"In Another Country," which sentence shows the low self-esteem of the soldiers and their belief that being a soldier has nothing to do with bravery?
It’s hard to point to a single sentence that conveys Hemingway’s attitude toward the war. In this short slice-of-life piece, there are a few details that stand out:
- The doctor and his physical therapy machines, which are clearly inadequate to the task of rehabilitation. Despite the doctor’s assurances, the narrator clearly isn’t going to be playing football “like a champion” anytime soon. This skepticism is voiced by the major, who, when asked if he had confidence in the therapy, simply says “no.”
- The boy who sometimes comes with the narrator to the café and who lost his nose “within an hour after he had gone into the front line for the first time.”
- The people in the communist quarter that heckle the wounded officers on their way to the café.
Taken together, these details suggest a kind of weary understanding of the senseless destruction of the war, and how the “hope” held out by the hospital for a recovery is obviously false one. If there is one sentence that expresses this, it would be Hemingway’s ironic comment about the machines:
Beyond the old hospital were the new brick pavilions, and there we met every afternoon and were all very polite and interested in what was the matter, and sat in the machines that were to make so much difference.
Of course, the machines are not going to make any difference at all.