The language of “In Another Country” by Ernest Hemingway is rather simple and easy to follow and understand. The choice of words reflects the setting with a few Italian words like “A basso gli ufficiali!” (p. 2, l. 7) but also the war context and the setting of the hospital with the new medical machines: “Then he looked down at the machine and jerked his little hand out from between the straps and slapped it hard against his thigh.” (p. 3, ll. 32-34)
The style and tone are detached, almost like a journalistic recording of what the narrator sees: “Always, though, you crossed a bridge across a canal to enter the hospital. There was a choice of three bridges. On one of them a woman sold roasted chestnuts.” (p. 1, ll. 10-12)
The author resorts to dialogue, narrative and descriptive language to render the events, which make the text more complex and dynamic. Also, he uses some specific language devices out of which we outline the most important ones below:
- Metaphors and personification
Repetition is an important language device in the short story as it helps convey the characters’ perspective and draw the attention on certain motifs. For instance, the word “wind” is repeated five times in the short story, four of which in the first paragraph, conveying an overall feeling of being unwelcomed:
The story includes various symbols related to its themes and which make the narrative more appealing to the readership.
The wind depicted in the first paragraph can be seen as a symbol of challenges of the wartimes and implicitly of World War I. Furthermore, it suggests the idea of feeling unwelcome and rejected by society, which is further developed in the short story through the officers’ group and the American narrator.