A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 18 - Summary and Analysis

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CHAPTER 18

SUMMARY

On Marriage
      As Henry becomes better and able to walk about on crutches, he and Catherine started going out and they had a nice time that summer. They spent all their time together. He loved playing with her hair. It was lovely in the nights and if they could only touch, they were happy. They said to each other that they had married the first day she had come to the hospital. Henry really wanted to marry her but Catherine pointed out that it was not practical. She would be sent away, and he couldn’t come on leave either. She wasn’t religious either. He was her religion. Henry then tells her that he will marry her the day she said so. He also asked her to promise that she won’t leave him and she says dreadful things might happen. But she wants to be happy and wants to please him. He wants her to come to bed and she complies.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

A Deeper Love
      As in the previous chapters, here also, we find the war being relegated to the backspaces. This chapter deals almost exclusively with love. The love between Henry and Catherine grows deeper and deeper. Catherine has completely surrendered herself to Henry. He doesn’t have to marry her. She feels that they are already married in spirit and that there is not separate “her”. He is her religion, he is all that she has got. And she will do anything to please him. Henry, on his part also seems to have deep and genuine feelings for her now. He wants to be married and worries about the consequences if she got pregnant or he had to leave but then again he didn’t worry much and enjoyed not being married. Their relationship is no longer simply physical. An emotional and spiritual aspect to the affair is shown as developing in this chapter.

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