How is Krebs from "Soldier's Home" an example of an anti-hero, and how does he compare with the young protagonists of today's books and movies?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hemingway, the author of this short story, contributed the modern American hero to American Literature.  One of the key characteristics of this hero is that he is thoroughly disillusioned with life, especially with the American dream, partly what makes him an anti-hero.

Krebs does not want to be a hero, yet he is the main character in the story.  He obviously fought bravely in WWI, but his family cannot get past the fact that he has changed and will never be the innocent, enthusiastic son that they sent off to war.  Krebs doesn't want responsibility, complicated relationships, or parental pressure; he cannot even summon emotion for his mother.  This disillusionment with life and his family places him in the anti-hero category.

In regards to his connection to today's protagonists, Krebs does seem similar to teen heroes who endure angst, rebel against authorities, and maintain a cynical view of society and America.  

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