November 7, 2010
A Farewell to Arms Narrative
(Page 231-232) “Hard as the floor of the car to lie and not thinking only feeling, having been away too long, the clothes wet and floor moving only a little each time and lonesome inside and alone with wet clothing and a hard floor for a wife. Doctors did things to you and then it was not your body anymore. The head was mine, but not to use, not to think with, only to remember and not too much remember.” Frederic Henry is feeling alone and is justifying himself. Frederic is doubting his actions on the train ride and contemplating his future with Catherine. Hemingway makes a dramatic pronoun switch by referring to himself in the second person pronoun of “you”. “… but you loved some one else whom now you know was not even to pretended there; you seeing now clear and coldly—not so coldly as clearly and emptily.” Frederic Henry is referring to himself in the second person forcing the reader to peer inside his head. Through monologue narrative techniques, figurative language and tone, Hemingway indicates that Frederic Henry is a man reaching a point of no return.
Hemingway employs a stream of consciousness writing style and reporting technique in this chapter. In the beginning of this chapter, Hemingway uses reporting to describe what Henry is doing. He states that Henry is hungry, wet and cold. Henry is in the flat-car and starts to think about Valentini’s knee. This thought sets Henry off into pontificating about when (page232) “Doctors did things to you and then it was not your body anymore.” He continues to ramble on and the writing style quickly turns into a stream of consciousness. Hemingway’s stream of consciousness technique alludes to Henry’s attitude toward those still in the war. (Page 232-233) “I wonder what they would hear in the states. Dead from wounds and other causes. Good Christ I was hungry. I wondered what had become of the priest at the mess. And Renaldi....
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