The original question had to be edited. I would suggest that Krebs is shaped by his historical period because he is forced to reconcile with the reality of World War I. He is forced to do this alone and isolated from others. Krebs is unable to return to "daily life" and consciousness has been permanently altered by his experiences in the war. For Krebs, he is unable to talk about "heroic war exploits" when people in his town want to know what the war was like. He finds himself unable to assimilate to their vision of the prototypical war hero. Instead, he must wrestle with the demons of what he saw and experienced away from others. Krebs has been shaped by his historical period because of his experience in the war, an experience that millions of other soldiers experienced. The idea that the horrors of war permanently transforms the soldier who participate in it is where Krebs has been impacted. At the same time, Krebs finds that his existence has to be a rootless one when he ends up moving to Kansas City, seeking to move away from the gaze of others that want him to "fit" into a particular role. For Krebs, his individual identity becomes morphed into a one in shaped by historical reality and one that reflects the narratives of other soldiers who were forever changed by their experiences in war.