Who Is Benny In The Homecoming

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With the wake of World War Two looming over the United States, it can’t be helped that noir novelists were profoundly influenced by it. In Dorothy B. Hughes’ short story, The Homecoming, the protagonist, Benny, describes his time in the war as uneventful, due to being stationed in his hometown as a recruiter. His work during the war is heavily overshadowed by his counterpart in the story, Korea Jim. Benny describes Jim as “the hero” (73) or “the boy with the medals” (73). Throughout the story, Benny constantly compares himself to Jim, often wishing that he was as successful as him. The story is written in the perspective of Benny, who is walking towards the home of his previous girlfriend, Nan. Being the only woman in the story, Nan is repeatedly described like a child, often referred to …show more content…

Nan begins to panic, and screams. After she begins to scream, Benny describes her as “her eyes [being] crazy and her face [was] like an old woman’s” (80). It is only until Benny shows up in Nan’s life does she begin to act uncharacteristically to him, which makes one wonder whether Benny severely idolized her, just like how he idolized the war and the “heroes” it created. Throughout most of the story, Benny believes that if he had been sent to the war, he would’ve become a hero; “If he’d been sent he would have become a hero too. He could have led the raiders through frontline fire and liberated those poor starved guys” (76). Benny also constantly refers to Nan as “his girl” even though they had no existing relationship at the time. The entire time he was walking to her apartment he thought of her in an extremely positive light and adored every aspect of her yet didn’t understand the implications of his actions and the unfortunate outcome. His actions led to an uncomfortable realization that his plan had not worked, and he had made a grave

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