In the novel "A Farewell to Arms" (1929), Hemingway all over again returns to the problem of "lost generation". The novel takes place in 1915-1918, on the Italian-Austrian front. An American volunteer -Frederic Henry -is a Lieutenant in the sanitary troops of the Italian Army. There is some lull in battle so the troops are waiting for the attack wasting their time drinking, playing pool and visiting a bordello.
The Seventh chapter of the novel describes one of these calm days. Henry finished the visitation of posts and stopped on the dusty road, watching the soldiers passing by. He noticed that people were exhausted by the heat, sweaty and dirty. Some did not keep pace with for their teams. Henry fell into conversation with one of those dragging soldiers. Frederic asked him about the war. It turned out that the soldier was also an American. He hated the war and asked to take him away from his regiment for the treatment. To tell the truth, he slipped the truss on purpose to get a hernia as he did want to return to the front. Henry promised to take him to the hospital on the way back. However, coming back he saw a poor American on a stretcher - the nurses from his regiments were taking him away to war. The scam failed.
This chapter is remarkable because it depicts Henry's reflections on the war. He served in the second Austrian army, but he really wanted to get into the English one. Henry believed that war against the Austrians was very cruel compared to other wars against them. He knew that his service in the health support battalion was relatively safe. Thus, he was confident that he would not die. For him, it was no more dangerous than a war in the movies. But he wished it to end.
Every person dreams about the peace. And Henry was dreaming, too. He wanted to visit Austrian cities and warm Spain. While dreaming he suddenly felt a strong desire to be Catherine Barkley. He imagined them in Milan, enjoying walks, restaurants, and making love in a luxurious hotel. Henry decided that he should meet Catherine that very day.
He spent the night in the company of noisy and drunken officers. Henry was also very drunk as nearly forgot that he had to visit Catherine. In the waiting room, another girl announced that Catherine was not quite well. Suddenly, the lieutenant felt unusually lonely. His heart was dreary and sad. What will happen next? Nobody knows. Damned war!
In the novel "A Farewell to Arms" (1929), Hemingway all over again returns to the problem of "lost generation". The novel takes place in 1915-1918, on the Italian-Austrian front. An American volunteer -Frederic Henry -is a Lieutenant in the sanitary troops of the Italian Army.