Soldier's Home Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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What is Krebs's relationship with his sister like in "Soldier's Home"? How does he respond differently to her than to the other girls or women in the story? What does she represent for him?

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Helen is demonstrative and loving toward Krebs, and he is accepting of her adoration. The love they share is pure; Helen is not yet at an age when the psycho-social separation from family begins to manifest. She approaches him with no ulterior motives. Krebs needs for relationships to be simple. He has come back from war feeling unstable, and Helen offers stability because all she wants in return from him is the same simple devotion she offers him.

Krebs's mother has expectations of him, and Krebs understands that the girls in town would also have expectations of him. He doesn't have the emotional energy to engage in the dynamics of that kind of relationship. With Helen, he doesn't have to work at the relationship. All she asks of him is that he come and watch her play baseball. And in his current psychological state, it is one of the few interactions he can have without putting himself at risk of further psychological discomfort.

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After returning from World War I, where he served in the...

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