Free Study Guide for A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway|
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HEMINGWAY CHAPTER SUMMARY FOR A FAREWELL TO ARMS
This chapter records significant developments in both the themes: love
and war. In the war, Italians suffered heavy losses. It looks as if America
is also going to plunge into the fray. As such, the war seems interminable
and the prospect of Henry going to the front becomes inevitable. On the
love front, Catherine is pregnant. In this chapter, she indicates that
she is slightly crazy. She wants repeated assurances from Henry that he
loved her and that she was his obedient, good and faithful wife. Henry’s
claim that he is “biologically trapped” is telling: he is ultimately blaming
Catherine’s biology (thus, her) for his “problem.” The story has reached
Next day was very cold, and it started raining. Henry had felt sick
in the night and felt nauseous in the morning after breakfast. Miss Gage
and the house surgeon examined him and found him suffering from jaundice.
Thus, Catherine and Henry could not go to Pallanza on Lago Maggiore as
they had planned and spent the convalescent leave together. He suffered
from jaundice for two weeks. One day, Miss Van Campen came into his room
and searched the closet. She found a lot of empty bottles of alcohol.
She was enraged and her pity for him having jaundice disappeared. She
believed that his jaundice was due to alcoholism and so she said that
he was not entitled to the convalescent leave. She threatened to report
the matter to the authorities and translated her threat into action. Consequently,
Henry lost his leave. Miss Van Campen believed that Henry actually inflicted
wounds on himself to escape the front.
Henry might have had jaundice due to a hospital infection, but Miss Van Campen chose to believe that it was self-inflicted. Henry’s rather caustic dialogue with her infuriated her and she saw to it that his leave was cancelled. As a result, Henry went to the front.
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