In Another Country

In Another Country Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Ernest Hemingway's In Another Country. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Ernest Hemingway

Aside from his critically-acclaimed writing, Nobel-prize winning novelist, short story writer, and journalist Ernest Hemingway is also famed for his adventurous lifestyle that took him across continents, cultures, and conflicts. He was an ambulance driver in Italy in World War I and a journalist covering the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. As a foreign correspondent during WWII, he witnessed the Allies landing on the beaches on D-Day and the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation. He moved to Paris in the 1920s with his first of four wives, Hadley Richardson. There he became part of a group dubbed “The Lost Generation,” which included the likes of artist Pablo Picasso and writer James Joyce. He divorced Richardson for Pauline Pfeiffer in 1927, whom he left for Martha Gellhorn in 1940. He met his last wife, Mary Welsh, during WWII in London. Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his celebrated novel The Old Man and the Sea. After sustaining various injuries, including from surviving several plane crashes in Africa, Hemingway retired to Ketchum, Idaho, where he shot himself on July 2, 1961.
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Historical Context of In Another Country

World War I started in 1914 with war declared between the Allies (Britain, France, and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria). According to its alliances at the time, Italy should have declared war against the Allied Powers; instead, the country eventually joined the war in 1915 to fight against the Central Powers, in a bid to gain more territory if the Allied Powers won. Other countries, including the U.S. and Japan, also joined years after after the initial declarations of war. Italy opened another front against the Central Powers to relieve pressure at the Western Front but met with many military disasters and national crises. Italian communists were particularly anti-war because of its financial and human cost, which created significant social and economic pressures, leading to civil unrest after the Armistice in November 1918. Around 650,000 Italian soldiers died in the war and nearly a million were injured.

Other Books Related to In Another Country

Hemingway expands on his experiences in a wartime hospital in Milan in his novel A Farewell to Arms, drawing from the same autobiographical details that influence “In Another Country.” Again, the protagonist—Frederic Henry in the novel—has a wounded leg after serving on the Italian Front in WWI. The novel was Hemingway’s first best-seller and delves deeper into the themes of war and loss than this short story. Many of Hemingway’s other short stories, such as “Soldier’s Home,” similarly deal with soldiers’ lingering sense of trauma and dissociation upon returning to regular society after war. The protagonist of “In Another Country” is typically believed to be Hemingway’s literary alter-ego Nick Adams, who appears in a variety of Hemingway tales including “The Three Day Blow,” “Indian Camp,” and “Big Two-Hearted River.”
Key Facts about In Another Country
  • Full Title: In Another Country
  • Where Written: United States
  • When Published: 1927
  • Literary Period: Literary Modernism, WWI
  • Genre: Short story, Modernist fiction, WWI fiction
  • Setting: Milan, Italy
  • Climax: The Italian major tells the narrator about his wife’s death
  • Antagonist: Loss, War
  • Point of View: First person limited

Extra Credit for In Another Country

Nick Adams. The narrator of the story is often assumed to be Nick Adams, a fictional protagonist Hemingway created to represent himself in his writing. The story was included in The Nick Adams Stories collection published posthumously in 1972.

Knee injury. When Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in Italy in WWI he injured his knee, leading to his treatment at a hospital in Milan, just like the protagonist in “In another Country.”