In reading and interpreting this story, I would call attention to the style in which Hemingway writes it. Notice the verbs in these 4 sentences that describe the picture: “is,” “look,” “are,” and “does not show.” None of the verbs offer action, all are as laconic as the character. Notice too the straightforward, simple construction of the sentences: the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sentences consist of subject, verb, and modifier, not even containing a direction object: nothing happens in them to anything. The first sentence is even weaker, beginning with the expletive “there is,” which postpones the meaning of the sentence, putting it in the subordinate clause “which shows….” In short, while the sentence communicates the lack of meaning in Kreb’s life, his inability to find romance and sentimentality in the war (as, perhaps, his parents and his town would prefer), its style and structure reinforce the same—and this is the beauty and complexity of Hemingway’s writing. It is also something he associated with manhood: eschewing the sentimental in favor of seeing things “as they are” and telling about that simply, directly, with as few words as needed.