A Farewell to Arms


Ernest Hemingway

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A Farewell to Arms: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Henry recovers enough to walk on crutches. He and Catherine share an idyllic summer together in Milan, taking romantic carriage rides and eating at fine restaurants. Henry wants to get married but Catherine does not. She is sure that if she were married the army would send her away from the front, and adds that it doesn't matter whether they get married because she's not religious—her love for Henry is her only religion. She says that when she met him, she was crazy, and begs him to just be happy and love her. She admits that terrible things will probably happen to the two of them, but promises that unfaithfulness won't be one of them.
Catherine is desperate to keep her love for Henry secret, because that way the Army in particular and the war in general can't touch it. The intensity of their love allows her to ignore everything that has gone missing in her life, including her dead fiancé, a loss that she admits drove her a little mad. The priest commented that Henry could find a kind of religion in loving another person. Here, Catherine says that she has done just that.
War Theme Icon
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
Self vs. Duty Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon