Answer Key: Soldier’s Home

Lesson plan: A  Soldier’s Home By Ernest Hemingway

II. While Reading


Word Inference

  1.  fraternity  noun a male students’ society in a university or college. a group of people sharing a common profession or interests.
  2. Rhine noun-a river in western Europe that rises in the Swiss Alps and flows for 820 miles (1,320 km) to the North Sea, forming the German–Swiss border before flowing through Germany and the Netherlands.
  3. heroes noun- hero ( pl. roes) a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities : a war hero.
  4. hysteria noun exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, esp. among a group of people : the mass hysteria that characterizes the week before Christmas.
  5. ridiculous adjective -deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd : when you realize how ridiculous these scenarios are, you will have to laugh.
  6. atrocity noun ( pl. -ties) an extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury : war atrocities | scenes of hardship and atrocity.
  7. attributing verb-regard something as being caused by (someone or something) : he attributed the firm’s success to the efforts of the managing director | the bombing was attributed to the IRA.
  8. apocryphal adjective -of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true : an apocryphal story about a former president.
  9. sensational adjective -(of an event, a person, or a piece of information) causing great public interest and excitement : a sensational murder trial.
  10. nausea noun- a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit.

Source:  New Oxford American Dictionary

Questions for Reading Comprehension

  1. The title could  imply  a place like a Veterans Administration that takes care of soldiers who fought in wars, and who can no longer care for themselves. In a way, this could apply to Harold Krebs because he has difficulty adjusting to life outside of the military, which is a symptom many ex-soldiers suffer from.
  2. The other meaning is that a solder has gone to war and has returned to his home, which also applies to Harold Krebs.  In either case, Krebs is not “home”.
  3. Harold Krebs, (he’s just returned home from the war) Harold’s mother (she is very religious and wants Harold to act the way he did before he left for the war) Helen Krebs (Harold’s younger sister, whom he likes very much) Harold’s father (we never actually see him, but makes his presence known through the mother).
  4. The men from the town who had been in WWI had already returned home before Harold, and all been welcomed elaborately on their return.
  5. They felt that it was ridiculous. He should have come back with the rest of the men.
  6. His town had already heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities. For Harold his experiences were not thrilling or glorious.
  7. Krebs had to lie in order for the town to listen to his war stories.
  8. The book describes tHarold days as the following, “During this time, it was late summer, he was sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room… In the evening he practiced on his clarinet, strolled down town, read and went to bed.”
  9. “He was still a hero to his two young sisters.”
  10. “Nothing was changed in the town except that the young girls had grown up. His father still parked his car in the same place outside the First National Bank building where his father had an office on the second floor. Now, after the war, it was still the same car.”
  11. “He wanted a girl but he did not want to have to work to get her. He would have liked to have a girl but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her. He did not want to have to do any courting. He did not want to tell any more lies. It wasn’t worth it… It was not worth the trouble.”

Discussion Questions for Reflection

  1. “His Kingdom” refers to God. This could be interpreted as “idle hands are the devils playthings”. People who are not working hard get into trouble.
  2. Maybe because once agin he has to “lie” and play a role that he does not feel. His mother is trying to manipulate him, by making  him feel like a small child, instead of a grown man.
  3. Possibly because Hemingway based Harold’s life  on much of his own personal life, and in reality since Hemingway left home, it can be conceived that Harold will leave also.  Harold might find it easier to tell the truth and live among strangers, than have to lie and live with family and friends.
  4. The main symbolic gesture  was Harold’s  constant enjoyment in reading the book of war stories. This was an example of how he missed being a soldier, and being in the war, and how he could not readjust to his normal life.