A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 20 - Summary and Analysis

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At the Races
      One day in the afternoon they went to the races. Catherine, Ferguson, and Crowell, who had been wounded in the eyes by the explosion of the shell nose cap. They all pooled in one hundred lire and put the money on a purplish dark horse, named Japalac because he looked suspicious and the odds side he would pay thirty-five to one. He wins but they doesn’t get any money because somebody put a lot of money on him at the last minute. Catherine doesn’t like this crooked races but they go on and again put money on a horse recommended by Mr. Meyers. But they get nothing out of it. Catherine feels tired of being with all the others and wants to be alone with Henry. They go out to the paddock and back a horse called “Light For Me” of whom they had never heard of. They lost again. But Catherine feels” so much cleaner”. She prefers being alone with him and they go back after they had been alone a while.


Crooked Racing
      The malpractices prevailing in the Milan race courses are brought out in this chapter. But such malpractices are fairly common, and, we are informed quite frankly about it and nobody apart from Catherine seems to mind it very much.

Mr. Meyer
      Mr. Meyer is a comic character. He doesn’t like to give tips but he gives Crowell tips. Why? Because his eyesight was bad, Crowell was wounded in the eye and so he liked him. He doesn’t give his wife tips either and when he gives Crowell a tip, he says “don’t tell my wife”. His wife bets but he never takes her into his confidence about his winning bets.

      This chapter is significant for bringing certain characteristics of Catherine’s temperament to the fore. The episode at the races brings out that Catherine dislikes the crooked nature of betting and the malpractices. This emphasizes that she is an honest girl. Further, in the huge crowd gathered, she feels lonely and prefers to be alone with Henry. She cannot stand so many people. She therefore, it can be concluded is a person who loves solitude and quiet and the company of her beloved. The hustling and bustling of outside world does not attract her.

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