November 12, 2012
In Another Country Analysis
Ernest Hemingway’s short story, In Another Country, tells the story of four, sometimes five, decorated World War I veterans going through recovery in the city of Milan, Italy. Despite their sacrifices, the locals in the town are very unfriendly to the soldiers and shout at them. The yelling creates a bond between the men, pushing them away from the villagers and towards each other. Also, although the soldiers all participated in the war, the narrator becomes distanced from the group when they find out why he was awarded his medal. However, this does not keep them apart, it only creates slight tension within the group.
In the story, you learn that the men are all recovering from war related injuries. Hemingway’s writing depicts a feeling of loss not only of functioning limbs, but also of faith and courage. In writing, “. . . I was very much afraid to die, and often lay
in bed at night by myself, afraid to die and
wondering how I would be when back to the front again.”
The first character you meet in the story is the Doctor. He tries to convince the soldiers that the recovery machines will be completely successful and their injuries will be better in a matter of time. However, Nick and the Major are very reluctant to believe in the machines and the doctor. Signore Maggiore, or the Major, is the second character introduced. Through out the story, the Major shows anger and emotional instability which stems from the recent loss of his wife from pneumonia. These emotions are exacerbated by the loss of function in his hand, as he was a champion fencer prior to the war. The Major clearly shows his anger and sadness when the narrator brings up the idea of marriage. The Major states, “The more a fool you are," he said. He seemed very angry. "A man must not marry." "Why, Signor Maggiore?" "Don't call me Signor Maggiore." "Why must not a man marry?"