A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 3 - Summary and Analysis

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Coming Back to Gorizia
      With the advent of spring, the narrator returns from his leave. Gorizia shares a room with Lieutenant Rinaldi, a doctor. As they chat, it is brought out that some beautiful English girl had come to the town. Rinaldi is smitten with a Miss Barkley and he promises to introduce the narrator to her. He also tells him that during his absence nothing remarkable happened concept for the men suffering from frostbite, jaundice, gonorrhea, self-inflicted wounds, pneumonia etc.

The Narrator’s Leave
      That night during dinner, the narrator sitting next to the priest talks to him. He is disappointed that he did not go to Abruzzi but spent all his time in the cities, visiting cafes and nightspots, drinking and enjoying sex. He had hardly cared for anything else, sometimes he couldn't remember who it was with him of what day it was. There had been hardly any difference between one day and another or between night and day.

Priest Baiting
      As usual, the captain indulged in baiting the priest, poking fun at him and by trying to provoke him. He did this by charging him of not being happy without girls or saying he wanted the Austrians to win the war etc. however, the priest refused to be provoked and simply denied the charges good-humouredly.


The Narrator’s Hedonistic Attitude
      The manner in which the narrator goes and spends his leave, brings out the nature of his character. At this stage it is brought out that he is a pleasure-loving character devoid of any serious aim or ambition. He has been having a good time in the various Italian cities. Wine and women have been his chief recreation or occupation.

The Captain and Lieutenant Rinaldi
      The third chapter, after the grin and somber first two chapters, have some elements of humor. This is manifest in the jokes pulled by the captain at the cost of the Priest and in the dialogues of Rinaldi. Rinaldi is introduced in this chapter and comes across as an interesting man. He is a handsome, young man from Analfi. He has fallen in love with Miss Barkley, a beautiful English girl who has just come to Gorizia and wants to know from the narrator whether he should marry her. He talks in a rambling manner, cramming several subjects into a few sentences and thereby giving lots of miscellaneous information of the happenings during the narrator’s absence.

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