A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 25 - Summary and Analysis

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BOOK III
CHAPTER 25

SUMMARY

Back at the Front
      It is fall again and the trees were all bore and the roads muddy. Henry is back in Gorizia. He met the Major and he assigns him to relieve Gino of his charge of the four ambulances at Bainsizza. Henry is also told that the summer went badly and things at the front were going badly. It was also rumoured that the Austrians might launch an offensive.

Rinaldi
      Back in his old room Henry meets Rinaldi, who immediately begins to examine his knee. He feels that his knee should get complete articulation and that he should have undergone more treatment with the machines. Rinaldi is also rather depressed. He had been working very hard and the war “killing” him. He was overworked and wants Henry to cheer him up. He feels that they should get drunk but Henry can’t because he had jaundice. But Rinaldi insists. He and Henry understood each other very well and he suddenly questions if Henry was married Henry says no admitting however that he was in love with Catherine.

At the Mess
      The Major and the priest joins Henry and Rinaldi for dinner at the mess. Rinaldi is drunk and boisterously tries to provoke the priest. But the priest is no longer sensitive to all the priest baiting the officers indulged in. Rinaldi tries hard to bait him. And he becomes very pals, his eyes flat. The Major quietly explains to Henry that he had been under a lot of strain and later reveals that Rinaldi thought he had caught syphilis and tells Henry to stop him from drinking too much.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Changes in Rinaldi
      In this chapter we find Henry back in Gorizia in the midst of war, after his short interlude with love. He is immediately asked to take charge of the ambulance again. His roommate Rinaldi greets him as affectionately as before but the war and the heavy work it entailed had taken its toll on his temperament. He was quite depressed but he keeps up an appearance of mirth. He jokes with Henry insisting he gets drunk inspite of his liver and at the mess he baits the priest. But he loses his control and is white and pale. He also thinks he has contracted syphilis and treats himself for it. He is no longer the same Rinaldi. Thus in this chapter we see how things have changed. At the war front the Italians are no longer winning. Rinaldi has changed, the mess has become a quiet place. Henry has changed too in the sense that according to Rinaldi he “acts like a married man”. The only person who hasn’t changed is the priest but even he has grown less sensitive to the baiting indulged in by the officers. Even the Major has become gentle.

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