Monday, August 10, 2015

Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, Ending


Mondays are probably a bad day to do this blog as I am about as mentally stimulated as a wet bag but hey, habit and self-inflicted, I don’t know what you call this, is the way things have been sliced. Anyways, I know the last few posts have been half-assed, well probably the last few months have been. Forgive me. All this life change stuff makes things shift and spin and the added mellow drama that seems to stick to me makes it all even more tiresome. Even with this awareness of flux I was oddly reassured by a weird impulse I had while thinking about what to do for today.

Sitting at the library, distracting myself from my paper and reading fantasy and thinking emo thoughts Ernest Hemingway popped into my mind. I mentioned A Farewell to Arms yesterday in conversation and I recall saying that is was “tragically beautifully” or something like that and it is. Then today it popped up again in my mind and then I remembered I had done a copy paste thing sometime ago on here with one of his short stories, Soldier’s Home that is one of my favorites. I did, back almost exactly a year ago. August 18, 2014. Maybe August is my Hemingway month. It feels nice to think maybe my brain is on some sort of emotional/literary calendar.

So without further ado I have again lazily copy and pasted the end of this story. Needless to say SPOILER ALERT for those who have not read it before and if you haven’t please, please do. There’s a reason why it’s so well known and for those who have, let it wrench you and re-read again if you need some summer time sadness.

A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway, 1929

“What is wrong?” “Mrs. Henry has had a hemorrhage.” “Can I go in?” “No, not yet.
The doctor is with her.” “Is it dangerous?” “It is very dangerous.” The nurse went into the room and shut the door. I sat outside in the hail. Everything was gone inside of me. I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don’t let her die. Oh, God, please don’t let her die. I’ll do anything for you if you won’t let her die. Please, please, please, dear God, don’t let her die. Dear God, don’t let her die. Please, please, please don’t let her die. God please make her not die. I’ll do anything you say if you don’t let her die. You took the baby but don’t let her die. That was all right but don’t let her die. Please, please, dear God, don’t let her die. The nurse opened the door and motioned with her finger for me to come. I followed her into the room. Catherine did not look up when I came in. I went over to the side of the bed. The doctor was standing by the bed on the opposite side.

Catherine looked at me and smiled. I bent down over the bed and started to cry.
“Poor darling,” Catherine said very softly. She looked gray. “You’re all right, Cat,” I said. “You’re going to be all right.” “I’m going to die,” she said; then waited and said,
“I hate it.” I took her hand. “Don’t touch me,” she said. I let go of her hand. She smiled. “Poor darling. You touch me all you want.” “You’ll be all right, Cat. I know you’ll be all right.” “I meant to write you a letter to have if anything happened, but I didn’t do it.” “Do you want me to get a priest or any one to come and see you?” “Just you,” she said. Then a little later, “I’m not afraid. I just hate it.” “You must not talk so much,” the doctor said. “All right,” Catherine said. “Do you want me to do anything, Cat? Can I get you anything?” Catherine smiled, “No.” Then a little later, “You won’t do our things with another girl, or say the same things, will you?” “Never.” “I want you to have girls, though.” “I don’t want them.” “You are talking too much,” the doctor said. “Mr. Henry must go out. He can come back again later. You are not going to die. You must not be silly.” “All right,” Catherine said. “I’ll come and stay with you nights,” she said. It was very hard for her to talk. “Please go out of the room,” the doctor said. “You cannot talk.” Catherine winked at me, her face gray. “I’ll be right outside,” I said. “Don’t worry, darling,” Catherine said. “I’m not a bit afraid. It’s just a dirty trick.” “You dear, brave sweet.” I waited outside in the hall. I waited a long time.

The nurse came to the door and came over to me. “I’m afraid Mrs. Henry is very ill,” she said. “I’m afraid for her.” “Is she dead?” “No, but she is unconscious.” It seems she had one hemorrhage after another. They couldn’t stop it. I went into the room and stayed with Catherine until she died. She was unconscious all the time, and it did not take her very long to die. Outside the room, in the hall, I spoke to the doctor, “Is there anything I can do to-night?” “No. There is nothing to do. Can I take you to your hotel?” “No, thank you. I am going to stay here a while.” “I know there is nothing to say. I cannot tell you—” “No,” I said. “There’s nothing to say.” “Good-night,” he said. “I cannot take you to your hotel?” “No, thank you.” “It was the only thing to do,” he said. “The operation proved—” “I do not want to talk about it,” I said. “I would like to take you to your hotel.” “No, thank you.” He went down the hall. I went to the door of the room. “You can’t come in now,” one of the nurses said. “Yes I can,” I said. “You can’t come in yet.” “You get out,” I said. “The other one too.” But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn’t any good. It was like saying good-by to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.