`In Another Country` By E. Hemingway
`In Another Country` by E. Hemingway
Hemingway creates a powerful and true-to-life story about real experience of many soldiers who came home but remember all casualties and hardship they were faced with during the WWI. On the other hand, their stories full of bravery, honor and courage. They need to adapt to new world, but the only way for them is to change their habits and personal values. Settings and objects reflect inner psychological state of the characters and help readers to grasp the idea at once, follow plot development and conflict resolution. Thesis In the short story, settings and objects help the author to reflect inner psychological experience of soldiers and emotional burden of the war.
The hospital serves as a symbol that represents pain and sufferings, death and hopes. This setting gives insight analysis of deep personal feelings of soldiers and their experience during this war time. Within the story Hemingway skillfully portrays casualties of the ar underlining the evolution of characters, their emotional state, caused by sufferings and enormous psychological burden carried by soldiers after the war. We were all at the hospital every afternoon, and there were different ways of walking across the town through the dusk to the hospital (Hemingway). According to Neiberg (2004), the war experience was the shock for the main characters who return home. Hemingway depicts that this is the most difficult time for all soldiers to come to grips with changes occurred in their native countries and communities. He symbolically describes this experience as a bridge between war and old life. You crossed a bridge across a canal to enter the hospital. There was a choice of three bridges (Hemingway, n.d.). This setting underlines that every solder can choose his life path, but all of them are joined by war memories and feelings. Deep human emotions embroil reality and imaginary world of the hero, but Hemingway leaves it to readers to decide what is the most important for the soldiers and what is real for them. The author gives only some hints to the reader to comprehend the meaning of the bridge. It implies not only wisdom, but also the whole life of a person, who has a right to choose which path to go, it represents isolation and rejection of reality. Hemingway describes only one of them underlining that the main characters were suppressed by circumstances and could choose their life path: On one of them a woman sold roasted chestnuts (Hemingway, n.d.).
In In Another Country, the town reflects inner psychological experience of the friends. The main setting, the Cova, appears in the story several times. The narrator pays a special attention to it which reflects his psychological experience and perception of events around him. The narrator uses the following descriptions of it: Although, as we walked to the Cova through the though part of town, walking in the dark, with light and singing coming out of the wine-shops (Hemingway, n.d.). It is possible to say that the character development is slow, because the main heroes do not want to make any changes in their life resisting strongly modern world they enter (Nagel, 1996). Physical settings of the story depict new world and changes. To some extent, they reflect the personality of the men and their reaction towards new world.
The setting of the Cova symbolizes unity and friendship, mutual understanding and support. Psychological pressure is caused by war, but Hemingway portrays it symbolically through material and emotional experience, evolution of emotional perception of the world and values. The girls at the Cova were very patriotic, and I found that the most patriotic people in Italy were the caf girls - and I believe they are still patriotic (Hemingway, n.d.). Social context of the short story helps to understand resistance of the main characters to accept novelty. After the war, they come to another alien world they know nothing about. Hemingway does not speak directly but the main problem mentioned by Neiberg (2004) is that nobody wants to listen to old soldiers and their war stories being sick and tired of casualties of war.
In the story Hemingway uses a lot of symbolic details that helps to unveil the message of the story and create a unique atmosphere of events take place after the war time. Machine represents the hope to recover. Although, many soldiers do not believe in this treatment method like the major who came very regularly to the hospital. I do not think he ever missed a day, although I am sure he did not believe in the machines (Hemingway, n.d.). Machine represents escape from reality and society in general. On the other hand, Machine shows that past experience is more essential for the main characters than their present and future. The character of the major teaches viewers to distinguish between social prestige and moral worth. The majors attitude towards war is not accompanied by a moral decline but shows that there is no difference for society between true stories and imaginary tales. The main heroes try to escape from this new world and new setting in the hospital as the only possible way to overcome enormous emotional and psychological pressure.
From the psychological point of view, the image of hero represented by the four men is caused by the feeling of personal freedom and courage. Social values help to form their individual identities and let them stand out from the crowd. In this case, the soldiers embody personal democracy which is closely connected with love and adventures. Hemingway took part in the WWI and knew from his own experience what courage meant (Meyers 1997). The medals are another important objects which reflects proud and courage. We all had the same medals, except the boy with the black silk bandage across his face, and he had not been at the front long enough to get any medals (Hemingway, n.d.). Societys response to heroism defines it as a set of behavior patters and beliefs that valued by the society. To some extent, the soldiers inherit the ideals of the dream, such as personal freedom and social justice. In some cases, world order and justice can be achieved only in blood battles with enemies, so the heroes had to use to use their physical strength against evil. They were persons who took risks: I would imagine myself having done all the things they had done to get their medals (Hemingway, n.d.).
Using the setting of the hospital, the symbol of the machine and medals, Hemingway depicts that the men live in the past where everything is familiar to them: battles, human relations, settings. Within the story Hemingway shows that the core difference between a soldiers and a civilian is in their inner perception of the world. A civilian does not constantly understand all the duties he might to discharge and obligations he might to carry out. As a soldier, a man does not rely upon the others; he is the only one who makes decisions and answer for the consequences (Bourne, 2001). The three with the medals were like hunting-hawks; and I was not a hawk, although I might seem a hawk to those who had never hunted (Hemingway, n.d.). To some extent, the evolution of characters depicts the state of maturity which cannot be measured by knowledge level or life struggles. It is an attitude of a soldier towards life, his ability to rule it and the ability to accept the reality.
Through the settings and objects unveils Hemingway the issue of moral health of the soldiers and evolution of personality. He depicts that in spite of all the negative life lessons soldiers understand what it is to be an individual. Hemingway shows that the inner state of the soldiers has changed. On the other hand, war causes people to become insensitive. The settings of the hospital and the town are powerful reflecting inner state of the men and giving some hints to readers to imagine their feelings and emotional state. Through the detailed settings the story suggests something of the historical loss for the men of transferring the sense of self to relationships with civil society.
Works Cited Page
1. Bourne, J.M. Whos Who in world War One. Routledge, 2001
2. Hemingway, E. In Another Country. n.d. <http://apo.cmaisonneuve.qc.ca/villanova/hemingway/original.htm>
3. Meyers, J. Ernest Hemingway: The Critical Heritage. Routledge, 1997.
4. Nagel, J. Ernest Hemingway: The Oak Park Legacy. University of Alabama Press, 1996.
5. Neiberg, M.S. Warfare & Society in Europe: 1898 to the Present. Routledge, 2004.