A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 33 - Summary and Analysis

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BOOK IV
CHAPTER 33

SUMMARY

In Milan
      Henry came to Milan. It was early morning. A wine shop was open and he goes in for coffee. The proprietor offers him a drink and inquires about the front and also offers to help. Henry declines all and leaves to find Catherine. But on reaching the hospital the porter’s wife tells him that she and Ferguson had left Milan for Stressa two days ago.

Help From Simmons the Singer
      Henry then goes to meet Simmons, a student who was studying singing. He was asleep but wakes up. Then Henry tells him about the fix he was in. He asked the procedure for getting to Switzerland. He also asks him to go and buy some civilian clothes for him. But Simmons says it is better for him to wear his clothes and invites him to take any from his closet. Simmons tells him to go to Switzerland but Henry says he has to go to Stressa first. However, he only has to row across to get there.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Help From the Common People
      When Henry arrives in Milan we feel an atmosphere of comparative calm and safety. But in the wine shop we feel that Henry has not yet come out of danger. He searches for Catherine and we learn that she had left just two days previously. Henry decides to follow her and plans to escape to Switzerland. In his search for Catherine and subsequent plan he is helped by the common people the wine shop owner, the porter and his wife and Simmons. These small incidents where he meets helpful people brings an atmosphere of calm and therefore relief from the tension and suspense of the earlier chapters.

Accumulation of Detail for Realistic Effect
      Again in this chapter as elsewhere, there is an accumulation of small details which produces an effect of realism. This can be seen in the opening paragraph and the description of the wine shop.

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