when the speaker said they were all detached pg207
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There is a separation between war and peace. Even in a place of convalescence there is a sense of unreality. The Speaker is healing from wounds inflicted during WW1. He is an American in Italy convalescing with European soldiers. As they speak there is a sense of detachment. Is their stay a hiatus on their way to certain death? Is their irony in "healing" a wound that can not be healed? I would imagine the pause to be surreal, "We were all a little detached, and there was nothing that held us together except that we met every afternoon at the hospital." The only thing real in a peaceful environment is other soldiers, other wounded symbols of war. The machines that make them better are suspect at best. The shock of permanent damage must ultimately lead to detachment.