In another country

In Another Country by Ernest Hemingway Copyright Notice ©2011 eNotes. com Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, Web distribution or information storage retrieval systems without the written permission of the publisher. ©1998-2002; ©2002 by Gale Cengage. Gale is a division of Cengage Learning. Gale and Gale Cengage are trademarks used herein under license. For complete copyright information on these eNotes please visit: http://www. enotes. com/another-country/copyright eNotes: Table of Contents 1. In Another Country: Introduction 2. In Another Country: Ernest Hemingway Biography 3. In Another Country: Summary 4. In Another Country: Characters 5. In Another Country: Themes 6. In Another Country: Style 7. In Another Country: Historical Context 8. In Another Country: Critical Overview 9. In Another Country: Essays and Criticism ♦ The Code in Hemingway’s “ In Another Country” ♦ Overview of “ In Another Country” ♦ Hemingway’s Invisible Hero of “ In Another Country” ♦ The Look of Hemingway’s ‘‘ In Another Country’’ 10. In Another Country: Topics for Further Study 11. In Another Country: Media Adaptations 12. In Another Country: What Do I Read Next? 13. In Another Country: Bibliography and Further Reading 14. In Another Country: Pictures 15. Copyright In Another Country: Introduction Ernest Hemingway is a legendary figure in twentieth-century American literature. His reputation stems not only from his body of written work, but from his adventurous and amorous lifestyle. His crisp, almost journalistic prose style, free of the long, sometimes flowery language common to much of the literature that appeared before him, has won him great acclaim and some of the highest literary honors: The Pulitzer Prize, In Another Country 1 which he won for his novella, The Old Man and the Sea in 1952; the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he received in 1954; and the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which he also received in 1954. Despite these accolades, Hemingway is not without his critics. Some scholars complain that his tough, often violent subject matter is limited and without insight, and that his female characters, in particular, lack dimension. His devotees claim that behind his work’s often tough, macho exterior lurks a complex world of wounded, complicated human beings. His short stories are among those most frequently studied and anthologized, especially ‘‘ The Snows of Kilimanjaro,’’ ‘‘ A Clean, Well Lighted Place,’’ ‘‘ The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio,’’ ‘‘ The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber,’’ and ‘‘ In Another Country,’’ which was first published in 1927 in Scribner’s magazine. His novels include such American classics as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including Death in the Afternoon, about bullfighting, and The Green Hills of Africa, about big game hunting. In Another Country: Ernest Hemingway Biography Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, into an upper-middle-class family. Although his childhood does not seem to have been particularly traumatic, in later years he often displayed bitterness towards his father, whom he saw as weak and ineffectual, and his mother, whom he felt was strict and domineering. By the time he was in high school he had developed an interest in literature, writing for his school newspaper and its literary magazine. During his family’s summers in northern Michigan, he developed a love of hunting, fishing, and outdoor life. Upon graduation, he took a job at the Kansas City Star, where he honed the spare, objective style that would be his hallmark. Ernest Hemingway When the United States entered World War I Hemingway volunteered as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy. Wounded, he recuperated in a Milan hospital among injured Italian soldiers, an experience that would provide the background for his 1927 story ‘‘ In Another Country.’’ This is also where he met nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, the inspiration for Catherine Barkeley in his novel A Farewell to Arms. Upon returning to the United States in 1919, Hemingway wrote several short stories, but sold none. One year later, he met Hadley Richardson; they were wed the following year. They moved to Europe, settling primarily in Paris where their expatriate colleagues included important literary figures, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. During that time, Hemingway published two collections of short stories, followed by his In Another Country: Introduction 2 acclaimed novel The Sun Also Rises, which featured characters based on his new circle of friends. Not long after, in 1927, he and Richardson divorced; Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer, a writer, less than two months later. In 1929, A Farewell to Arms was published, which cemented his literary reputation. During the 1930s, Hemingway moved to Key West, Florida, yet spent much of his time traveling in Spain, where his fascination with bullfighting became the subject of his 1932 nonfiction work, Death in the Afternoon. He also pursued big game hunting, which he wrote about in The Green Hills of Africa (1935). Hunting figures prominently in many of Hemingway’s stories, including ‘‘ The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,’’ first published in 1936. In 1937, Hemingway went to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance and began a relationship with writer Martha Gelhorn, whom he had met in Florida. He received a divorce from Pfeiffer in November, 1940; Gelhorn became his third wife two weeks later. The same year, he published his novel about the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls, another major success, and his play The Fifth Column was performed briefly on Broadway. The 1940s found Hemingway working first as a war correspondent in China then, along with Gelhorn, in Europe during World War II. However, their relationship deteriorated and they divorced in 1945. He began a relationship with Mary Welsh, another writer, whom he married in 1946. They lived in Cuba, as well as the United States and Europe. Hemingway continued to write, but did not have another major success until his 1952 novella, The Old Man and the Sea, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. The next year he received the Nobel Prize for Literature, but did not attend the ceremony to accept the prize. In 1960, after suffering a mental breakdown, he entered the Mayo Clinic to undergo electrotherapy. He killed himself in his home in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961. In Another Country: Summary ‘‘ In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it anymore.’’ So begins Ernest Hemingway’s short story, ‘‘ In Another Country.’’ The war he refers to is World War I; the setting is Milan, away from the scene of the fighting. The narrator describes the city he passes on his way to the hospital to receive physical rehabilitation for the leg wounds he received while at the front. Though the narrator remains unnamed, scholars generally agree the young man is Hemingway’s alter ego, Nick Adams. At the hospital, the narrator, a young man, sits at a machine designed to aid his damaged knee. Next to him is an Italian major, a champion fencer before the war, whose hand has been wounded. The doctor shows the major a photograph of a hand that has been restored by the machine the major is using. The photo, however, does not increase the major’s confidence in the machine. Three Milanese soldiers, the same age as the narrator, are then introduced. The four boys hang out together at a place called Cafe Cova following their therapy. As they walk through the city’s Communist quarter, they are criticized for being officers with medals. A fifth boy, who lost his nose an hour after his first battle, sometimes joins them. He wears a black handkerchief strategically placed across his face and has no medals. One of the boys who has three medals has lived a very long time with death and was a little detached. We were all a little detached, and there was nothing that held us together except that we met every afternoon at the hospital. Although, we walked to the Cova through the tough part of town, walking in the dark, with the light singing coming out of wineshops, and sometimes having to walk into the street where the men and women would crowd together on the sidewalk so that we would have to In Another Country: Ernest Hemingway Biography 3 jostle them to get by, we felt held together by there being something that had happened that they, the people who disliked us, did not understand. (Excerpt from ‘‘ In Another Country’’) Having all faced death and survived, the boys are linked in a way that the outsiders cannot understand. This special bond exists between them even though the narrator as an American, is otherwise more of an outsider to the soldiers than the unwounded Italians on the street who despise them. They feel particularly connected at the Cova, where they drink and carouse with local girls. The Italian soldiers change their manner toward the narrator when they realize he received some of his medals for being an American, and not for bravery, as they had. Though the narrator likes to imagine he would have been as brave as they had, he knows this is not true because he is indeed afraid to die. Despite their initial common bond, the Italian soldiers drift from the narrator due to this difference. Only the undecorated boy, without the nose, remains his close friend. This boy will not return to the war, so will never get the chance to find out if he also is afraid of death. The major, the great fencer, is cynical about bravery, and so the narrator then feels a bond with him. As they sit at their respective physical therapy machines, the major helps the narrator improve his Italian. One day when the narrator feels as hopeless about his machine as the major does about his, the major, usually poised and soldier-like, suddenly calls the narrator ‘‘ a stupid impossible disgrace,’’ who he had been ‘‘ a fool to have bothered with.’’ Standing upright to calm himself, the major asks the narrator if he is married. He answers, ‘‘ No, but I hope to be.’’ The major bitterly tells him, ‘‘ A man must not marry,’’ explaining that a man ‘‘ should not place himself in a position to lose [everything] . . . He should find things he cannot lose.’’ When the narrator counters this statement, the major angrily exclaims, ‘‘ He’ll lose it. Don’t argue with me!,’’ then demands his machine be turned off. The major goes into another room for a massage, then asks for a phone, shutting the door for privacy. A short time later the major returns, composed. He apologizes to the narrator, then announces his wife has just died. The narrator feels sick for him, but the major remains controlled, saying, ‘‘ It is difficult. I cannot resign myself.’’ He then begins to cry. Quickly, however, the major stands erect, like a soldier, and fighting back his tears, exits. The doctor says that the major’s wife, a young, healthy woman, had died unexpectedly of pneumonia. The major returns three days later, wearing a black band on his sleeve to signify mourning, a symbol which further separates him from the narrator. Large framed photographs of healed hands have been hung to offer the major hope. However, the major ignores them; instead, he just stares out the window, knowing the machines cannot cure him of this different kind of injury. In Another Country: Characters American Soldier See Narrator Italian Major The Italian major, a former fencing champion, is in the Milan hospital because his hand has been mangled in battle. A controlled military man, he is cynical about the machines that are used to rehabilitate his wounded extremity, and about the tales of bravery and heroism he hears from the young Italian officers. He befriends the narrator, who is also injured, and tutors him in Italian. The Italian major has recently married a young woman, something he would not do until he was injured–and therefore would not be sent into battle again. In Another Country: Summary 4 However, when his wife dies unexpectedly from pneumonia, the major loses his soldier-like composure, and weeps, not just for her death, but also, according to Earl Rovitt in his essay, ‘‘ Of Human Dignity: ‘ In Another Country,’’’ for his understanding that he must now confront the meaninglessness of life, one that has shown him that his strict military code could not protect him from life’s vulnerabilities. Major See Italian Major Major’s Wife Though the major’s wife never appears in the story (she is mentioned only in the second-to-last paragraph of the story), she plays a major role. A young, healthy woman, her sudden death from pneumonia leads the Italian major, her husband, to learn he cannot control life, a lesson which is also observed by the story’s young narrator. Narrator The narrator is a young American in Italy during World War I. Though unnamed, the narrator’s identity is assumed to be Nick Adams, an alter-ego for many of Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical short stories. The narrator is in an Italian hospital receiving therapy for his injured leg. He befriends several other officers with whom he shares the experience of facing death and surviving, and of getting decorated for their efforts. When the other soldiers learn that the narrator’s other medals are merely for his being an American, and not for acts of heroism or bravery, he becomes an outsider to their circle. Realizing that his fear of death would make him an unlikely member of their group in the future, the narrator befriends an Italian major whose hand is wounded, a man whose cynicism toward bravery does not alienate the narrator from him. The narrator senses their connection is lost, however, when the major unexpectedly loses his young wife to pneumonia. According to Laurence W. Mazzeo in his ‘‘ Critical Survey of Short Fiction,’’ Nick comes to realize that ‘‘ nothing of value can last in this world.’’ Signor Maggiore See Italian Major In Another Country: Themes ‘‘ In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it anymore.’’ So begins Ernest Hemingway’s short story, ‘‘ In Another Country.’’ The war he refers to is World War I; the setting is Milan, away from the scene of the fighting. The narrator is a young American man who is in the hospital to receive physical rehabilitation for the leg wounds he received while at the front. Sitting next to him is an Italian major, a champion fencer before the war, whose hand has been wounded and with whom the narrator speaks about life. At the story’s end, having learned of his wife’s death of pneumonia, the major must face the future knowing the machines cannot cure him of this different kind of injury. Dignity and the Human Condition In the story, the young narrator has faced death and survived. This is also true of the Italian officers who, like the narrator, come to the hospital each day to receive therapy for the wounds they have received while at the front. The narrator learns about dignity and the human condition primarily through his interaction with an Italian major. While the young narrator is fearful of dying on the battlefield, the major seems to have made peace with this possibility. He knows he must do his duty in the dignified manner consistent with being a professional soldier and, more specifically, an officer. He is uninterested in the bravado expressed by the young decorated officers. Bravery requires acting on impulse, making snap decisions based on one’s emotions. The major instead depends on control and precision. One day, however, the major breaks his composure; while sitting at the machine intended to heal his injured hand, he becomes angry with the In Another Country: Characters 5 narrator’s hope to marry in the future, irately adding that the young American ‘‘ should not place himself in a position to lose [everything]. . . . He should find things he cannot lose.’’ The major then does the previously unthinkable; he breaks into tears. The narrator soon learns from a doctor that the major’s young and, presumably, healthy wife has suddenly died from pneumonia. When the major returns to the hospital, three days later–his first break in his regime of daily visits–he is a more openly vulnerable man. He sits dutifully at his machine, stands in an erect, soldierly manner, but now his dignified stance is more hard won. He has learned that life cannot be controlled, that it is filled with arbitrary tragedies, even off the battlefield, for which one may be unprepared. The major may have been prepared for his own death, like any good soldier, but his wife’s sudden passing leads him to confront life’s meaninglessness, an aspect of the human condition he, who has survived, must now struggle to face with dignity. Courage and Cowardice Not unconnected is the theme of courage and cowardice. While many heroes, particularly in American fiction, especially American films, are portrayed as stoic and unafraid, ‘‘ In Another Country’’ depicts a more complex and humanistic type of courage. Following the unexpected loss of his wife, the major’s return to the hospital signifies his willingness to survive, even with his new awareness of chaos in the world and his inability to prevent being touched by it. His willingness to face life with this new and painful understanding can be seen as a definition of genuine courage, the kind of courage befitting a real hero. This truer, more human heroism even requires the initial shedding of tears, an act that is seen in some circumstances as a sign of cowardice. This definition of heroism contrasts with the more traditional kind of heroics, the kind that wins medals, displayed by the brash young Italian officers. These men are seemingly proud of their naive bravado; however, because they have not dealt with the emotional consequences of the violence they have faced, they have become ‘‘ a little detached’’ and withdrawn. Alienation and Loneliness This theme is expressed initially in the story’s title, ‘‘ In Another Country,’’ which refers to being or feeling alienated from the comfort of the familiar, a circumstance which often leads to loneliness. In this story, the narrator is literally in another country, Italy, an ocean apart from his home, the United States; however, he is also apart in other ways. When he walks in the streets of Milan alongside the young Italian officers he is first accepted by, he knows the civilians who verbally abuse them do not understand what they, the officers, have faced. Though the officers and these native Milanese share the same streets, they are in ‘‘ another country’’ from each other, separated by their differing life experiences. Once inside the warmth of the cafe, the narrator feels the loneliness this alienation causes disappear. Later, these same officers drift from him because they discover that some of his medals are for being an American, while theirs are for feats of bravery, acts the narrator knows his own fear of death would probably not permit him to perform. This leads to his being separate, in ‘‘ another country,’’ from his former friends. Out of loneliness, the narrator maintains a friendship with the only member of the group who has not received a medal and, since he is too injured to return to battle, never will. The narrator likes to pretend this friend would be like him in battle, cautious and a little afraid. The narrator insists on imagining he and this young man are connected in this way to alleviate the loneliness he feels now that he has become alienated from the others. At the end of the story, the narrator becomes alienated from his new friend, the major, after the major experiences a loss that the narrator has not, the death of a wife to pneumonia. The major’s resulting understanding of life’s cruel lack of meaning puts him in ‘‘ another country’’ from the younger, still somewhat idealistic narrator. The mind set of the major is both alien to him and lonely, yet it is inevitable to all human beings. After all, the story suggests, attempts to avoid loss are only temporary. In Another Country: Themes 6 In Another Country: Style Point of View All of the events that occur in ‘‘ In Another Country’’ are told from the point of view of the story’s unnamed narrator, an American officer receiving physical therapy in a Milan hospital on his leg, which has been wounded at the front during World War I. The narrator is a young man, presumably about 19, the same age as the author when he also spent time in a Milan hospital, recovering from leg injuries received while working as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross. The events are filtered through the narrator’s perspective, therefore the first person ‘‘ T’’ is used throughout. How these events affect the narrator, particularly those which are written about in the greatest detail, like the major’s disillusionment following the death of his wife, is not directly revealed. However, it is apparent that what he has witnessed has made a strong impact on him because he has chosen to recount the story so vividly. Readers may assume it is an older narrator who is telling the story, as it is written in the past tense. Objectivity One of the most distinctive aspects of this story, and most of Hemingway’s literature, particularly his many stories about this same narrator–unnamed here, but known as Nick Adams elsewhere–is its objective tone. Though the story is told from the narrator’s perspective, how they affect him is never made explicit. Instead, each of the events is described almost in the way a journalist reports a newspaper story, with as little subjectivity, or personal interjection, as possible. One way this is achieved is by using very few adjectives. This is done to avoid manipulating the reader’s imagination. The specific details of each event are recorded in an objective way, leaving the readers to put the pieces together; this way readers can discover their own interpretation of what the events mean. This distinctive style, perfected by Hemingway, has been widely imitated and greatly praised, though it has its share of detractors as well. Existentialism Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with the meaning of existence. One of the aspects of this philosophy is the isolation of the individual, a condition all human beings must face at some time. The Italian major comprehends this after the unexpected death of his wife to pneumonia. When he returns to the hospital to continue the machine treatments on his hand soon after her passing, the narrator observes the major struggle to maintain his previous soldierly posture as he stares out the window. It has been implied by scholars that, having lost his innocent belief that loss can be minimized through discipline and precision, what the major sees out that window is life’s vast emptiness. 