Analysis Of Hemingway's "In Another Country" English 11 Essay

984 words - 4 pages

David Pulanco
Mrs. Callman
English 11
18 February 2019
Literary Analysis of Hemingway’s “In Another Country”
Imagine being a soldier returning home from the traumatic experiences of war. Your
friends try to help you return to normal life, but they don’t seem to understand what you’ve been
through. Life will never truly be the same again. In the short story “In Another Country”,
Hemingway conveys the message of the piece through symbolism in the setting, characters,
and the interaction between characters. Inspired by Hemingway’s experiences during World
War 1 as a soldier in Europe, it portrays the insecurities, alienation, and isolation of not only
residing in a foreign country, but also coming home from war. The characters are all drawn from
their own walks of life into the conflict, and are affected in different ways. Some characters are
decorated highly and wear their medals with pride while others are not decorated and ostracized
by civilians. They are all drawn together by the traits they hold in common and their struggle to
return to normal life.
The story “In Another Country” takes place in Milan, Italy during World War 1. The
narrator is an American soldier who fought on the front lines and is recuperating from a leg
injury. The fact that he was an American officer among Italian troops did not aid him in
becoming friends with his brothers in arms. Since he is from a different country, with different
customs and language, he finds it difficult to connect with his fellow soldiers. When the Italians
asked him how he received his combat medals, they learned that he had mainly been given the
medals since he was an American. The Italians on the other hand were awarded their medals in
different circumstances and “they had done very different things to get their medals”
(Hemingway). This isolates the narrator even further since it implies that the Italian troops had
truly earned their medals for their actions. On top of that, the civilians that live in Milan aren’t
fond of the officers. This is evident when one of the civilians cry out “‘A basso gli ufficiali!’”
(Hemingway), which means “down with the officers”. The reason for the divide is because
officers have more liberties than enlisted men and have more chances to survive and receive
treatment for their wounds. This creates tension between the civilians and officers because if a
civilian joins the military, they are most likely going to be among the enlisted men.
The characters and their identities are also symbolic. The major is a professional soldier
and a fencer. However, due to his injury, he probably will not return to the fencing strip. The
three boys who also go to therapy with the narrator had different plans for their lives until the
war broke out. The narrator mentions that “one of them was to be a lawyer, and one was to be a
painter, and one had intended to be a soldier” (Hemingway). Now that they have returned from
the war, the plans they had...

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