Discuss the title of the short story "In Another Country."

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the story, we are shown a number of "countries," little worlds with their own unique codes, rules and standards of behavior. Each man lives in "another country," so to speak, experiencing a profound sense of isolation despite outward similarities.

All the men in the hospital are united in some extent through their common experiences of the war. They exist in a world of their own, constantly aware of the war raging in the world outside, yet no longer directly involved in the conflict. And in that outside world, they are widely loathed and resented by the local townsfolk. The Cafe Cova provides a much-needed haven of peace for the recuperating soldiers. This is "another country" within the country at large.

At the same time, the soldiers are separated from each other as men, occupying their own individual "country." Some of the men brag about the medals they've won for bravery; the Italian major, however, does not. The soldiers with medals don't regard the American narrator as an equal because he hasn't gone through the same experiences of war. And the major, having lost his wife, now exists in a world of grief, one that separates him further from the other men in the hospital and from the world outside.

bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of this short story is explained through the theme of feeling alienated and alone. The literal meaning of how it feels to be separated from a familiar group is seen in the narrator. As an American in Italy, he feels out of place and alone. It is more than this, however, that separates the narrator and the other characters apart. Being "in another country" also means that the characters are separated according to their experiences in life. The narrator feels close to the major until the major learns of his wife's death. Due to this loss, the major is alienated from the narrator because the narrator hasn't experienced this kind of loss yet. The narrator cannot understand what the major is going through, so the two men are separated from each other.

James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of Hemingway's short story can be understood, of course, on a literal level first. The main character, a wounded American soldier in World War I, is not at home in the United States. Rather, he's in Milan, Italy, some distance from where the war is still being fought.

On a figurative level, the title expresses a sense of alienation or isolation of the main character. Again, he is not at home. The American is removed from all of the other people at the rehabilitation center (although he is certainly on friendly terms with the Major), the rehabilitation center is removed from the city of Milan, and so on.

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In Another Country

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