Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What is the significance of freedom in The Story of an Hour? - Writeden

 First pdf is instructions and questions.

The Story of an Hour :

 Soldier’s Home : Second pdf

 To Build a Fire :

 Wedge of Shade :

LIT1100 Introduction to Literature University of Northwestern – St. Paul

Week 8 Guided Reading Assignment 30 pts Directions:

 Choose five of the following questions to answer; each question is worth six points.  Type your responses to each GRA question in a word processing file, answering the

questions to the best of your ability. Be sure to include your name, date and question #.  For each question, develop a 1-2 paragraph answer, explaining your interpretation and

supporting your ideas with specific references from the text itself (either paraphrased or directly quoted).

 Use proper in-text citations for all cited textual examples; refer to the “Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism” handout.

———————————————————————————————————————- "The Story of an Hour"

1. What is the significance of freedom in “The Story of an Hour”?

2. How does Chopin use foreshadowing to create irony? Identify two events in the story that become ironic foreshadowing once the reader reaches the end of the story.

"Soldier’s Home”

3. Why does Krebs avoid complications and consequences? How has the war changed his attitudes toward work and women?

4. Why do you think Hemingway refers to the main character by his last name (Krebs) rather than his first name (Harold)? What is the significance of his sister calling him "Hare"?

“To Build a Fire”

5. Identify at least three conflicts that occur in the story, and explain which one is the most significant and why.

“Wedge of Shade”

6. What are the two main settings in the story, and how do they directly contribute to both character presentation and plot development?

7. Create a statement of theme (thesis statement) for one of the stories we read this week. Make sure to use the title somewhere. Then, provide examples from the story that support your interpretation of the theme.

  • "The Story of an Hour"
  • "Soldier’s Home”
  • “To Build a Fire”
  • “Wedge of Shade”



Ernest Hemingway, "Soldier's Home" (1925)

Krebs went to the war from a Methodist college in Kansas. There is a picture

which shows him among his fraternity brothers, all of them wearing exactly the

same height and style collar. He enlisted in the Marines in 1917 and did not return

to the United States until the second division returned from the Rhine in the

summer of 1919.

There is a picture which shows him on the Rhone with two German girls and

another corporal. Krebs and the corporal look too big for their uniforms. The

German girls are not beautiful. The Rhine does not show in the picture.

By the time Krebs returned to his home town in Oklahoma the greeting of heroes

was over. He came back much too late. The men from the town who had been

drafted had all been welcomed elaborately on their return. There had been a great

deal of hysteria. Now the reaction had set in. People seemed to think it was rather

ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war was over.

At first Krebs, who had been at Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St.

Mihiel and in the Argonne did not want to talk about the war at all. Later he felt

the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it. His town had heard too many

atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities. 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. All of the times that had been

able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the

times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to

do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now lost their

cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.

His lies were quite unimportant lies and consisted in attributing to himself things

other men had seen, done or heard of, and stating as facts certain apocryphal

incidents familiar to all soldiers. Even his lies were not sensational at the pool

room. His acquaintances, who had heard detailed accounts of German women

found chained to machine guns in the Argonne and who could not comprehend, or

were barred by their patriotism from interest in, any German machine gunners

who were not chained, were not thrilled by his stories.

Krebs acquired the nausea in regard to experience that is the result of untruth or

exaggeration, and when he occasionally met another man who had really been a

soldier and the talked a few minutes in the dressing room at a dance he fell into

the easy pose of the old soldier among other soldiers: that he had been badly,

sickeningly frightened all the time. In this way he lost everything.


During this time, it was late summer, he was sleeping late in bed, getting up to

walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the

front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to

spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room. He loved to

play pool.

In the evening he practiced on his clarinet, strolled down town, read and went to

bed. He was still a hero to his two young sisters. His mother would have given

him breakfast in bed if he had wanted it. She often came in when he was in bed

and asked him to tell her about the war, but her attention always wandered. His

father was non-committal.

Before Krebs went away to the war he had never been allowed to drive the family

motor car. His father was in the real estate business and always wanted the car to

be at his command when he required it to take clients out into the country to show

them a piece of farm property. The car always stood outside the First National

Bank building where his father had an office on the second floor. Now, after the

war, it was still the same car.

