A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 12 - Summary and Analysis

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BOOK II
CHAPTER 12

SUMMARY

Henry Transferred to Milan Hospital
      At the field hospital, the doctors decided to send Henry to an American hospital in Milan, as there were better facilities like the x-ray machine were better and after the surgeons operated on his knee, he could take mechanico-therapy. Besides, at the field hospital, every bed was surely needed for the numerous wounded soldiers who would be brought in from the front. Rinaldi and the Major visit to give Henry the news. This American hospital, they tell him, had just been established, to look after any American serving in Italy. Henry also learns that the U.S.A, had declared war on Germany. They also tell him that Catherine and another nurse were being transferred to the American hospital as they were short of staff. The next day Henry leaves for Milan. He has a tiresome journey, finally reaches Milan after forty-eight hours.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Catherine Visits Milan
      The only really significant development in this chapter is that Henry is to be removed to the American hospital in Milan from the field Hospital and that Catherine too is being transferred there. Thus the two principal actors are removed to a scene where we can anticipate some progress in the love affair and sense some development of the theme of love.

Realistic Portrayal
      As found elsewhere, this chapter too, is not lacking in realistic touches. The description of the room in the hospital where Henry is lying is so vivid that one can almost smell it. And the conversation between Henry, Rinaldi and the Major as they get more and more drunk is an exact reproduction of a typical conversation of man and soldiers embroiled in war.

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