A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 17 - Summary and Analysis

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After the Operation
      When Henry woke up after the operation the next morning, he felt awful. The operation had lasted two hours and Dr. Valentini had done a wonderful job. Catherine did night duty indefinitely and they were together. He loved her very much and she loved him too. And he slept during the day. Miss Ferguson, the other nurse was very friendly and Henry asks her whether she would come to his wedding with Catherine, but she feels that they will never get married and warns him against making Catherine unhappy or getting her into trouble.

Catherine goes off Night-duty
      Ferguson recommends that Catherine should go off Night-duty as she was looking very tired. Henry talks to Miss Gage about it and she is very nice too. Catherine takes rest for three nights and when she conies back, it was as if they had not met for a very Tong time.


Realistic Details and Development of the Love Theme
      This chapter contains realistic details pertaining to the background atmosphere. For example the arrival of three other patients - a thin young boy with malaria, another with malaria and jaundice and another who had tried to unscrew the fuse-cap of a high explosive shell. They are boys with typical war wounds and illness. That everybody is involved in the war is evident from the information that Miss Ferguson has one brother in the 52nd division and another in Mesopotamia.

      In this chapter, suddenly we have Henry talking about love, marriage and attempting to avoid getting Catherine into trouble. This and his getting Catherine to take rest for three nights shows his growing care and love.

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