way the girls’ fault, however it shows how the war affected Krebs’ drive to do tasks that involve socialization. Perhaps if the townspeople were more open to listen to Krebs’ story then he would be more comfortable with girls. His mother is an example of how he interacts with women.
The Unbeatable Souls The Lost Battalion is based totally on a real story of an American battalion that was sent out to battle during the World War I. Major Charles Whittlesey, a New York lawyer, who ends up in the trenches of France having under his command mostly young, unexperienced men. When Whittlesey and his battalion of five hundred men are ordered to advance into the Argonne Forest they find themselves surrounded by Germans troops when the other battalions instantly withdrew, leaving Whittlesey’s battalion on his own. Confined behind enemy lines, Whittlesey’s battalion turned into the only force in the German army’s plans to move forward. Trapped and with no other way to rescue, Whittlesey is given an opportunity to surrender, but chose to continue fighting and keep his men together.
Hemingway uses the story to painfully highlight the internal conflict that leaves an individual veteran like Krebs questioning his peculiar heroic status after fighting in the war. The protagonist of the short story, Krebs, is drafted by the state into the U.S. Army fighting in Rhineland having been uprooted from his home. The character traits of Krebs can be defined as rebellious, detached, and stressful. The creation of the character Krebs has been the epitome in the realization of the devastating