The Plot Spot plot summary:
A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway (1929)
Chapter 1—In the late summer we lived in a house that looked across a river to the mountains. Military transports rolled by constantly, kicking up dust. Things weren’t going well.
Chapter 2—The next year there were many victories and we were able to move across the river and into Gorizia. It was obvious that the Austrians wanted the town back because they had left it largely undamaged. But winter was looming again and it was becoming increasingly clear that there wouldn’t be any more offensives by either side until the spring. Everyone started encouraging me to take a leave and return to Italy.
Chapter 3—When I returned the next spring everything was the same except that there were more guns. I settled back in and realized that I hadn’t missed anything.
Chapter 4—I took a tour of the camp and saw that everything had managed just fine without me. That evening my roommate, Rinaldi, made me join him to meet a nurse that he liked. I ended up talking to her instead.
Chapter 5— I was an American in the Italian Army. The only reason I was there was because I happened to be in Italy when the war started. The next day I toured the new road that would bring troops to the offensive. It was nearly complete and then everything would start. I was in charge of three ambulances that would be taking the wounded back from the front. That night I visited the girl, Miss Barkley, again. She slapped me when I tried to kiss her. But I made a joke of it and was successful the next time I tried.
Chapter 6—I spent a couple days working at the front. I went to see Miss Barkley as soon as I returned, but she was angry that I hadn’t sent her a note explaining my absence. I told her that it wasn’t possible. Then she insisted that I call her Catherine and tell her that I loved her. I agreed, so I lied. She was probably a little crazy but I didn’t care. It was a better game than going to the brothel every night.
Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library,
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
Chapter 7—I knew that I wouldn’t die in this war with a job of organizing ambulances, but I wished to God that it was over. That evening Catherine was feeling ill and was unable to see me. I had been treating my relationship with her lightly, but the inability to see her now made me feel lonely.
Chapter 8—The next day I was ordered to take a convoy of ambulances to the front. I rushed to the hospital before leaving to let Catherine know. She gave me a St. Anthony pendant for protection even though neither of us was religious.
Chapter 9—When we got to the front I got a lay of the land and tried to find some food for my drivers. The operation was scheduled to start during the night and once it started there was not telling how long it would be before we got any sleep or anything to eat. We were in a shallow bunker and when the bombardment started we got hit. Passini was killed and another driver and I were badly wounded. I had lost two of my three drivers but some Englishmen were there to take over their jobs. They also arranged to get me into a doctor much quicker than my wounds justified. Then I was placed in the back of one of my ambulances and taken from the front.