This is a very important text talking about the horrors of war and the impact of fighting in war on some of the young, impressionable men that experienced warfare, so it is well worth reading yourself.
The story is set in the summer of 1919 in a small town in Oklahoma. The protagonist of the story, Harold Krebs, has just returned home from fighting in World War I. However, he has arrived too late for the hero's welcome that other returning soldier's received and as such, he finds he has come home to a community that wants to put the war behind them. Because of this, he feels he is unable to speak honestly about his own experiences of war. He does little to try and reintegrate into his family life and ends up drifting into passivity and inertia as he reads, plays pool and sleeps. Although he is attracted to several young girls in his town, he is not willing to make any effort to build a relationship, fearing commitment and the trouble that this brings. The climax of the story occurs when his mother confronts him about his life and what he is going to do with it, and he decides to leave "home" for good. Hemingway in this story depicts the thoughts of an anti-hero that is no longer willing to be part of mainstream life.