Nothing was changed in the town except that the young girls had grown up. But

they lived in such a complicated world of already defined alliances and shifting

feuds that Krebs did not feel the energy or the courage to break into it. He liked to

look at them, though. There were so many good-looking young girls. Most of

them had their hair cut short. When he went away only little girls wore their hair

like that or girls that were fast. They all wore sweaters and shirt waists with round

Dutch collars. It was a pattern. He liked to look at them from the front porch as

they walked on the other side of the street. He liked to watch them walking under

the shade of the trees. He liked the round Dutch collars above their sweaters. He

liked their silk stockings and flat shoes. He liked their bobbed hair and the way

they walked.

When he was in town their appeal to him was not very strong. He did not like

them when he saw them in the Greek's ice cream parlor. He did not want them

themselves really. They were too complicated. There was something else.

Vaguely he wanted a girl but he did not want to have to work to get her. He would

have liked to have a girl but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting

her. He did not want to get into the intrigue and the politics. He did not want to

have to do any courting. He did not want to tell any more lies. It wasn't worth it.


He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again.

He wanted to live along without consequences. Besides he did not really need a

girl. The army had taught him that. It was all right to pose as though you had to

have a girl. Nearly everybody did that. But it wasn't true. You did not need a girl.

That was the funny thing. First a fellow boasted how girls mean nothing to him,

that he never thought of them, that they could not touch him. Then a fellow

boasted that he could not get along without girls, that he had to have them all the

time, that he could not go to sleep without them.

That was all a lie. It was all a lie both ways. You did not need a girl unless you

thought about them. He learned that in the army. Then sooner or later you always

got one. When you were really ripe for a girl you always got one. You did not

have to think about it. Sooner or later it could come. He had learned that in the


Now he would have liked a girl if she had come to him and not wanted to talk.

But here at home it was all too complicated. He knew he could never get through

it all again. It was not worth the trouble. That was the thing about French girls and

German girls. There was not all this talking. You couldn't talk much and you did

not need to talk. It was simple and you were friends. He thought about France and

then he began to think about Germany. On the whole he had liked Germany

better. He did not want to leave Germany. He did not want to come home. Still, he

had come home. He sat on the front porch.

He liked the girls that were walking along the other side of the street. He liked the

look of them much better than the French girls or the German girls. But the world

they were in was not the world he was in. He would like to have one of them. But

it was not worth it. They were such a nice pattern. He liked the pattern. It wis

exciting. But he would not go through all the talking. He did not want one badly

enough. He liked to look at them all, though. It was not worth it. Not now when

things were getting good again.

He sat there on the porch reading a book on the war. It was a history and he was

reading about all the engagements he had been in. It was the most interesting

reading he had ever done. He wished there were more maps. He looked forward

with a good feeling to reading all the really good histories when they would come

out with good detail maps. Now he was really learning about the war. He had

been a good soldier. That made a difference.

One morning after he had been home about a month his mother came into his

bedroom and sat on the bed. She smoothed her apron.

"I had a talk with your father last night, Harold," she said, "and he is willing for

you to take the car out in the evenings."

"Yeah?" said Krebs, who was not fully awake. "Take the car out? Yeah?"


"Yes. Your father has felt for some time that you should be able to take the car

out in the evenings whenever you wished but we only talked it over last night."

"I'll bet you made him," Krebs said.

"No. It was your father's suggestion that we talk the matter over."

"Yeah. I'll bet you made him," Krebs sat up in bed.

"Will you come down to breakfast, Harold?" his mother said."

"As soon as I get my clothes on," Krebs said.

His mother went out of the room and he could hear her frying something

downstairs while he washed, shaved and dressed to go down into the dining-room

for breakfast. While he was eating breakfast, his sister brought in the mail.

"Well, Hare," she said. "You old sleepy-head. What do you ever get up for?"

Krebs looked at her. He liked her. She was his best sister.

"Have you got the paper?" he asked.

She handed him The Kansas City Star and he shucked off its brown wrapper and

opened it to the sporting page. He folded The Star open and propped it against the

water pitcher with his cereal dish to steady it, so he could read while he ate.

"Harold," his mother stood in the kitchen doorway, "Harold, please don't muss up

the paper. Your father can't read his Star if its been mussed."

"I won't muss it," Krebs said.

His sister sat down at the table and watched him while he read.

"We're playing indoor over at school this afternoon," she said. "I'm going to


"Good," said Krebs. "How's the old wing?"

"I can pitch better than lots of the boys. I tell them all you taught me. The other

girls aren't much good."

