A Farewell To Arms: Chapter 4 - Summary and Analysis

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CHAPTER 4

SUMMARY

Going to the Front
      The sound of the battery firing in the next garden woke up the narrator the next morning. He dressed and went, out to attend his duties. He saw the ambulances lined up and the mechanics working on them. Seeing everything in good condition and things working quite well made him feel that his earlier notion of being indispensable for the smooth running of thing was removed. It apparently did not matter whether he was there or not. Later he visited the post in the mountain. He also learnt that the offensive was going to start and that he would have to see about the post for during the attack.

Catherine Barkely
      Rinaldi had a date with Miss Barkely and offered to take his roommate along. Rinaldi introduced them to each other and started talking to Miss Fergusson, Miss Barkely’s friend. They were both nurses at the British hospital. Miss Barkely confides to the narrator that she had been engaged to be married to a nice boy but he had been killed on the same.

Would the War End?
      Miss Barkely questions the narrator if the war would go on. He answers that it had to end sometime and that it could not go on much longer. Earlier Miss Barkley had a notion of war which was picturesque and for the narrator the Front was a picturesque front.

Miss Barkely’s Interest in the Narrator
      As Rinaldi and the narrator walk back home after bidding good night to the girls, Rinaldi comments that Miss Barkley prefers the narrator to himself and that Miss Ferguson was nice. It is then revealed that the narrator had not even noticed her and Rinaldi doesn’t really like her either.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Miss Barkley’s Story
      The story progresses. It is now established that Miss Barkely is the heroine of the novel and that the narrator is the hero. A sombre note conies in again in Miss Barkley’s story. She is a tall, blonde English girl, with grey eyes and beautiful hair. Her fiance had been killed in the war recently and she was mourning him still. She had been engaged for a long time and tells the narrator about her dead fiance. She had been so depressed she had wanted to cut off all her hair when he died. However this sombre note doesn’t continue for long.

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