Notes on A Farewell to Arms Themes

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A Farewell to Arms Topic Tracking: Friendship

Friendship 1: Supposedly, the priest and Fred are already friends before this harassment from the other officers, but Fred does nothing to stop it. He doesn't exactly participate, but he doesn't try to dissuade the officers from mocking the priest. Part of this could be that two of the officers engaging in this are of a higher rank. Even though the priest encourages him to go to Arbuzzi, Fred doesn't.

Friendship 2: Rinaldi and the priest each have a different sort of a relationship with Fred. The priest is genuinely hurt when he finds out that Fred did not go to Arbuzzi. Lt. Rinaldi immediately tells Fred about some girl he is chasing and then asks to borrow money from him so that he may impress her.

Friendship 3: Rinaldi takes Fred to see Miss Barkley. When it becomes evident that Miss Barkley is clearly more attracted to Fred, Rinaldi tells Fred that he didn't like her anyway.

Friendship 4: Fred wants to help the American with the hernia, but can't without breaking the rules. He advises him to wound himself further, in order to ensure more medical treatment.. His reaction with the priest is still strange, especially since he finds him dull.

Friendship 5: Both Rinaldi and the priest come to visit Fred after he is wounded. Rinaldi arrives with words of praise and a promise of Catherine's visit, while the priest talks to him about the weight of war and love. The priest brings him practical gifts like a newspaper and a mosquito net. Rinaldi returns later with drinks, to celebrate the entrance of the United States into the war.

Friendship 6: In this strange new hospital, Fred is unwilling to compromise about his drinking. As soon as the head nurse has disappeared, he sends someone to buy some alcohol for him. Later on, she sends him a drink as a sign of peace.

Friendship 7: Miss Ferguson, Catherine's friend, does not approve of her relationship with Fred. She thinks it will lead to Catherine's ruin. Even though she helps the pair out by passing their letters, she is a reluctant go-between.

Friendship 8: Rinaldi is overjoyed to see Fred. He talks excitedly, desperately wanting everything to go back to normal. The war has taken its toll, however, and both of them have changed. Rinaldi is crazier than ever, yet Fred seems to have calmed down.

Friendship 9: The priest and Fred are still close despite the time apart. Their conversation is very serious. The priest confides in Fred and talks about the war and its staggering effects.

Friendship 10: Simmons is willing to help out Fred and make sure that he gets along. He gives him advice and clothing so that he can avoid capture and make it to Stresa where he will be reunited with Catherine.

Friendship 11: The bartender, who never got a package of American tobacco from Fred, is still happy to see him and more than willing to help him find Catherine. Miss Ferguson is not at all happy to see Fred. She verbally assaults the couple and releases months of stored worry and anguish. Her outbursts do not upset them. Instead of becoming enraged, Fred and Catherine stay calm and finish their dinner.

Friendship 12: Fred has an amiable relationship with the old Count Greffi. They play a game of Billiards together and discuss the war and other such things. Love becomes another topic of conversation. The count asks Fred to pray for him if he ever becomes devoutly religious.

Friendship 13: The bartender risks his own safety to warn Fred of his impending arrest. He gives Fred wine and brandy, and lends him his boat so that Fred can escape to safety.

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