Themes and Meanings

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182

One of the story’s central concerns might be described by a term that was once fashionable: “the generation gap.” In “Soldier’s Home,” the gap is more like a chasm that separates the ex-Marine from the townspeople. Krebs returns from the war, changed by his experiences, but the local citizenry are exactly what they were before the war—sure of themselves and their values. To stay in the town, to survive this time warp, Krebs must compromise his integrity; he must lie if he is to live among people who do not want to hear the truth.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Soldier's Home Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Krebs represents the transformation brought about by World War I, and in this sense his metamorphosis reflects America’s changed face. Before the war, the conventional values of Krebs’s hometown had been, for the most part, America’s values. After World War I, however, those values were challenged, and the war’s returnees were among the chief challengers. In “Soldier’s Home,” the conflict is between challenger and challenged—the tension between Americans moving into the modern world and Americans protecting Victorian values.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Summary

Next

Critical Essays