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A Farewell to Arms | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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A Farewell to Arms | Book 3, Chapter 32 | Summary



Lying in the train, Henry thinks about all his friends and wonders what happens to them. He knows Piani will tell his officers that Henry was shot or that he drowned. He worries about what his family in America will hear, but his main concern is when he will be able to eat again. He thinks of Catherine, knowing that she will meet him wherever he goes, and wonders where he should take her.


This chapter functions to close off this chapter of Henry's life: "That life was over," Henry thinks to himself as he mentally says goodbye to all his wartime friends. Despite everything that Henry has been through, he does not resent the war. He fulfilled his role and maintained his loyalty as long as he could. It is over. He maintains Hemingway's ideal stoicism by unemotionally accepting his situation and moving forward in his life: "Anger was washed away in the river along with any obligation." Henry does not regret his time with the army and no longer fears the consequences of his actions. His only concern is fulfilling his base urges, starting with food.

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