A Farewell To Arms Chapter 6 - Summary and Analysis

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CHAPTER 6

SUMMARY

Love’s Progress
      Henry was away for the next two days at the Front. As soon as he returns, he goes to meet Catherine. Upon meeting he kisses her and she says that he had been away for too long. Then she wants to know if he loves her and he says “yes”. She then tells him that she loved him very much and missed him badly. He kisses her again and she repeats how much she loves him. At this point, Henry feels that she is a little crazy and that he is getting involved with her but he doesn’t mind. Coming to Catherine, he felt better than going to the brothel. He knew he had no love for her nor did he intend to love her. For him, it was only a game like bridge. Only he had to say certain things instead of playing with cards. One had to pretend to be playing for money or playing for some stakes. Nobody had mentioned what the stakes were. But for Henry, it was all right. He wasn’t very concerned.

A “Nice” Boy
      Catherine is quite straightforward. She says, he is a “nice” boy but their lovemaking was a kind of game and a rotten game, at that. She further tells him that it wasn’t necessary for him to pretend that he loved her. At this Henry assures her that he does love her. She dismisses it off saying there was no need for him. He tries to convince her? calls her “dear Catherine”. Then she tells him that he was nice and good but she wanted to be sure that he would keep coming to see her.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Casual and Serious Love
      As the affair progresses it becomes clear that Henry is not serious about his love for Catherine. He is inwardly quite casual about his love. He harbours hardly any kind of deep sentiment or strong feelings for her. He is merely playing a game and he freely acknowledges it only to himself that he is doing so. Catherine, feels and understands that Henry doesn’t love her. She knows that wartime people indulge in casual affairs frequently, she, therefore, tells him to his face that he needn’t pretend to love her where he didn’t. However, her feelings for Henry seem to run on a deeper plane. She had really missed him during his two-day absence and she really wants him to visit her regularly. It is as though she wants to fill the void left in her heart due to the fiance’s early and sudden death in the war.

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