The Matthews are country people. If they can get a living with their hard work they want no changes or dealings with the outside world. Their children are different. They feel the earth moving under them and are excited and full of hope. They could not imagine what will happen to their world during the next ten years. The war itself is to bring vast changes. For Ben the army is to open up disturbing new horizons; while for his brother-in-law Philip the war is a dilemma demanding morality and courage.