A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 35 - Summary and Analysis

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CHAPTER 35

SUMMARY

Count Greffi in Stressa
      Catherine went to the little hotel to see Ferguson, Henry sat in the bar and read the papers. The Station army had not made a stand at Tagliaments and were falling a back to Piave. The barman tells him that Count Greffi had aske for him. Henry remembered him. He was an old diplomat, who had served in the Italian and Austrian services. His birthday parties were great social events and he played a great game of billiards.

Fishing
      The barman and Henry go on a fishing trip. But they did not have much luck and so they came back and went to have drinks instead. They came back to the hotel. There Henry found that Catherine had not yet returned and lay in bed trying not to think.

Feeling Empty without Catherine
      Catherine came back, and Henry felt all fight again. Ferguson had come and was joining them for lunch. Catherine knows that for Henry it must be dreadful feeling to have nothing at all suddenly. And Henry says ‘my life used to be full of everything. Now if you aren’t with me I haven’t a thing in my “world”. Further to her teasing him that he was like Othello with his occupation gone, he says no, and he wasn’t jealous. He was just so in love with her that there wasn’t anything else.

Lunch with Ferguson
      They had lunch with Ferguson and she was very impressed with the splendor of the hotel. They all have a very nice time together.

With Count Greffi
      In the afternoon, Henry got an invitation to play billiards with Count Greffi. As they played they talked about a lot of things. Again Henry is asked about the war and he says he doesn’t want to talk about it. So they talk about general things and the Count wants to know if Henry is religious and he answers only at night. The count himself had expected to become more devout with age but he hadn’t and to Henry’s question if they would like to live after death, he says ‘yes’. He also says that as one gets older it is the body that ages. The spirit doesn’t grow older and that one doesn’t become wiser either. People became more careful. Later Henry says Italy shall win the war because it is a younger nation. They part with the Count’s request that Henry pray for him after his death and his comment that Henry was in love and that love was a religious feeling.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Henry’s Intense Love for Catherine Revealed
      In this chapter the plot does not develop further but Henry’s great love for Catherine is brought to the fore. A new character Count Greffi is introduced and it is before Henry goes to meet him that Henry muses : “I watched her brushing her hair, holding her head so the weight of her hair all came on one side... I went over and kissed her and held her hand with the brush and her head sunk back on the pillow. I kissed her neck and shoulders. I felt faint with loving her so much”. He also admits during the course of his conversation with Count Greffi that he reveals that what he values most is someone he loves, implying Catherine. Earlier he had also told Catherine “I am just so in love with you that there isn’t anything else”. So this chapter is a study of Henry’s love now completely changed from the earlier casual love he had for Catherine. He has left the war and its disillusionment and has now entered a full blown and a more intense and true kind of love. The character of Count Greffi has nothing significant to do with the plot. He in just another character introduced for relief and against whom an aspect of Henry’s feelings of love is brought out.

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