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What might be called the primary symbol in "In Another Country" are the machines used in rehabilitation of the soldier's injuries. To some, these machines symbolize the non-war related probability of the futility and ineffectiveness of routine in daily life: you may follow a routine expecting it to be productive but in reality it isn't and can't be.
To others, the machines and the routine they require and establish symbolize the unsquelched hope that life will continue to have value after the reality of the devastation of the war. Upon that hope, the soldier's follow the routine and even socialize afterward even though there is no connection between them other than the motions they go through.
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