In Hemingway's "Soldier's Home," how does it reflect that the American Dream does not exist?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Virtually nothing goes right for Krebs upon his return to his parents' house in his home town. His return certainly does not live up to the American Dream. Though he has been part of the victorious forces, he has seen horrors which will haunt him forever. He receives none of the accolades received by most victorious, home-bound soldiers, since he has returned long after most troops. His parents irritate him, his relationship with women is skewed, and the boring little town has remained unchanged. He reverts to lies and exaggerations when telling others about the war, knowing that they do not want to hear about the blood, death and mutilations that he has witnessed. He withdraws within the home, with no friends or hopes of employment. His experiences in the war have left him with no love or inner peace; he even tells his mother that he does not love her. The American Dream has become a nightmare for Krebs, and his only way out is to move away from home and start a new life elsewhere.