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. This knowledge is one of the cornerstones of the existentialist philosophy, and it can be found in much of Hemingway’s literature. Symbolism There are several examples of symbolism throughout the story. One such symbol is the window the major looks out of following the death of his wife. Previously, he looked at a wall while receiving his machine therapy. But, after his wife’s death, he stares out the window instead. The major, at this point, is no longer emotionally walled in; he is open, vulnerable. The window symbolizes this opening inside him. The machines also have symbolic significance. Though utilized by the patients, the men know that they are probably ineffective; yet, they still return to them day after day, following the regime their use requires. Humans each follow their own daily regimes, hoping that they, too, are useful, purposeful. However, the story suggests, this is unlikely. The machines are an external symbol of life’s probable futility, a condition which becomes apparent to the major after his tragic loss. Irony Irony occurs when the outcome of an event contrasts the intention of what has come before it. A particularly In Another Country: Style 7 strong example of this can be seen with the Italian major. He has lived his life carefully, following a strict military code which has helped him maintain emotional control even while having to confront death, his own and that of others, nearly every day while at war. He depends on this, believes it will save him from being unprepared for great loss. Ironically, this man who believes he is in control of his life, soon learns, via the death of his wife, that his composure, his military precision worn like armor, cannot protect him from personal tragedy. This irony changes his life, and brings out many of the story’s major themes. In Another Country: Historical Context Ernest Hemingway’s story ‘‘ In Another Country’’ takes place in a war hospital in Milan during World War I. The war began in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a member of the Hapsburg family, the rulers of what was then known as the Austro-Hungarian empire, was assassinated while on an official state visit to the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia. His killer was a young Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip, a member of a secret underground organization who protested the Austro-Hungarian empire’s claim over their country. When the Austro-Hungarians demanded entrance to Bosnia so they could find and then bring to trial Ferdinand’s assassin, the Bosnian government refused, insisting they would conduct their own investigation. The Austro-Hungarians then declared war on Bosnia. Quickly, Germany allied with the Austro-Hungarian empire, while Russia France and Great Britain allied with Bosnia, with Italy soon to follow. Ambulance and driver on a city street in Italy during World War I. The United States joined World War I at the end of 1917. A German submarine had torpedoed a British passenger ship, the Lusitania, claiming it secretly carried American munitions aboard. The United States denied this, but joined the fray when the British and French requested their assistance. Most American soldiers were initially stationed on the Western Front, in France. Believing the American army to be inexperienced and, according to Hemingway, ‘‘ overfed and under trained,’’ the Germans immediately attacked. To much of the world’s surprise, the Americans, despite being outnumbered and lacking experience, fought off the German army, solidifying their reputation as a world military power. The United States and its allies won the war in 1918. About 118, 000 American soldiers were killed in action, more than double the 55, 000 lost in World War II a generation later. Hemingway wrote ‘‘ In Another Country’’ while residing in Paris in 1926. There he lived among a circle of writers and poets, many of whom would go on to be among the most prominent literary figures of the century. Expatriates like himself, these authors included F. Scott Fitzgerald Sherwood Anderson John Dos Passos Thornton Wilder Ezra Pound e. e. cummings and Hart Crane, along with Gertrude Stein and her lover, Alice B. Toklas, whose salon was a common meeting ground for the group. Coined ‘‘ The Lost Generation’’ by In Another Country: Historical Context 8 Stein, these writers came to Paris in search of inspiration and a new understanding of the boundaries and purpose of art. Malcolm Cowley, one of their clique, wrote about this period in his book Exile’s Return. A collection of Hemingway’s anecdotes of this experience was published posthumously under the title A Moveable Feast in 1964. In Another Country: Critical Overview Hemingway’s spare, objective style has been widely imitated and adapted by many other writers. His choice of material, and his stoic, masculine way of dealing with issues of life, death, and love in a troubled, often violent world has made him a controversial figure. Though many admire his sparse prose, suggesting it reveals the inner workings of his macho male heroes, a share of scholars, feminists in particular, have criticized his work, arguing that rather than illuminating and critiquing the he-men behavior of his characters, he is, instead, embracing, even sentimentalizing it. They also complain that his female characters have less dimension than his male characters, and that they generally fall into two stereotypical categories, the saintly and the whorish, showing an underlying dislike of women in general. Hemingway supporters counter that he adores the women he writes about, almost to the point of idealization. His short story, ‘‘ In Another Country’’ is one of his most popular; it is also one of his most anthologized. Like much of Hemingway’s work, it has been written about at great length. Forrest Robinson in his article ‘‘ Hemingway’s Invisible Hero,’’ published on Essays in Literature argues against the notion that the story’s narrator is not ‘‘ merely passive in his painful acceptance of his lack of bravery, and is respectful in his observance of the [Italian] major’s resignation to despair.’’ He goes on to say that the narrator is not really the story’s protagonist, which many assume, but that the Italian major is. ‘‘ In Another Country’’ is widely considered to be one of Hemingway’s serial, semi-autobiographical Nick Adams stories. In fact, when all the stories featuring Nick were published together as The Nick Adams Stories in 1972, ‘‘ In Another Country’’ was included in the book. However, James Steinke, in his article ‘‘ Hemingway’s ‘ In Another Country’ and ‘ Now I Lay Me,’’’ published in The Hemingway Review in 1985, argues that the story has been ‘‘ mistakenly seen as one more contribution to composite of ‘ Nick Adams.’’’ He also writes that the Nick Adams stories are not ‘‘ fictionalized personal history,’’ as others claim. He uses a quote by the author himself to support his point: ‘‘ When you first start writing stories in the first person, if the stories are made so real that people believe them, the people reading them nearly always think the stories really happened to you.’’ In addition to having his work labeled fictionalized autobiography, Hemingway’s work has also led to the author being called such ‘‘ critical classifying terms as Disillusioned Idealist, Realist, Naturalist, Existentialist and even–after Old Man and the Sea–Christian,’’ according to Richard Irwin in his essay, ‘‘ Of War, Wounds, and Silly Machines: An Examination of Hemingway’s ‘ In Another Country.’’’ Irwin goes on to say that the author may be a Naturalist, but that he is not a true Naturalist. He feels Hemingway is a Naturalist ‘‘ in the sense that for him human destiny is largely controlled by factors which lie beyond the individual will and choice, and those factors do not operate at the behest of an ultimately beneficent divine being.’’ However, he feels that Hemingway can not be called solely a Naturalist because his work does not ‘‘ reveal . . . sentimentality toward the hard aspects of the human condition . . . a belief in a benign, responsible creator [or] a keen awareness of the ‘ forces’ which operate independently of man’s conscious will.’’ He also comments that Hemingway’s writing does not ‘‘ assume a universe indifferent to the suffering of human beings,’’ and so does not fulfill the definition required to be considered a Naturalist. Despite the vast array of opinions surrounding the work of Ernest Hemingway his popularity and influence are still felt 35 years after his death. His position as one of the most distinctive and lauded writers of this century is assured, a title supported by a long list of devoted readers, the inclusion of his work in dozens of In Another Country: Critical Overview 9 anthologies, and several of the most prestigious honors a writer can receive. In Another Country: Essays and Criticism The Code in Hemingway’s “ In Another Country” A short story which illustrates Hemingway’s code is “ In Another Country. ” The purpose of this essay is to discuss Hemingway’s approach to the code and the code-hero as it appears in this story. It has been well pointed out that the majority of Hemingway’s true code-heros are older men, non-Americans, professional soldiers or sportsmen or gangsters of some sort.(1) In this story the Italian Major is a code hero of the type most admired by Hemingway, for he fulfills all the requirements of the type. In addition to providing us with an image of the perfect code hero, he serves as an example to the narrator of the story, who through the Major gains an insight into his own life and finds, perhaps, that he has been on the wrong track. This structure, where the narrator is the focus and protagonist of the story, and the code-hero is the teacher of the narrator, occurs frequently in Hemingway’s works. It has been termed the tutor-tyro type of story, in which the tyro is “ literally initiated into a comprehension of certain mysteries that had been hidden from him; through the process of initiation, he loses an old self and gains a new one. “(2) The mystery in this case is the code. “ In Another Country” takes place in Italy during the war. The first-person narrator, an American, visits the hospital daily for rehabilitation treatments, and spends the rest of his time with a group of Italians, drinking and talking about the war. At the hospital each day he sees an Italian Major whose hand has been injured, and who is receiving treatments. He was once a fencing champion. All of the Italians and the American says the narrator “ felt held together by there being something that had happened that they, the people who disliked us, did not understand. “(3) The Major, whose treatments took place at the machine next to the American, is portrayed as being every bit the professional soldier. He insists that the American learn Italian grammar, with what has been called “ considerable dignity and somewhat stuffy rectitude. “(4) Yet the most striking characteristic of the Major is his stoicism, his seeming acceptance of his wound and the pointless necessity of sitting daily in front of a machine which probably will not help his hand and in any case will never make it able to function effectively in fencing. The American is not aware that the Major is teaching him something about life until the end of the story. The part of the code which is most strongly stressed in this story deals with “ the process of learning how to make one’s passive vulnerability (to the dangers and unpredictabilities of life) into a strong, rather than a weak position, and how to exact the maximum amount of reward (‘ honor,’ ‘ dignity’) out of these encounters. “(5) This is precisely the position of the Major at the end of the story. The Major asks the American if he is married and the American replies that he intends to marry. The Major suddenly and seemingly unreasonably becomes angry. “ A man must not marry, ” he insists. “ If he is to lose everything, he should not place himself in a position to lose that. He should not place himself in a position to lose. He should find things he cannot lose. “(6) This is the philosophical center of the story and also one of the clearest expositions of the code. The Major, it is revealed, had just recently married, and his wife had died. The Major finally breaks down and cries. He admits “ I am utterly unable to resign myself. “(7) As the story closes the narrator tells us that the Major does not come for his treatments for three days. When he returns, he wears a black armband. He submits to his treatment, and does nothing but look out the window. It has been noted in connection with the Major that “ his adoption of a code of life does not preclude his exposure to the risks of the incalculable in spite of his angry cry of outrage. His commitment to love and his shock at his wife’s death have placed him ‘ in another country’ than the one he has prepared to defend. “(8) Thus the code is revealed in this short story to be just a little more philosophical than we have come to expect. “ It is meaninglessness–nada–that confronts the Major in full assault, “(9) and even the most professional code, practiced by the best tutor stands momentarily paralyzed by this void. The dignity of the Major, as he In Another Country: Essays and Criticism 10 continues his life, is the prime lesson communicated to the narrator, and it is this image, of the Major submitting to the machine and staring out the window, with which we are left. Notes 1. Earl Rovit, Ernest Hemingway (New York, 1963) p. 65. 2. Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, p. 94. 3. Ernest Hemingway Short Stories (New York, 1953) p. 269. 4. Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, p. 62. 5. Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, p. 109. 6. Hemingway, Short Stories, p. 271. 7. Hemingway, Short Stories, p. 272. 8. Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, p. 63. 9. Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, p. 63. Bibliography McCaffery, John K. M., ed. Ernest Hemingway: The Man and His Work. Cleveland: World, 1950. Hemingway, Ernest. The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Scribner’s, 1953. Rovit, Earl. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Twayne, 1963. Overview of “ In Another Country” One of the most often-discussed aspects of Ernest Hemingway’s writing is his distinctive style. Whereas many writers of his day were still heavily influenced by the verbose, extremely descriptive style of English and American authors of the nineteenth century such as Charles Dickens Jane Austen and Herman Melville Hemingway was not. His literature is free of the extensive use of adjectives common in the work of many earlier writers, and of many of his immediate contemporaries. As a result, his work has often been described as sparse, objective, and journalistic. It’s also been called original, so much so that even readers who would not consider themselves scholars can immediately recognize a book, a story, or even a paragraph that he has written without knowing beforehand that he was its author. His style is so singular, in fact, that to this day there is an international writing contest held every year in which writers are asked to submit a short story in his style. Knowing full well that the results will most likely be second rate, the contest is called the ‘‘ Bad Hemingway Competition.’’ The winner is awarded a free trip to Italy which includes a complimentary dinner at Harry’s Bar in Venice, one of Hemingway’s old hangouts. The fact that Hemingway worked throughout his life as a journalist clearly influenced his spare prose style. In fact, before he had published any fiction, Hemingway, upon his graduation from high school, took a job as a junior reporter at the Kansas City Star. Only eighteen years old, and still developing his authorial voice, Hemingway was clearly inspired by the Star’s guidelines which demanded compression, selectivity and precision for their news stories. Though his background in news writing was an undisputed influence on his writing style, there is another strong influence that guided it as well: the movies. This is not too surprising; The Code in Hemingway’s “ In Another Country” 11 Hemingway was born just before the start of the twentieth century, the same time mass motion pictures were invented. At the time that Hemingway began writing prose seriously, just at the end of World War I in 1919, and up until the time he was considered an important writer some seven years later, movies were the most popular form of entertainment throughout the western world. This was more than three decades before television overtook motion pictures in popularity–in fact, television as a technology as we now know it had not yet been invented. Many people commonly went to the cinema several nights a week in the 1920s (even more so in the 1930s and early 1940s). The movies these large audiences were watching were, of course, silent movies. Films with synchronized sound were not introduced to mainstream audiences until 1927, when The Jazz Singer, which included several musical numbers with synchronized sound, revolutionized the industry. That film’s astronomical success led movie studios, within the year, to stop producing silent films. Because the sound technology was so new, these early ‘‘ talkies’’ became more stage-bound, featuring longer scenes with actors clustered around flower vases and table lamps that hid strategically placed microphones. Movies had, for a time, lost their visual flair. The word overtook the image as the prime focus of filmmakers. Silent film, starting in the late ‘ teens, and up to 1927 (the same years Hemingway began seriously writing fiction), had matured; film language, dependent on the visual image to tell its story (with the exception of a few inter titles for important dialogue), had hit what many film scholars consider an artistic peak that was not found again for many decades to follow. One of the ways in which the best silent films of the time communicated their narratives and the emotions that they wanted their audiences to experience while watching them was through a technique called ‘‘ montage.’’ Montage is when several unrelated images are edited together to create a desired effect. For instance, if one sees an image of a man turning his head suddenly, then to one of a gun being aimed in his direction, to a shot of a tree falling in a nearby forest, the audience instinctively knows that the man has been shot, even without the sound of the gunshot. If we see several shots of an impatient crowd, followed by an image of a raised fist, we know that the fist represents the angry emotion of the mob without having to be told this. Hemingway makes subtle use this same montage technique in his writing. An example of this can be seen clearly in the story, ‘‘ In Another Country,’’ especially the first paragraph. ‘‘ In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it anymore. It was cold in the fall in Milan and the dark came very early. Then the electric lights came on, and it was pleasant along the streets looking in the windows.’’ This establishes the setting and context of the story. Hemingway follows with a series of images which collectively create a mood and develop the story’s themes. ‘‘ There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow powdered the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind turned their feathers.’’ We can feel the approaching winter through these details, and may start to subliminally sense that the details are also showing us, as opposed to telling us, that death, too, is approaching. Winter is the time when the life that bloomed in spring, thrived in summer, and weakened in fall, is taken away. We may also feel that a life-changing transition is also coming, and that, like the coldest of seasons, it will be a chilly reminder that the life we innocently enjoyed during the warmer months will be gone. This montage technique is also prominently used in the story’s important climactic sentences when the Italian Major returns to the hospital after hearing of his wife’s sudden death from pneumonia. ‘‘ Then he came at the usual hour, wearing a black band on the sleeve of his uniform . . . there were large framed photographs around the wall, all sorts of wounds before and after they had been cured by the machines. In front of the machine the major used were three photographs of hands like his that were completely restored.’’ Hemingway then interjects his own equivalent of a silent film’s inter title, ‘‘ I do not know where the doctor got them. I always understood we were the first to use these machines.’’ But the major, he tells us in the last sentences, is not moved by the photographs; instead, in the story’s final, telling image we are told that the Overview of “ In Another Country” 12 major ‘‘ only looked out the window.’’ Again, image builds upon image to create a final impression of existential despair, a message artfully expressed without being directly stated. Is it any wonder, then, that Hemingway’s works were quickly scooped up by movie studios? However, this did not occur until talkies were already in place and most of these adaptations, critics argue, lack much of the visual expressiveness present in Hemingway’s writing. In fact, the film version that is considered most successful on an artistic level is the first, A Farewell to Arms of 1932. Though it has its share of characters sitting in rooms talking, like most films of its period, even these scenes are punctuated with what one critic called ‘‘ a strange, brooding expressionist quality,’’ which other adaptations of his writing lack. It’s important to note that Hemingway was clearly a filmgoer. According to his letters, published in a thick volume under the title, Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters: 1917-1961, the author writes many times about film stars, some of whom he had met, as well as discussing in some detail his involvement in casting choices and screenplay ideas he had contributed to several of the films made from his work. Films clearly played a role in his life and, to some extent, played a part in his work as well. One of the things for which Hemingway has been criticized, particularly in the decades following his death, is his portrayal of macho characters. Many scholars and feminists have commented that Hemingway’s work has embraced the stoic, unfeeling masculine stereotype. However, though his heroes are nearly always strong men who are not weepily sentimental, Hemingway has usually found a way to show the pain these men feel. In fact, part of his interest in writing about these characters is so he can use them to comment on their macho posturing. Again, ‘‘ In Another Country’’ can serve as an example of this. Hemingway shows the story’s narrator spending time with a group of young Italian officers who are proud of the masculine bravado they have demonstrated in battle. He writes, however, that they are emotionally ‘‘ detached,’’ unable to express their innermost feelings about the tragedies they have witnessed and experienced. He contrasts their behavior with that of the Italian major, a man who, in the end, is held up as a braver man for giving up his controlled facade, for coming to terms with the deep loneliness and isolation of death and the loss that it entails. Even when the major cries, that most unmacho of acts, the author does not criticize him; in fact, Hemingway seems to be rather approving, as long as the tears do not relate to cowardice. Source: Michael Zam, “ Overview of ‘ In Another Country,’” for Short Stories for Students, The Gale Group, 2000. Zam has been an associate professor at Fordham College and New York University, as well as a writer for the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review and Details magazine. Hemingway’s Invisible Hero of “ In Another Country” Hemingway’s ‘‘ In Another Country’’ offers unusual evidence of the essentially heuristic and therapeutic nature of his storytelling. His thematic concern–that a person ‘‘ find things he cannot lose’’–takes on considerable significance when the distinction between the protagonist and the first-person narrator is clarified. It is the protagonist who, along with the Italian major, faces the wall of despair and death after being wounded in Italy during World War I. It is the narrator, however, who epitomizes Hemingway’s hero in this story. True heroism is not passive. True heroism is the action of the creative artist, the storyteller of ‘‘ In Another Country’’ who discovers a ‘‘ window’’ through which he can see beyond the ‘‘ wall’’ facing those who suffer permanent wounds. Confusion is understandable because Hemingway’s narrator in this story is ‘‘ invisible,’’ that is, nameless, and he tells his own story. Moreover, he never calls attention to himself as narrator except indirectly in comments which establish a temporal distance between his past experience and his narration. Because of the narrator’s ‘‘ invisibility,’’ readers can easily fail to see his formal function, therefore focusing their attention exclusively upon the narrator’s younger self, the protagonist. Consequently, they see the young Hemingway’s Invisible Hero of “ In Another Country” 13 protagonist as one who is merely passive in his painful acceptance of his lack of bravery and is respectful in his observance of the major’s resignation to despair. To overlook the formal function of Hemingway’s invisible first-person narrator, however, represents a failure to apprehend the story as a total imaginative act. It is the narrator who looks back upon himself in a conflict which he, as protagonist, could not understand. As protagonist, he acted blindly, victimized as he was by his unrecognized responses to the world around him. ‘‘ In Another Country,’’ therefore, is not the protagonist’s story, nor is it the major’s. It is the narrator’s, and the way into the story is through an effort to understand his concern in the conflict he recalls. The revelation of the story, then, can be seen only through the consciousness of the invisible first-person narrator who–in the creative act of giving a form and a focus to his own past experience–resolves a conflict implicitly disclosed in the process of narration. That the narrator is an older man looking back over the years can be established in two ways. First, and more obviously, the narrator employs the past tense. Secondly, when he tells about the four soldiers with whom he used to walk in the streets of Milan, he offers an explicit statement about the temporal distance between his narration and his past experience. One of the young soldiers wears a black silk handkerchief to cover his horribly mutilated face. The narrator comments upon him in such a way as to indicate a knowledge extending years beyond the action of the story: They rebuilt his face but he came from a very old family and they could never get the nose exactly right. He went to South America and worked in a bank. But this was a long time ago, and then we did not any of us know how it was going to be afterward. The failure to consider the function of a narrator who is invisible is, I have said, understandable. All of his attention is focused upon himself as a young man in his encounters with therapeutic machines, ‘‘ hunting hawks,’’ and a major. Nonetheless, whatever the narrator’s story discloses grows out of the way in which the machines, the hunting hawks (those men who were brave), and the major participate in the resolution of a conflict within the narrator’s mind. I One way to focus the conflict is to examine the structure of the story. What the narrator remembers can be divided into five sections. With the possible exception of the last paragraph of the story, which is expository, sharp transitions help to set off each section. In the first two-paragraph section, the narrator begins to focus his attention in the process of recollection. Moving from his memory of specific sensations in the streets of Milan to the various routes he and his friends used to walk to the hospital, the narrator allows us to enter his consciousness, thereby enabling us to experience his sense of isolation as he walks to the new pavilions, which were beyond the old hospital and the courtyard where the funerals begin, and to ‘‘ the machines that were to make so much difference.’’ The machines which were to heal their wounds have not, of course, made much difference at all. If we think of the first section figuratively, as a recalled movement toward healing, we will have a way of conceptualizing each section of the story as a movement toward a healing which fails. Before moving to the second section, let us return to the first sentence: ‘‘ In the fall the war was always there but we did not go to it anymore.’’ The fall is the season of nature’s dying, and it is also the season for killing game, or hunting. Beyond the cluster of associations recalled by the narrator as he remembers his walks by the shops is the larger and seemingly interminable context of the war. That he says ‘‘ we did not go to it anymore’’ reveals the first element of separation. In other words, the narrator recollects that he and his four wounded friends are soldiers who are no longer participating in the action of the war. As we learn in section three, the protagonist is separated from more than the war; he is cut off from his ‘‘ hunting hawk’’ friends who had earned their medals for bravery. Their only common ground lies in their having been wounded and in their efforts to recover from their wounds by going to the ‘‘ healing machines.’’ Hemingway’s Invisible Hero of “ In Another Country” 14 The second section of the story, which begins with the, doctor’s asking the protagonist what sport he played before being wounded, serves to emphasize a sense of the futility of the therapy. Both the protagonist and the major he encounters are damaged, and they realize that they are permanently damaged. Juxtaposed with their awareness of futility is the ineffectual but well-meaning effort of the doctor to persuade them that the machines are going to make them completely whole again. The language the doctor uses–‘‘ Did you practice a sport?’’ and ‘‘ You will play football again like a champion’’–implies a lack of knowledge about sports and calls into question his judgment about the protagonist’s full recovery. When the doctor tells the protagonist that he will play football better than ever, the narrator conveys the impossibility of such restoration by simply stating that his calf had been completely shot away. Also played down is the intense pain which he must have felt when the machine lurched, indicating that its force met the resistance of the knee that would not bend. The major, moreover, is not under any illusions about his hand, which is reduced to the size of a baby’s. His fencing days are over, and not all of the photographs in the world can convince him that he will recover fully from his wound. If the first section is seen as a movement toward the ineffectual healing machines, the second section can be seen as a movement away from false hope toward no hope. By regarding the first two sections of the story as movements of consciousness, the narrator’s concern–what he is seeking–becomes clearer. Each movement of consciousness happens against the backdrop of the ‘‘ world’’ of the story–a world at war, a world of destruction and death. The narrator’s concern is how to participate in a world that inflicts wounds from which there is no permanent recovery. His football and soldiering are behind him, and the first of three efforts to recover has failed. The healing machines cannot heal permanent wounds. And the narrator recalls that it is the major who faced head-on the fact of his condition. Although the major is not mentioned in section three, this scene immediately follows his flat assertion that he has no confidence in the healing machines. The transition is so abrupt that we are likely to overlook how the major’s honesty influences the narrator’s recollection of relationships with the other wounded boys. In fact, the progression of the narrator’s use of the first-person plural ‘‘ we’’ to the singular ‘‘ I’’ in this section is framed by the major’s attitude toward the machines and his attitude toward bravery in the first sentence of section four. In the first paragraph of section three, the narrator tells us about the sense of camaraderie which he and the other three boys experienced as they were ridiculed when they walked the streets of Milan. The narrator proceeds in the next paragraph to tell us that they had all received medals except the boy who wore the black silk handkerchief over his face. He had not been at the front long enough to get any medals. As the narrator focuses upon his relationships with the other young soldiers who had been wounded, he recalls his sense of alienation: ‘‘ We were all a little detached, and there was nothing that held us together except that we met every afternoon at the hospital.’’ The only bonds among the men were created by the dislike and discourtesy of the people in the streets and the universally understandable appetites that could be satisfied at the Cova, where in war or peace the girls were ‘‘ patriotic.’’ The narrator’s comment that he believes the girls are still ‘‘ patriotic’’ is a minor intrusion; however, it serves to establish further his distance in time from the past action. The shift from ‘‘ we’’ to ‘‘ I’’ in the fourth paragraph of the third section reveals that the second method of participation within a context of struggle is unsatisfactory. Just as the therapy machines cannot fully restore wholeness of body, neither can other people be encountered in any satisfying relationship when the basis for human encounter is an ideal one cannot live up to. The narrator recalls that his failure to earn medals for bravery under fire had separated him from those who had. He had become a friend against outsiders, but he knew that he was not really one of the ‘‘ hunting hawks.’’ After the cocktail hour he could imagine he had been brave enough to earn citations; but in the cold air walking home he knew that he would never have been brave and that he was afraid to die. In other words, under the warming effects of alcohol he could, like the well-meaning doctor, avoid facing the fact of his estrangement. In the cold air of the street, however, he is like the major who coldly faces the fact of his condition. Hemingway’s Invisible Hero of “ In Another Country” 15 We can now see that the narrator is recalling two aspects of his former condition of estrangement and despair; furthermore, we can realize that he is ‘‘ meeting himself’’–from the ground of a present crisis–in the events of his past. His process of focusing his consciousness upon these particular events implicitly discloses his concern about a present condition of estrangement and despair which is epitomized in his memory of the healing machines, the relationships with the other wounded soldiers, and, particularly, the major. The narrator first recalls wounds which cannot be healed by the products of modern science, the therapy machines. He then recalls his sense of being cut off from those men who embodied for him an ideal of selfhood which he felt–and continues to feel–incapable of attaining. At this point in the story, however, the ideal is not articulated. The narrator does this in the next paragraph. In the fifth paragraph of section three, the image of the hunting hawk emerges in the consciousness of the narrator as a symbol for that capacity to function within a natural order characterized by struggle and death. The hunting hawk is a bird of prey, capable of sweeping down for the kill, swiftly and instinctively. The narrator remembers how the hawk had become for him an ideal of selfhood from which he had been hopelessly estranged. Significantly, his friend among the other boys was the one who had been wounded before he was tried under pressure. II The context of the war is only one of two contexts in the story. As we noted, the war serves as a metaphor for the natural order within which people struggle and die. The second context is the hospital, within which the issue at hand is the healing of those persons who have been wounded within the war-context. By extending these metaphors, we might suggest that the narrator’s stake in his narrative is the resolution of how to be healed or how to be rejoined to a world characterized by destruction and death. The healing machines could not make him physically whole again, and he recalls that he could never be a hunting hawk; consequently, two of the three modes of survival in a destructive element failed to work. Juxtaposed with the narrator’s certainty that he was not a hunting hawk is his first comment about the major in section four: ‘‘ The major, who had been a great fencer, did not believe in bravery.’’ Bravery, that quality possessed by the hunting hawks, is of no importance to this man. What is important to him is what the narrator derives from him: precision and discipline. These qualities can no longer be exercised in fencing, but they can be in communication. In contrast with the doctor who uses false photographs to create the illusion of hope, the major calls things as he sees them and insists upon correct grammar. We might observe, then, that at this point in his narration the narrator remembers his initial regard for the major as a man of precision and authority. By keeping in the foreground our primary effort to discover the narrator’s stake in his re-enacted experience, we can see that he is groping for more than he has recalled thus far in his narrative. The major has given him a greater respect for precision and discipline in communication, but he has given him much more than this. In looking back, the narrator recalls that the major had also been engaged in finding a satisfactory mode of participating in the destructive element of life. He had acquired great competence as a fencer, and he had proved competent enough as a hunting hawk to become a major. Both accomplishments represent only partial and temporary modes of participation. The major had been deprived of his fencing skill by a wound, and the wound had forced him beyond ‘‘ hawkery,’’ as a mode of participation, to human love. Furthermore, the major had so valued the possibility of participation in life through human love that he waited until he knew he was permanently out of the war before he married. Close to the end of th