A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 10 - Summary and Analysis

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Henry Gets A Medal
      Henry is admitted to the field hospital. There Rinaldi comes to see him with a bottle of brandy. He wants to know if he had done any heroic act as that could bring a silver medal for Henry. However, he tells him that anyway a bronze medal shall be awarded to him as he was seriously wounded. Henry on his part admits that he had not done any heroic act and says that it was wrong to say that he had carried any person on his back to the medical post or that he had refused to be medically aided before the other, just to get a medal. Rinaldi informs him that the military operation had been successful and that a thousand enemy soldiers had been taken prisoner.

A Talk With Rinaldi
      Rinaldi takes to Henry in his usual garrulous manner. He offers to bring Catherine to Henry’s bed-side, but Henry declines. He makes him drink some brandy and Henry feels warm and nice inside. The light-hearted chit-chat goes on between the two. Rinaldi says he misses Henry as there was nobody in his room for him to make fun of or to lend him money. Henry suggested that he should amuse himself by making fun of the priest, but Rinaldi said that it was the captain, not he, who made fun of the priest, After a little more friendly conversation in the course of which they called each other names, Rinaldi left.


The Lighter Side
      This chapter wherein nothing very important happens, serves the purpose of providing comic relief. There is an atmosphere of light heartedness that dispels the gloom and solemnity of the preceding chapter. The discussion between Rinaldi and Henry about getting a medal is amusing yet is significant because it adds to the realism of the war and the soldiers as depicted in the novel. The conversation then turns to women, sex and Catherine Barkely. Rinaldi refers to her as an “English Barkley” and says a man can do nothing but worship her. All these echo theme of love too.

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