Study Guide

Does it Matter? Home

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Soldiers lucky enough to survive the battlefield usually get to go home. But going home isn't always all it's cracked up to be; nothing is ever the same after you've seen your comrades die. "Does it Matter?" explores this sad truth by showing us that, though the home hasn't change much, the soldier has, and so his relationship with home will never be the same.

Questions About Home

  1. Does it seem like the people who go hunting ignore the soldier who is just sitting there waiting? How do you imagine them behaving toward him? 
  2. What do you think this soldier's homecoming was like? Do you think there was a big shindig and with a banner and a cake? Or did he just slip in through the back door? How can you tell, based on what's in the poem?
  3. If the home in this poem is less than inviting, what do you think the speaker of this poem would imagine an ideal home to be like? What makes you say so?

Chew on This

Sure, this soldier may be home, but he's totally homeless. He doesn't feel comfortable, even when he's surrounded by friends and family, and that means he's not really and truly home.

This poem shows that war starts at home because people don't understand or care enough about the consequences of war.

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