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A FAREWELL TO ARMS
Transcript of A FAREWELL TO ARMS
The following characters are present in the chapters:
Book 3': Chapter 25-28
The protagonist : Frederic Henry, he returns to war after a leave of absence.
The major who is proud of Henry's decoration and tired of the war
The priest who is anticipation the end of the violence.
Gino who recalls the atrocities of the australian front
Bonello, a courageous ambulance driver under Henry's command.
After returning to Gorizia, Henry has a discussion with the town major about the war. The major is happy to hear that Henry got decorated, and considers that he was lucky to get wounded when he did because the fighting during the summer was bad. The major says that he probably would not have returned to the front had he been given a leave because he is so tired of the war dragging on.
Henry thinks about Catherine, their separation depresses him. He finds his friend Rinaldi who examines his injuries. Rinaldi does not believe that Henry should be back at the front with such an injury. They then begin discussing love. Rinaldi asks if Henry is married, if he is in love and if Catherine is good in bed. Henry is offended by Rinaldi, for he holds certain subjects “sacred”. They toast Catherine then go have dinner with the priest. Rinaldi mocks the priest to try to lift Henry’s spirits.
After dinner, Henry talks to the priest who believes that the war will end soon, though he does not have proof. Henry remains skeptical. They discuss the effect the war has had on the men, stating that defeat has softened them. Henry links this to the story of Jesus Christ. Henry says that he no longer believes in victory. When the priest asks what he does believe in, Henry, sarcastic, responds “in sleep.”
The next morning, Henry goes to the Bainsizza, small mountains badly affected by the fighting. He meets a man named Gino, and they discuss the war, including terrifying guns that the Austrians have acquired and the Croatian front. Gino considers that the Italians are doomed should the Austrians attack, but that their losses during the summer were not in vain. Henry ponders the empty meaning of words such as “sacred, glorious, and sacrifice.” In fact, he is embarrassed by them. He considers concrete facts to be more meaningful than abstract concepts.
That night, the enemy bombardment starts. It is raining hard over the mountains. The next morning, the news that the attack was in part taken out by the Germans frightens the Italian troops. The next night, they learn that the Italian line has been broken and begin a large-scale retreat. In the town of Gorizia, Henry sees women from the soldiers’ whorehouse being gathering in a truck. Bonello, one of the drivers, offers to go with the women. When Henry gets to the Villa, he learns that Rinaldi has gone off to the hospital and that everyone else has evacuated. Henry, Bonello, and two other drivers, Piani and Aymo, rest and eat before resuming the retreat.
The retreating men drive slowly through town forming a large column of soldiers and vehicles. Henry sleeps for a while, and when he wakes, the column stops retreating. Henry gets out of the truck to check on his men. He finds two engineering officers in Bonello’s car and two women with Ayro. Ayro convinces the initially suspicious girls that he means them no harm. Henry goes back to the truck and falls asleep. He dreams of Catherine and talks to her out loud in his sleep. That night, many peasants join the retreating army. In the early morning, Henry and his men decide to separate from the group and take a small road heading north. They stop briefly at an abandoned farmhouse and eat a large breakfast before continuing their journey.
Henry’s love for Catherine is not diminished by distance. A different form of love (more like friendship) exists between Henry, Rinaldi and the Priest.
There’s a struggle to communicate (chapter 26) when the priest starts discussing faith and religion. Henry is not comfortable with these subjects and cuts off the connection by answering that he believes in sleep
The war drags on in these chapters. The major admits that the war was violent in the summer and is relieved that Henry was injured before this incident.
As in the rest of the book, Henry drinks heavily. Rinaldi hints to the intimate relationship between Henry and Catherine
French Bac Themes
Heroes and Myths
When Henry received his decorations that made him somewhat of a modern day hero. But there is no celebration or glorification of war in these chapters.
Henry views the characteristics that are usually associated with heroes such as courage and honor to be meaningless.
Space and cultural exchange
Henry's discussions with the Priest and with Gino explain how the war has changed each of the countries involved. In this case war can be seen as a form of exchange between countries.
Places and forms of power
The strategies that are involved in fighting a war have made the occupation of a land synonymous with power.
The Austrians have taken San Gabriele which has turned them into the "winners" of the war.
The idea of progress
The retreat that is planned could lead to several tactics and strategies allowing the italian forces to reestablish a position of power.