A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 36 - Summary

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Henry in Danger of Arrest
      That night there was storm and Henry woke to hear the rain lashing the window panes. Someone had knocked. Henry found the barman standing at the door. He had information that Henry was going to be arrested early the next morning, as they knew he was an officer and was now out of uniform. And after the retreat, they were arresting everybody. The barman advises him to escape to Switzerland with his lady.

Escape in the Night
      The barman offers his boat and suggested that Henry rowed across the lake to the other side during the night. There had been storm but the barman assured him that it would be okay only a bit rough. Henry wakes Catherine, who immediately hurries on hearing that Henry might be arrested. They got dressed and simply walked out of the hotel saying they wanted to see the storm along the lake.

The Barman
      The barman was an old friend of Henry. He was glad to help them. He took their luggage and showed them his boat. Henry offered to pay for the boat but the barman refused, saying he would accept payment only if they reached Switzerland safely. He had also packed sandwiches, brandy and wine. He also gave Henry the necessary instructions for the journey and said that they should reach Switzerland by seven thirty in the morning if they kept rowing all night. The entire journey was of thirty-five kilometers and they wouldn’t need a compass but the wind would take them. He wished them good luck.

The Good in Human Nature
      After a brief period of comparative calm, a sudden tension is built up as soon as the chapter opens. Henry might be arrested and so plans to escape to Switzerland. As much as we are struck by how kind and considerate the barman is. We are also aware of the tension and suspense as to how Henry shall escape and if he will escape. The chapter is in a way a re-emphasizing of the good that is in human beings. Throughout the novel, we have come across who are all predominately good. The priest, Rinaldi, Ferguson, the drivers, nurses etc. This in a way can be interpreted as implying that Hemingway is not cynical and does have faith in the human race.

More Minor Details for Realism
      Again, we come across details in the text which serve no other purpose than to import realism. For example, “I saw her white back as she took off her night gown and then I looked away because she wanted me to. She was beginning to be little big with the child and she did not want me to see her. I dressed hearing the rain on the windows, I did not have much to put in my bag.”

The Rain
      The student should not think that it had been raining all night. There had actually been a storm. Henry and Catherine say they are going to watch the storm. And as they pull out it is still raining. Distressful events are always accompanied by rain.

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