Comparing Hemingway’s War Poems

In Ernest Hemingway’s, “A Soldier’s Home”, it tells the story of a soldier that comes home from war and finds that no one believes true war stories that the only ones that people would believe were the ones that you lied about, the ones that have yet to be told. In Tim O’Brien’s, “How to Tell a True War Story,” it tells of a man who loses his best friend in a war and pours out his heart and soul in a letter to his friends sister and she doesn’t even have the decency to write back. The point that I am trying to get across is that in both of these gentleman’s stories they are to trying to get across the point of how it is to go to war and to come back with these actual events that happened. The events that are so spectacular that the almost seem surreal.

Hemingway tells of a man that is lost. War was all that he knew, he did not have a trade all that he had was the art of war. He goes to bars to try and tell of his stories because that is all that is on his mind. The only problem with him doing this is that either the guys that are actually listening do not want to listen because they know he is lying or the guys that have come back home have already told the stories that were worth telling. Towards the end he starts to try and gain a cheap audience by lying just so he has someone to talk to. The problem with this is that he has a conscience, so the lying only makes him feel bad about himself. The man finds a solution to this, in order for him to keep his audiences and still be able to talk about his one true love, he just starts telling his stories with a complete different tactic. He will just tell the true stories and just throw some spice into it and no one will no the difference and he will feel better about himself.

The second story, “How to tell a True War Story, has a complete different setting from, “A Soldier’s Home,’ Instead of it being found back at the home front, the soldiers are still on base trying to fit in amongst his comrades. They are all swapping stories and telling jokes and mostly everyone had an understanding. The understanding was the fishier the story probably meant the truer it was, but the dumber more believable stories were the lies that were told preceding the far fetched and only true story there was. This was the way it was there were the true stories and the lies, The only thing was that you had to decide which ones to believe or not.
The both of these stories are quite similar but at the same time have a very large difference. The differences are very easy to point out. The main one is the setting of the story, they may be the difference of having to live with not knowing whether you are going to die tomorrow or not. The similarities are a very interesting likeness, Hemingway tells of a war veteran that to lie is the only way to get the attention of a bunch of drunks, but at the same time O’Brien is saying that you have to lie to get the attention of you’re fellow soldiers who are facing the same difficulties that you have to each and every day.

O’Brien goes into detail how the protagonists thinks of all woman as an animate object, that they are as he would put it a “Cooze”. He feels that they are simple minded all because of one woman not returning his letter that he sent to her. Hemingway’s protagonist seems to have the same mindset. The only thing he sees woman as is something to look at, and that you can go anytime you feel like and pick one up. If you take the analysis from these stories alone you could come to the conclusion that all soldiers minds are exactly a like, at home and overseas.

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