Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois July 21, 1899. Hemingway is known to be one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. He has written more than one hundred short fiction stories, many of them to be well known around the world. Some of these short stories had just as powerful an impact as his novels. As a young man, Hemingway left from his hometown to Europe, where he worked for the Red Cross during World War I. His time spent there inspired him to write some of his most famous novels. Most of which spoke of the horrors of the war (Benson xi). Hemingway's short stories, " Soldier's Home " and "Another Country" are used to show the damaging psychological and physical effects of World War I.
Hemingway knew first hand the horrors of war. In May of 1918, Hemingway became an honorary second lieutenant in the Red Cross, but could not join the army because he had a defective left eye. Hemingway first went to Paris, and soon after receiving new orders he traveled to Milan, Italy. The day he arrived, an ammunition factory exploded and he had to carry mutilated bodies and body parts to a makeshift morgue. This was definitely a most terrifying moment for the young Hemingway. After being seriously injured weeks later, Hemingway found himself recovering at a hospital in Milan. After his stay at the American Hospital in Milan, Hemingway was relieved of duty (Mitran 1). Having no other purpose in Europe, he returned unhappily to Oak Park, Illinois. The impression left on Hemingway by his stay in Italy had changed him profoundly. He never really returned to America as an America(Meyer 115).
When Hemingway returned home from Italy in January of 1919 he found Oak Park dull compared to the adventures of war, the beauty of foreign lands, and the romance of an older woman. He was only nineteen but the war had matured him beyond his years. He was now living with his parents who didn't really appreciate what he had been through. His parents where
concerned about his future and wanted him to get a job, and further his education. Hemingway could not find anything he would be interested in. Hemingway often exaggerated his war stories to satisfy his audience. This frustrating period of his life was used to create the short story called, "Soldier's Home" (Meyer 115).
Hemingway's story "Soldier's Home" conveys his feelings of frustration and shame upon returning home to a town and to parents who still had a romantic notion of war and who didn't understand the psychological impact the war had had on him. They would never be able to comprehend what war was all about. The character of Krebs obviously represents Hemingway. Krebs, after graduating from a Methodist college in Kansas, enlisted in the Marines in 1917. He didn't return to the U.S. until years after the war. "He came back much too late." (Hemingway 115) By the time he got back, the people of his town where already tired of the "atrocity stories" of war (Hemingway 116). He felt the urge to talk about his experiences, but no one wanted to listen. This drove Krebs to lie. It seemed to be the only way anyone would listen to him at first. After lying twice, he also had begun to dislike war stories and was turned off by it. This was due to the fact no one even listened to him even when he lied. Even his lies didn't interest people; they already had heard these stories before. Soon Krebs' lies and exaggeration resulted in acquiring the feeling of "nausea". He would sometimes talk to other soldiers and Krebs would "fall into the easy pose of the old soldier among other soldiers: that he had been badly, sickeningly frightened all the time. In this way he lost everything." (Hemingway 116)
The war affected him in such a way that it seemed like he was left with little or no emotions. The Marines had taught Krebs that no man needs a woman. They taught him that women involve too much work and only cause problems. Trying to obtain a relationship involved to many consequences. It wouldn't be worth going through the pain