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A Farewell to Arms

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Jacob Bissell

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of A Farewell to Arms

In A Farewell to Arms, falling rain and water are indicative of Henry’s life changing and uncertainty in his future. Each time Henry faces uncertainty, he may not be able to return to Catherine and their relationship. A Farewell to Arms The Perils of War “I watched the lights of the station and the yards as we went out. It was still raining and soon the windows were wet and you could not see out.” “I saw the carriage coming. It stopped, the horse’s head hanging in the rain, and the waiter stepped out, opened his umbrella, and came toward the hotel. We met him at the door and walked out under the umbrella down the wet walk to the carriage at the curb. “ “The rain was clear and transparent against the light from the station.” ““Take him back with the others,” the first officer said. They took me down behind the line of officers below the road toward a group of people in a field by the river bank.” “We walked down the path under the giant umbrella and out through the dark wet gardens to the road and across the road to the trellised pathway along the lake. “ "“She better get in the boat.” He held the boat, it rising and falling against the stone wall and I helped Catherine in. " “It was quite rough; but I kept on rowing, until suddenly we were close ashore against a point of rock that rose beside us; the waves striking against it, rushing high up, then falling back. I pulled hard on the right oar and backed water with the other and we went out into the lake again; the point was out of sight and we were going on up the lake.” “The water was very cold. We passed the brush of an island above the water. I held onto the timber with both hands and let it take me along. The shore was out of sight now.” “You do not know how long you are in a river when the current moves swiftly. It seems a long time and it may be very short. The water was cold and in flood and many things passed that had been floated off the banks when the river rose. I was lucky to have a heavy timber to hold on to, and I lay in the icy water with my chin on the wood, holding as easily as I could with both hands. “ “Toward the sea there are salt marshes and very few roads. The roads all go along the river mouths to the sea and to cross the country you must go along the paths beside the canals. I was working across the country from the north to the south and had crossed two railway lines and many roads and finally I came out at the end of a path onto a railway line where it ran beside a marsh.” “The wind was blowing offshore now. It was a cold, wet November wind and I knew it was snowing in the mountains. We came along past the chained boats in the slips along the quay to where the barman’s boat should be. The water was dark against the stone. “ “I rowed in the dark keeping the wind in my face. The rain had stopped and only came occasionally in gusts. It was very dark, and the wind was cold. I could see Catherine in the stern but I could not see the water where the blades of the oars dipped." “Suddenly I knew I had to get back. I called the waiter, paid the reckoning, got into my coat, put on my hat and started out the door. I walked through the rain up to the hospital.” “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.” After recovering from his war injury, Henry says goodbye to Catherine at the Milan train station and returns to the front. AWOL Together, Henry and Catherine
flee Italy. Henry and Catherine seek refuge in Switzerland. “When we came out to start back up the road our track was filled in by the snow. There were only faint indentations where the holes had been. The snow blew in our faces so we could hardly see." Jake Bissell “I could feel the current swirl me and I stayed under until I thought I could never come up.”
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