"Yeah?" said Krebs.

"I tell them all you're my beau. Aren't you my beau, Hare?"


"You bet."

"Couldn't your brother really be your beau just because he's your brother?"

"I don't know."

"Sure you know. Couldn't you be my beau, Hare, if I was old enough and if you

wanted to?"

"Sure. You're my girl now."

"Am I really your girl?"


"Do you love me?"

"Uh, huh."

"Do you love me always?"


"Will you come over and watch me play indoor?"


"Aw, Hare, you don't love me. If you loved me, you'd want to come over and

watch me play indoor."

Krebs's mother came into the dining-room from the kitchen. She carried a plate

with two fried eggs and some crisp bacon on it and a plate of buckwheat cakes.

"You run along, Helen," she said. "I want to talk to Harold."

She put the eggs and bacon down in front of him and brought in a jug of maple

syrup for the buckwheat cakes. Then she sat down across the table from Krebs.

"I wish you'd put down the paper a minute, Harold," she said.

Krebs took down the paper and folded it.

"Have you decided what you are going to do yet, Harold?" his mother said, taking

off her glasses.


"No," said Krebs.

"Don't you think it's about time?" His mother did not say this in a mean way. She

seemed worried.

"I hadn't thought about it," Krebs said.

"God has some work for every one to do," his mother said. "There can be no idle

hands in His Kingdom."

"I'm not in His Kingdom," Krebs said.

"We are all of us in His Kingdom."

Krebs felt embarrassed and resentful as always.

"I've worried about you too much, Harold," his mother went on. "I know the

temptations you must have been exposed to. I know how weak men are. I know

what your own dear grandfather, my own father, told us about the Civil War and I

have prayed for you. I pray for you all day long, Harold."

Krebs looked at the bacon fat hardening on his plate.

"Your father is worried, too," his mother went on. "He thinks you have lost your

ambition, that you haven't got a definite aim in life. Charley Simmons, who is just

your age, has a good job and is going to be married. The boys are all settling

down; they're all determined to get somewhere; you can see that boys like Charley

Simmons are on their way to being really a credit to the community."

Krebs said nothing.

"Don't look that way, Harold," his mother said. "You know we love you and I

want to tell you for your own good how matters stand. Your father does not want

to hamper your freedom. He thinks you should be allowed to drive the car. If you

want to take some of the nice girls out riding with you, we are only too pleased.

We want you to enjoy yourself. But you are going to have to settle down to work,

Harold. Your father doesn't care what you start in at. All work is honorable as he

says. But you've got to make a start at something. He asked me to speak to you

this morning and then you can stop in and see him at his office."

"Is that all?" Krebs said.

"Yes. Don't you love your mother dear boy?"

"No," Krebs said.


His mother looked at him across the table. Her eyes were shiny. She started


"I don't love anybody," Krebs said.

It wasn't any good. He couldn't tell her, he couldn't make her see it. It was silly to

have said it. He had only hurt her. He went over and took hold of her arm. She

was crying with her head in her hands.

"I didn't mean it," he said. "I was just angry at something. I didn't mean I didn't

love you."

His mother went on crying. Krebs put his arm on her shoulder.

"Can't you believe me, mother?"

His mother shook her head.

"Please, please, mother. Please believe me."

"All right," his mother said chokily. She looked up at him. "I believe you,


Krebs kissed her hair. She put her face up to him.

"I'm your mother," she said. "I held you next to my heart when you were a tiny


Krebs felt sick and vaguely nauseated.

"I know, Mummy," he said. "I'll try and be a good boy for you."

"Would you kneel and pray with me, Harold?" his mother asked.

They knelt down beside the dining-room table and Krebs's mother prayed.

"Now, you pray, Harold," she said.

"I can't," Krebs said.

"Try, Harold."

"I can't."

"Do you want me to pray for you?"



So his mother prayed for him and then they stood up and Krebs kissed his mother

and went out of the house. He had tried so to keep his life from being

complicated. Still, none of it had touched him. He had felt sorry for his mother

and she had made him lie. He would go to Kansas City and get a job and she

would feel all right about it. There would be one more scene maybe before he got

away. He would not go down to his father's office. He would miss that one. He

wanted his life to go smoothly. It had just gotten going that way. Well, that was

all over now, anyway. He would go over to the schoolyard and watch Helen play

indoor baseball.