Home by Toni Morrison depicts an African-American Korean War veteran named Frank Money, back in America after serving on the front lines. Frank Money's story is one of many vets, having to adjust to life back home. His main difference is dealing with his newfound situation through the eyes of a different race. The story often switches from the child version of Frank to the adult one as he gives a narrative of his life and how his experiences have changed him up to an adult.
During his early childhood, Frank's family and other African-American families in his neighborhood were forced to leave a town in Texas because of racial tensions. They move to Georgia to start a new life. Frank considered Georgia no paradise and described it as “the worst place in the world, worse than any battlefield.” Frank becomes very fond of his little sister, Cee. He views her as something he must protect and look after. They share a childhood and youth together but eventually Frank goes off to serve in the war.
The adult Frank eventually meets and falls for a girl named Lily, who works as a seamstress. Lily is comforting to Frank after returning from the war and helps him with many of his troubles, which seem to lessen when she is near. But he eventually leaves Lily to travel to find his sister Cee and reunite with her. Cee is in need, both physically and psychologically, and Frank needs to return home to once again serve as her protector.
Frank devotes a significant portion of his memories in a chapter on the Korean War. Although tough, he described it as an experience of feeling “alive.” He enjoys following orders, helping his fellow soldiers and doing whatever else is necessary to serve his duties. While serving in war, his childhood friend from Georgia, Mike, dies in his arms. He witnesses another friend, Stuff, die as well, and he gives graphic details of how they passed on the battlefield.
When Frank returns from Korea, he reunites with his sister Cee. She has been learning to make quilts to keep her spirits high while ill. They visit their childhood home and other places from their youth, engaging in a healing process for both of them together.
Best part of story, including ending:
Frank deals with many struggles throughout his life. Despite what he has experienced on the battle field and in life, he is still able to maintain a sense of love and protection for those he cares for.
Best scene in story:
When Cee and Frank were younger, they walked onto someone else's property and saw several horses. Frank describes seeing the stallions fighting and moving with a child's awe.
Opinion about the main character:
Frank's desire to defend and protect, whether as a soldier or with his sister, are both admirable.