A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 28 - Summary and Analysis

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CHAPTER 28

SUMMARY

Two Sergeants and Two Virgins
      The retreat was in progress. Many trucks and carts were moving. Everything seemed to move very slowly. Bonello had allowed two engineer sergeants to ride with him and Aymo had two girls with him. They were very frightened and became stiff when Aymo tried to reassure them. They began to cry. Then Aymo finds out they are both virgins. Aymo consoles them. A retreat was no place for two virgins.

A Side Road
     In the nights peasants had also joined the column. It therefore became jammed. Henry had to find a side road if they hoped to get through. Moreover, if the rain cleared and the Austrian plans came, then it would be all over. A few dead horses could tie up the road completely. Henry found a road that led to the north and decided to take it. The side road led to a deserted farm house where they found some food. They had breakfast comprising of cheese, apples and wine and they go on.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Dreaming About Catherine
      As Henry ponders about the two virgin thinking the retreat was no place for them, he reasons that if there were no war they would all have been in bed. This sparks of a thought process that results in his dreaming about Catherine. Maybe she was also thinking about him, he thinks. He wishes she were in his arms and he were in his bed. He talks to her in his dream and tells her “I m sorry he (their unborn son) makes you so uncomfortable. Try and go to sleep, sweet”. This is a psychoanalytic approach to the character and is rarely found in Hemingway. He mostly emphasizes on action and stark representation of dialogue but sometimes he shows the inner working of the mind of the protagonist. This is one instance where he has done this beautifully. The significance of the Sergeants, shall become clear in the next chapter.

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