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Comparing Young Goodman Brown and Soldiers Home

My home is my haven and the place that I feel the safest and most comfortable at. It is where many good memories and feelings arise and I am able to be myself with no false pretenses. It is my Home Sweet Home yet the stories Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Soldiers Home, by Ernest Hemingway show a different attitude about home going and the effects it has on the main characters. In Hawthornes story, Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown ventures on a journey into the forest and refuses the temptations of the devil.

Unfortunately though, throughout the night, Brown finds out more than he ever wanted to know about how his fellow Puritan townsmen, including his wife, have betrayed their faith by giving into their dark desires. In utter despair, Goodman Brown returns at dawn to his Salem village staring around him like a bewildered man. (Hawthorne, pg. 275) He doesnt believe it is the same place as it was the night before and he no longer feels at home. Whether his experiences were real or not, his faith is gone and he feels as though he is the only pure one.

He suffers tremendous guilt and discomfort and trusts no one. His excessive pride is evident when he takes a child away from a blessing given by Goody Cloyse, his former catechism teacher, as if he were taking the child from the fiend himself. (Hawthorne, pg. 276) His distrust and resentment towards his townsmen is apparent when he sees his wife, Faith. She is overwhelmed with joy to see him arrive home yet he looked sternly and sadly into her face and passed on without a greeting. (Hawthorne, pg. 6)

All that he learned in the night was too much for him, and it changed a devoted husband with bright hopes and a wife whom he loved, to a tired, beaten, questioning and almost faithless man. Harold Krebs in Hemingways Soldiers Home, returns from World War I to a society that he no longer feels a part of and receives no welcome for his heroic deeds. He resents being home which is largely due to the fact, that during the war he led a very simple lifestyle and upon returning home is thrust back into a complicated domestic life.

He tries to seek refuge by withdrawing from society and engages himself in individual activities. His faith in religion appears to have diminished because of experiences during the war. Before the war he attended a Methodist college but upon returning home, he is unwilling to pray. His belief in God has faltered and he no longer feels that he is in His Kingdom. (Hemingway, pg. 143) Krebss views of women and love also changed significantly. In Europe during the war, he experienced obligation free relationships and found it easier to be intimate with French and German girls.

It was simple and they were friends. (Hemingway, pg. 141) He was disgusted by the prospect of returning home to a complex relationship. He felt that the girls in America were too complicated, and he did not want any consequences ever again. (Hemingway, pg. 141) Harold Krebs lost himself in the war and comes home as a cold, selfish, and unloving person. He even went, as far as to lie to his mother about loving her when in truth he loves no one. Whether Goodman Browns experiences were real or perhaps a dream, his feelings towards his home were never the same again.

Had he followed his heart, he may have lived a good life. Instead he followed his head and excommunicated himself from the community and therefore died a lonely and depressed man. Harold Krebs found himself in place he did not want to be. He regards his home life as a complicated situation and yearns for a more simplistic life. He no longer believes in society, love, or faith and lies to himself, his community, and his family. Its a shame that these characters did not truly appreciate what they had at home.

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