How does Krebs in "Soldier's Home" embody the qualities of a Hemingway hero?

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Krebs is a Hemingway antihero, who shirks responsibility and avoids commitment in every way possible.

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Well, I don't know if the word "hero" is entirely accurate. When we think of the fiction of Hemmingway we see he is actually very adept at creating protagonists that are more accurately described as "antiheroes" than heroes. Antiheroes are characters that sharply contrast with the general idea that we have in our minds concerning heroes and what they should be, do and look like. Antiheroes are characterised by inertia, disillusionment and hopelessness.

Clearly, when we begin to think about the character of Krebs in this excellent story describing the disillusionment that so many soldiers experienced following the First World War, he is a character that resists engagement in life in every way. Now that he is back in his home town, he lives his life getting up late, reading and playing pool. Although he obviously likes girls and would want to have one, the thought of the necessary "intrigue and politics" and "courting" that is a requirement to get a girl scares him away. He is a character that avoids commitment in every way possible:

He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences.

Note how this insight into the mind of Krebs reveals just how emotionally exhausted he is and how desperate he is to avoid any form of commitment. Of course, the traditional hero feels a strong commitment towards community and embraces responsibility. Krebs, by his determination to avoid and shirk responsibility, shows himself to be a typical Hemmingway antihero.

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How does Krebs spend his days in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home"?

Krebs spends his days in a state of listlessness; he does not want to become involved in the intrigues and politics of his town's life. Because he finds things at home "too complicated," he withdraws into his room for most of his time.

With the title as a double entendre--the soldier is in the home of his youth, and the place is like a soldier's home, a lonely place for injured or retired soldiers--Krebs, who is somewhere in between the innocence of youth and the disillusions of age, does not feel as though he belongs at home any more. Krebs finds that he cannot really return to this home of his youth and resume his old life; too much has happened to him, and he is no longer the same person.

A distaste for everything that had happened to him in the war set in because of the lies he had told....he lost everything.

Krebs does not want to be involved with anyone. He would like to have a girl, but he decides "it was not worth it." So, he merely goes to town to look at the girls. Besides, they are not in the same world as Krebs finds himself. He is changed by the experience of war, changed by the lies he has had to tell.

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How does Krebs spend his days in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home"?

After going back home, nobody wanted to listen to his real encounters in the war, so Krebs resorted to lying on several occasions so as to get a listening ear. However, the lies and exaggerations soon wear him out. During this period, he sleeps in bed until late, then wakes up, after which he walks downtown to collect a book from the library. He then walks back home to have lunch, then later sit on the front porch to read and watch the good-looking girls as they went about their business. When bored with reading, Krebs walks through town to "spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool pool room. He loved to play pool." During the evening hours, Krebs practices music by playing his clarinet, goes for a stroll, reads again, then goes to bed.

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How does Krebs spend his days in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home"?

Krebs is mired in a state of inertia and withdrawal upon his return home from the war.  He quickly settles into a routine of sleeping, reading, wandering, telling lies about a war no one wants to hear about, playing pool in the worst heat of the day, and practicing his clarinet in the cool of the evening.

"sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room...in the evening he practised on his clarinet, strolled down town, read and went to bed".

Krebs avoids involvement with other people, who do not understand him and with whom he finds he must be fake.  He wants his life just to be "uncomplicated" and finds himself devoid of emotion and feeling.  He realizes that his experiences in the war have changed him too much and that he can no longer find a place to fit in at home with his family in his old hometown.  At the conclusion of the story, Krebs' inertia lifts and he decides to leave and to try to start life anew in Kansas City.

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Describe the way Krebs spends his days in "Soldier's Home."

Krebs leads a monotonous life and seems to prefer it that way. He is recovering from all the emotions he experienced in Europe during World War I. He returns to his home town in Oklahoma in the late summer, when it is very warm. He has his own room in his parents' house.

He was sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room. He loved to play pool.

Krebs, the young protagonist of "Soldier's Home," bears a strong resemblance to Nick, the protagonist in both parts of Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River." The reader gets a strong impression of what these two young Americans have been through in the European battles by what is not said. Krebs loves to play pool; Nick loves to fish for trout. Both are gradually healing in their own separate ways. They have to recover not only from what they felt but from what they saw and what they learned about humanity. For young men fresh from small-town America to see the madness of war was a traumatic experience that changed them for the rest of their lives.They are representatives of their generation.

Hemingway is talking about his own self through the characters in both "Soldier's Home" and "Big Two-Hearted River." He was badly wounded while driving an ambulance and spent many months in a hospital. World War I was in some ways worse than World War II, at least for the British, French and Americans, because of the use of poison gas and the terrible casualties suffered from shelling and machine guns in the interminable trench warfare.

Significantly, Hemingway writes of Krebs:

He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences.

"Consequences" would seem to mean approximately the same thing as "involvements." Krebs seems distant, unapproachable, hypersensitive, untouchable. He looks at girls but doesn't want to get involved with them because that certainly could lead to "consequences." His mother would love to see him find a girl, get married, find a steady job and start leading a normal life. In the end he decides that he will go to Kansas City and get a job. He seems to have grown too much through his war experiences to remain confined to a little town in Oklahoma.

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Describe the ways Krebs spends his days in "Soldier's Home".

When Krebs first returns home, he "(does) not want to talk about the war at all".  After awhile, however, he finds he has a "need to talk but no one want(s) to hear about it".  To this end, it would seem that he makes some attempt at socializing, going to the pool room, and talking to old acquaintances "in the dressing room at a dance".  Very quickly, though, Krebs discovers that people are "not thrilled with his stories", and he retreats into his parents house, for the most part watching the world go by from within its safe confines.  Krebs develops a routine during the late summer,

"sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he be(comes) bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room".

Krebs likes to watch the young girls go by as he sits on his front porch reading; his interest is innocent, and, like everything he does, detached.  He thinks he might like to have a relationship, but does not want it enough to put any effort into it; "he (does) not want to have to do any courting...he (does) not want any consequences".  His experiences during the war have left him empty, and he feels that he no longer belongs in the world as it exists around him.  Krebs spends his days in a safe cocoon of his own making, observing his surroundings but making no connections.

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