ν Genre: Short story
ν Publication Date: 1927
ν Type of plot: Psychological
ν Setting: Milan (Italy) during World War I, Fall, a military hospital ν Characters: An American officer, Three Italian officers, A fourth Italian soldier, An Italian major ν Subjects: Courage, World War I, Heroes or heroism, Soldiers, Life and death, Consciousness, Physical therapy, Survival
This is the story assumed to be about the soldiers who were wounded during World War I. The narrator is in a hospital riding a kind of tricycle that his doctor promises will keep the muscles elastic. Four other young men, Italian soldiers, are also using therapy machines, and they brag about the medals that they’ve received for their time during battle. The narrator has an Italian major friend of his who is using a machine for his hand. He feels depressed because he reveals to the narrator that his wife has died. The major must face the future knowing the machines cannot cure him of this different kind of injury.
1. The I-narrator and the major relationship
2. The I-narrator and four young wounded officers
ν TITLE and THEME
- Literal meaning: Wounded soldiers were out of combat. - Figurative meaning: Now that they were wounded, they found themselves isolated and lonely even in their home country. They could not return to normal life. - Questions:
+ Their wounds: Did they believe in the machines? Any details to show that? + Their intended career: What were they? Why is it mentioned? + Wherever they went, they had to go a group of four. Why? + What about the circumstance of the young boy who lost his face? Does the fact that he came from a very old family could change his situation? + The medals: Why were the medals mentioned in the first section? Were they proud of them? + Were they friends against outsiders? Could they share everything with one another? What...