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Free Study Guide-A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway-Book Notes
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CHAPTER 17

Summary

Dr.Valentini did a good job on Henry’s knee, informed Miss Gage. He operated for two-and-a-half hours and had presumably set his knee right. Catherine spent as much time as she could with him. There were more patients in the hospital. The other nurses liked Catherine because she seemed to be on night duty indefinitely. Miss Ferguson carried notes, which they wrote to each other during the day. At night, they were almost always with each other.


Henry invited Miss Ferguson to their wedding, but she predicted that they would never get married. She warned him to be good to Catherine. She told him that he should let Catherine get some rest during the nights and ask her not to be on duty with him, as she is getting tired. Henry spoke to Miss Gage about letting Catherine off once in a while. She said that they had let Catherine on duty so often because she knew that was what he wanted. Catherine took three nights off duty and came back on again. It was as though they had been on a long, separate journey when they met again.

Notes

In this chapter, small, seemingly irrelevant details about other characters are presented very realistically. The three other patients and their problems are carefully detailed. It is mentioned, quite casually that Miss Ferguson had two brothers, one in the army and the other, a civilian. It is at this point that we realize that Catherine has no family to take care of her if things went wrong. However, she has a loyal and caring friend in Miss Ferguson, who more than makes up for the lack of family. All the nurses also seem to like Henry and Catherine. The whole world loves lovers.

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