Edith Wharton

Coming Home

First published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1915, Edith Wharton’s Coming Home is a short story of seven chapters that centers around the life of a French man named Jean de Réchamp during the war. The story is narrated in the first-personal pronoun and bases itself on reports about the atrocities committed by the German army. Jean de Réchamp, who is engaged to Mlle. Malo, wants to know about his family that he left in his home country just before the war was declared. On a journey back to his home town Réchamp in Eastern France, the roads seem eerily empty save for the sentinels guarding the railways. Even the names of towns and roads are scratched out off the milestones in order to mislead the enemy. Fortunately, Jean knows his directions and finally reaches Réchamp with his companions who include a wounded man. When they reach the town, an old woman as well as other countrymen tell them about the atrocities of the what has happened and how the village has been destroyed. Jean finally meets his family. However, by the end of the narrative, the wounded companion dies.
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