A Farewell to Arms

Explain "No. We never get anything. We are born with all we have and we never learn." on page 171.

Please paraphrase and explain its significance in relation to the themes in this novel.

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Henry has returned to the front and meets up with Rinaldi. It seems that things are going bad for the Italians and Rinaldi is no longer working. It seems he has also contracted syphilis. Rinaldi has grown into a very bitter man and now sees only the hopelessness in life. Everything that he knows and owns, he was meant to know and own. Life doesn't offer anything "new" along the way. Henry is not able to see this yet as he has kept himself distracted by plunging into his romantic affair with Catherine. Rinaldi, however, has had to remain on the front and witness the atrocities of war. He has had no distractions, but he does try to distract himself with sex and drinking, both which do not satisfy him. Rinaldi has failed in disorienting himself and because of that he is able to see the hopelessness of life.