Soldiers Home Theme Analysis essay example
The title "Soldier's Home" suggests more of a question; where is this soldier's home? In the story Krebs mentions a lot of being over in Germany and France, even commenting that he had "liked Germany better" and "did not want to leave... come home". Though he finally decided to come home, he constantly feels out of place and alone. War has long been known to sometimes be a very traumatizing event individuals involved. Common, god-loving people such as Krebs were summoned to fight a war that commanded them to kill thousands in the name of their country then return home with the idea that nothing would have changed.
Krebs's misplacement is also seen in the fact that he can't talk about the war to anyone even though he desperately wants to and feels that he needs to in order for others to understand the impact that it had on him. He came home much after the "welcome back" celebration and all the stories had been told. Even his mother, despite her wanting him to talk about the war by asking questions, never really pays attention. As a result he resorts to lying about his experience, forcing Krebs to isolate himself and oppose discussing what he had needed to discuss and get off his chest. The war experience forces Krebs to question all the assumptions and beliefs that had previously guided his life. Having killed men in battle, Krebs sees no chance in reconciling his actions with God.
He discusses the war and how carefree it was as if the soldiers had expected to live their life after the war not having to deal with the consequences and horrific memories of their actions. His faith had been stripped and morals lost. Krebs is quoted saying "I'm not in His Kingdom". Krebs's lost faith is also apparent when he and his mother kneel down to pray but Krebs can't and asks his mother to pray for the both of them. The war had been hell and it seems as though Krebs was left there to face the consequences. I think this is one reason why he doesn't "want any consequences" in his life anymore.
Krebs has chosen to rid his life of all possible consequences he could face in the future. This includes his choice to stay away from finding work, girls, and even loved ones. This distancing is seen further when Krebs tells his mother he doesn't love her. Love in his mind leads to consequences and the army has taught him that you don't need love, or look for a girl to marry.
These reasons cause Krebs to reevaluate his values upon his return from the war.