A Farewell to Arms Chapter 2
The following year there are many victories and the fighting is a mile away from the town in which Frederic is stationed. "I was very glad that the Austrians seemed to want to come back to the town some time, if the war should end, because they did not bombard it to destroy it but only a little in a military way." Chapter 2, pg. 5 Fred's thankfulness for the Austrian outlook of Gorizia is a bit ironic: they don't destroy the village because they want it back. He notes that the war has made the landscape and the seasons different. The summer is not green and the oaks have died; before long, the snow falls again. The land is becoming depressed by the conflict. Frederic watches the snow fall and drinks while looking at the mountains, which have not yet been taken by the Austrians.
The priest enters the mess hall and walks by everyone in silence. While they eat, the captain makes fun of the priest who is "young and blushed easily" Chapter 2, pg. 7. The captain maintains that the priest has been spending time with girls, a charge the priest adamantly denies, not quite seeing the humor. Everyone laughs and the major says that the Pope wants the Austrians to win because he loves Franz Joseph. The major says that he is an atheist and a lieutenant agrees with this sentiment, alleging that a book shook his faith. The priest says that the book is a bad book. The lieutenant tells Frederic to read the book but the priest tells him not to. The major chimes in, "All thinking men are atheists" Chapter 2, pg. 8 and frustrates the priest more. Fred is cynical about religion throughout his tale.
They discuss the Free Masons until the door opens revealing the thick snowfall. The poor weather means that the Italian offensive will stop for the season. The Major tells Frederic to take a leave for the winter and they debate where he should go. The captain makes sexual innuendo with shadow puppets on the wall that he should go to Naples. The priest encourages him to go to Arbuzzi where his father is a famous hunter. The captain remarks that they should go to the whorehouse before it closes and they leave.