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In "Soldier's Home," what does Kreb's statement, "you did not need a girl unless you...

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ayojenn | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 2, 2011 at 6:35 AM via web

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In "Soldier's Home," what does Kreb's statement, "you did not need a girl unless you thought about them," reveal about how he adapted...

... to the hardships of war? How might such an adjustment affect his life at home?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM (Answer #1)

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Krebs' view of women in "Soldier's Home" is an unusual and complicated one. When he returns home, he finds that relationships with women have become too complicated and chooses not to pursue them because of the possible negative consequences. He yearns for the European women he met during the war--women who were happy to be with a conquering soldier for a short time without a meaningful or permanent attachment. Only his younger sister seems to attract his attention; she can give her unconditional love without him having to give in return. Krebs seems to prefer the company of men anyway. He was happy during his college fraternity days and, despite the horrors of the war, seemed contented with the brotherhood of soldiering. To Krebs, women are just a temporary distraction--presumably for sex and feminine comfort--that are no longer worth the effort once he is back in the states. The steps that Krebs must take to court a girl back home, including the need to reveal his innermost thoughts, just don't seem worth the trouble.

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