Harold And Reverend Isolationism American Literature Research

1295 words - 6 pages

The character Harold Krebs from A Soldier’s Home and Reverend Dimmesdale from The Scarlet Letter both share similar experiences of isolationism that is caused by the beliefs and ideas of their society and family which leads to them wanting to be free from them, and which also reveals Dimmesdale failure to connect with society and Krebs failure to connect with both society and family.
In A Soldiers Home by Ernest Hemingway , Harold Krebs shows that he is isolated from his society once he comes back home. Harold Krebs returns to Oklahoma after fighting in Europe. His parents and hometown haven't changed at all, and they all think of him as a hero who fought in a just, glorious war. They don't want to hear about the atrocities. That's when the author says, “Krebs found that to be listened to at all he had to lie and after he had done this twice he, too, had a reaction against the war and against talking about it. A distaste for everything that had happened to him in the war set in because of the lies he had told” (653). Krebs shows here that he wants people in his society to recognize him but in order for that to happen he must not be his true self which deprives him of his freedom. Therefore this elucidates the impression that Krebs cannot connect with society and he accepts his true self rather than being a liar and lose his freedom. In addition to this, the author does not only show Krebs isolating himself from society, but also from his family. The first affirmation that shows that Krebs has isolated himself from his family is when he and his mother are in the kitchen talking. In their conversation, the author lets it be known that Krebs mother is worried of him because he doesn’t know if he wants a job. She began to say to him, “God has some work for everyone to do...their can be no idle hands in His Kingdom” (657). Immediately Krebs says to his mother, “I’m not in His Kingdom” (657). It can be observed here that his mother is a religious woman who values religion in her household but it is clear that Krebs has lost that value. He has shown here that he is so isolated from his family that he has disowned his family core value which is religion. Later on in the passage his mother tries to find an excuse for Krebs neglection of God, but Krebs still feels the same. This worries his mother even more, but she goes on to ask her son, “Don’t you love your mother, dear boy?” (658). Surprisingly Krebs says to his mother, “No...I don’t love anybody” (658). In other words the dialogue between him and his mother here shows that he has made it clear that he is isolated from the family. This can be also seen when his mother says, “I’m your mother... I held you next to my heart when you were a tiny baby” (659). In response to this, “Krebs felt sick and vaguely nauseated” (659). When Kreb gets sick as his mom expresses her love to him, that quickly suggests that Krebs is so isolated from his mother that he cannot even stomach the love she endures on him....


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