What is the tone of "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemingway?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is clear from the subject of this story and the way that Hemingway examines the long-term consequences of war on humans that this story is not a joyful one with a happy ending. Instead, the examination of Krebs and how he has been impacted by the war gives this story a very bleak, pessimistic and depressing tone. Note in particular passages that present how difficult it is for Krebs to form any attachments whatsoever, and the way the he seeks to avoid commitment in any form:

He did not want any consequences. he did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences.

This of course does much to contribute to the spirit of nihilism that the story exudes. Krebs is presents as emotionally exhausted and desperate to do anything to avoid commitment. He finds himself in a world that he is unable or incapable of connecting with, and is left alone.

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