In Another Country by Ernest Hemingway Book Review



“He is coming to terms with the fact that all connections are eventually lost, especially through death, and that life carries with it a sense of its own meaninglessness.”.  The EXPLORING Short Stories, thoughts on how the major is coping with his traumatic loss. As well as struggling to obtain himself after the sudden death of his wife.  In the short story, “In Another Country” the Italian major faces immense challenges following his need to learn how to cope as well as accept the sudden changes he has endured.

In Another Country, primarily speaks about the American soldiers in Italy who are recovering after fighting in World War I. The story begins with the narrator talking about him and the other soldiers' frequent trips to the hospital. The narrator gets told that he should be able to play football better as ever regardless of his injuries, while the majors hand injuries are permanent. In the story, both characters have been dealing with challenges following the narrator's insecurity for getting a medal for being an American while the rest got a medal for being considered more dangerous. The major who used to be the greatest fence player is accepting the fact his arm is unable to be recovered. Even if he is not confident about the machines recovering him, he still goes to physical therapy frequently. Near the end of the short story, the major lashes out at the narrator, when he tells the major about his plans on getting married. After apologizing to the narrator, he revealed that his wife suddenly passed away of pneumonia. He later goes to the hospital with a black band on his hand, signaling that he is in mourning.

After the majors permanent injury on his hand as a result of fighting in World War I, the major is abruptly on a bumpy road of recovery and loss. According to Masterplots II, the major is described as “An Italian major, who used to be the greatest fencer in Italy before he was wounded, befriends the American, assisting him in learning to speak Italian grammatically.”  (Brink 1). This demonstrates the person the major used to be before his accident. It is relevant on account of the fact the major has to adjust to the new life he has to live due to his hand injury. In short, the major is undergoing changes such as possibly setting everything he was once talented at to the side following his injury. 

In addition to the majors difficulty handling loss, he is struggling with acceptance. For instance, the story states “he stood there biting his lower lip. "It is very difficult," he said. "I cannot resign myself."" (Hemingway 4). The text explains that it is almost impossible for the major to accept the fact that the death of his life and his injury cannot be changed. It seems to be unbearable for the major to lose so much in a short time period. To conclude, the major accepting his sudden tragedies is important because without it, he will have a more difficult, extended time grieving.

In summary, the Italian major is facing challenges accepting permanent injury and death. The major has no confidence that his hand can be possibly changed with treatments, regardless of the fact he attends to get treated frequently. To make things easier for him, it is needed for him to learn how to cope as well to face up to the sudden challenges he has endured.