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Krebs, the main character of Hemingway's story, "Soldier's Home" is a person who is existentially out of time and place. After serving in World War I, Krebs returns to his hometown in Oklahoma; however, in truth, Krebs cannot "go home again" as figuratively expressed. For, "[H]e came back much too late" since the other soldiers had returned earlier and been welcomed "elaborately," but now when he does want to talk about his experiences, no one is interested in hearing about them.
All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear insdie himself when he thought of them [his experiences]; 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.
As a result of his exposure to the horrors of war, Harold Krebs has changed dramatically and cannot abide by the townspeople's romantic vision of war as a glorious endeavor. Nor can he still be his mother's "good boy" and pray with her. Wanting nothing more than for his life to go "smoothly," Krebs decides he must leave his hometown and search for meaning in his own existence apart from others.
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