My favorite work of Hemingway's so far. "Soldier's Home" details the short story of Harold Krebs, a soldier who returns from World War I to a town thaMy favorite work of Hemingway's so far. "Soldier's Home" details the short story of Harold Krebs, a soldier who returns from World War I to a town that could not care less about him. Hemingway does a great job showing the cruelty and lack of caring Krebs experiences upon his arrival home after the war. Though Krebs suffers from post-traumatic stress and exhibits symptoms of depression, everyone he knows treats him without sympathy or kindness. Even his family members, while well-intentioned, overlook his emotional wounds and try to help him by convincing him to get a job, which does not address his deeper mental scarring. Though Krebs has a physical space to come home to, what he has gone through in the war has changed its psychological foundation forever.
I appreciate this story so much because Hemingway captures the pain of having your mental illness ignored and misunderstood. Props to Hemingway for addressing melancholic, serious, and real topics like this one....more
Pros of this Hemingway short story: 1) It portrays the brutality of war without remorse or coddling. 2) The structure of the story mirrors war itself: dPros of this Hemingway short story: 1) It portrays the brutality of war without remorse or coddling. 2) The structure of the story mirrors war itself: dark, disorienting, and disturbing.
Cons of this Hemingway short story: 1) It is boring. Granted, I read this several decades after its initial publication, but my reaction remains. Some people praise Hemingway's sparse style; I wonder if they would still praise his writing if they read it without having his name attached. 2) It is short, which leaves little to no space for plot, character development, etc. I recognize that Hemingway most likely aimed for brevity with this story, but that does not make me like it any more than any other 2-star read.
Overall impression of Hemingway so far: unimpressed. Stay tuned for more in the upcoming months....more
A short story about a guy who breaks up with his girlfriend and fails to understand why. I feel sympathy for Nick's frustration in "The End of SomethiA short story about a guy who breaks up with his girlfriend and fails to understand why. I feel sympathy for Nick's frustration in "The End of Something," how toxic masculinity robs him of the capacity to express and understand his emotions. And yet, I feel frustrated at Nick for treating Marjorie in such a poor way and for not working harder to understand himself and his actions. Hemingway's sparse prose suits this story well, complementing the quiet end of the lumber mill in this Michigan town as well as the finale of Nick and Marjorie's relationship. I just wish Hemingway had given us more hope for Nick and for men in general in terms of coping with their feelings. But I suppose that task - the honoring of men's emotions, so they can learn to honor them themselves - is up to us now. ...more
I appreciate nature and how Hemingway honors it in this short story: how nature can heal, how it can bring you back to your core, and how it can simplI appreciate nature and how Hemingway honors it in this short story: how nature can heal, how it can bring you back to your core, and how it can simplify life and remind you of what matters. You could read this story as a tale of post traumatic stress disorder, of a man soothing himself in the woods because he cannot yet confront his inner demons. You could read this story as a man's straightforward, quiet foray into the scenery for some time off. No matter how you read it, the story is grounding, this short tale of how purity and happiness can spring from scenery and nature.
A drab and boring story in many ways, but it does offer tidbits to appreciate, in particular for those who enjoy Hemingway's sparse style. I apologize for the upcoming flux of Hemingway reviews: I am taking a course on his work, and I am looking forward to building empathy for an author who, despite his shortcomings (e.g., misogyny, homophobia, etc.), offered his soul to the literary world....more
Such a revelatory book for anyone who has been neglected, ghosted, or given mixed signals by a man. The thesis of He's Just Not That Into You: if a guSuch a revelatory book for anyone who has been neglected, ghosted, or given mixed signals by a man. The thesis of He's Just Not That Into You: if a guy is into you, he will take it upon himself to let you know. Despite some of the book's repetition, I love how the authors emphasize their central message of recognizing your self-worth and refusing to settle for someone who makes you doubt yourself. Essentially: do not settle for a man (or any human) who makes you wonder if he (or they) likes you. Do not settle for a man whose intimacy issues or substance use problems or lack of communication skills forces you to do all the emotional work. He's Just Not That Into You advocates for never settling and for only engaging in relationships with people who care about you and can show it.
I wish the authors of this book had expanded the depth of their writing. I saw so much room for addressing how oppressive gender roles affect intimate relationships - the authors could have talked about how toxic masculinity robs men of the tools they could use to cultivate fulfilling, deep relationships. The book also felt super heteronormative and even just a tad anti-feminist in parts (e.g., supporting the silly notion that women should only date men who ask them out first). Because this book came out ten years ago, quite a few of its arguments rely on traditional structures (e.g., monogamy) and ideas (e.g., that all men just want sex).
Despite these flaws, I would still recommend this book to anyone who needs a good slap of self-respect in the face. In the past, I have made the mistake of over-analyzing men's internal states and trying to figure out if a guy's wish-washy behavior could indicate that he likes me. Now, I know not to settle for anyone beneath my standards and to thrive as an empowered, independent human who has several healthy, reciprocal relationships....more