A Farewell To Arms: Book 5 - Summary

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BOOK V
      The last book of the novel contains the final catastrophe. The lull before the storm can be found in the blissful interlude enjoyed by the lovers in the mountains of Switzerland. They are completely isolated from the world and absolutely happy within themselves. The weather is cold and dry, everything is beautiful. However, the lovers are again forced to come down from their mountain retreat and down to Lausame to he near a hospital as Catherine’s delivery times are closing in. Henry has a subconscious feeling that time was pressing on. He feels time’s winged chariot hurrying near.

      Catherine goes into labour soon. But it turns out to be a long protracted labour which proves immensely difficult and painful for Catherine. After being in labour for a whole day the doctors decide that a Caesarean operation is necessary. However, it proves useless because the baby is stillborn though it was a big, healthy looking boy and Catherine herself succumbs due to one internal haemorrhage after another. She had wanted so much for things to be okay and she had fought as much as she could but she dies. All this while Henry numb, had been wandering up and down and thinking. He thinks about the baby wishing it had been baptised even though he wasn’t religious. For the time he prays to God, he prays that if God spared her, he would do anything. Henry undergoes a lot of turmoil in his mind. At one point he feels that Catherine was dying as a result of all the happy nights they spent in Milan and says that dead was the end of the biological trap. Then he rants that the only thing that ever happened was that one died. He is not proud of his son because he nearly killed his mother but he feels sorry that he choked to death. When he learns that Catherine is dead he drives all the nurses away from her. But it was like saying goodbye to a statue. He then walks out and walks back to his hotel in the rain.

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