Why does Krebs avoid complications and consequences? How has the war changed his attitudes toward work and women? How is his hometown different from Germany and France? What is the conflict in the story?

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There are multiple questions being asked here. I will answer the question about conflicts as it does help answer a bit of the other questions. One conflict that exists in the story is an external conflict that exists between Krebs and his parents. His parents incorrectly assume that Krebs is...

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There are multiple questions being asked here. I will answer the question about conflicts as it does help answer a bit of the other questions. One conflict that exists in the story is an external conflict that exists between Krebs and his parents. His parents incorrectly assume that Krebs is the same person today as he was before the war. They don't understand what he has gone through, and they don't understand that he isn't the kid that left for the war. He has seen atrocities beyond their wildest imaginations, and he has come back a man. His coming of age happened extremely quickly, and it happened away from them. Krebs has come back a distant person as a result of the war. He has seen men he considered brothers die in front of him, and he has learned to establish a distance from people as a safety mechanism. If he doesn't love somebody, it doesn't hurt so much to see them leave or die. This attitude comes to a head when Krebs tells his mom that he doesn't love anybody.

“I don’t love anybody,” Krebs said.

His mom doesn't react well to this statement, and Krebs lies to his mother and tells her that he doesn't mean it.

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