A Farewell to Arms
Foreignness and the Other Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Why did you join up with the Italians?"
"I was in Italy, […], and I spoke Italian." (5.7-8)
Characters are constantly asking Frederic about this. His natural embrace of what is supposed to be foreign is foreign to some people Frederic encounters. It is also intriguing and provocative.
"[…] really you are just like me underneath."
"No I’m not."
"[…] You are really an Italian. All fire and smoke and nothing inside." (10.48-50)
Did we expect him to say "Italian"? Rinaldi isn’t necessarily giving Frederic a compliment. He’s telling him they are not only "war brothers" but also brothers in emptiness. All flare and no heart.
"But there in my country it is understood that a man may love God." (11.72)
The priest is perhaps the biggest foreigner in the novel. His "country" is an ideal, one which everyone wants to reach. We all want to live in a place where we’re understood.