"Soldier’s Home" and “How to Tell a True War Story” essay

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Wars has been a social phenomena since time in memorial and many generations have witnessed and experienced the impacts of war to individuals and the larger society. Other generations have been informed about war through stories and written literature and by the end of the day the aim is to bring out the impacts of war to the lives of people. Two very prominent wars were the 1st and the 2nd world wars which form an important part of war history today. Different people have written about war. Hemingway and O’Brien have not been left behind in expressing their feelings about war in their stories Soldier’s Home and How to tell a true war story (Ernest, 23).

Ernest Hemingway starts by presenting a young man in a Methodist college who thereafter joins the marine and goes to war in a distant country. Initially the young man is not any different from the other men they were schooling together but later the war changes him completely. Tim O’Brien starts on a similar note by explaining two guys who were young and appreciated friendship but also in a war environment that changes them with time especially Rat who is left by the friend (O’Brien, 45).

One of the specific similarities is the way both writers acknowledge that it is almost impossible to tell the truth about wars. Wars are not scenarios one can follow closely observing the happenings systematically. It is even worse if the teller is a fighter. The soldiers are utilizing each and every moment of their time to ensure that they survive through the war otherwise the enemy survives. According to Ernest, it was until Krebs was back home and was reading in books that he learnt about he was engaged in and recognized himself as a good soldier. This is the implication of the paragraph where he argues that “Krebs sat there on the porch reading a book on the war (Ernest, 355). That made a difference” the other implication is that all the war stories Krebs told his mother and sisters were half truth half lies. Tim also identifies lies as a main factor in war stories and puts forth a paragraph to justify by saying “A true war story is never moral.

Ernest presents the young man as one who now has no interest in women when all other men of his age have already settled. Tim presents his young man as one with dirty language calling women Cooze.

However, the style of writing the two stories differs. Ernest presents his in a clean language but brings out the negative impacts of war. Tim decides to go vulgar and dirty in his language in order to bring out the same theme of negative impact of war to the fighters. The clean language of Ernest is less catchy and the story seems unnecessarily long. One has to read through the whole story or a big part of it to get the theme. Tim’s style draws one attention to concluding that wars destroy the fighters who are mostly the young. This comes out in the first few paragraphs.

In conclusion, war is not a good thing for it can only change young people from responsible individuals with dreams to dirty ones who hate life. The big question is “is war necessary?” as depicted by the way Krebs answers to his mother to an  extend of telling her the he does not love her only later to confess that he was only bitter is a clear indication the effects of war are no good. 

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