a. besides their physical injuries, how might the narrator and the other soldiers be wounded? b. how effectively does the story convey their attitudes?
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Though the story begins with Nick’s relieved announcement that he and his fellow wounded soldiers are out of the war and recuperating at a military hospital, it becomes clear that they are in need of more than physical treatment in order to erase the war’s effects. Though the tone of the narration is superficially sanguine and the setting seemingly reassuring, there are strong underlying currents of dislocation, conflict, emptiness, and futility that indicate Nick has been deeply marked with more than shrapnel, and that his recovery cannot be effected by physical therapy.
What Nick and his fellow wounded truly need, many scholars have asserted, is not physical treatment but mental and emotional healing. These remedies are conspicuously absent from the story, and explain Nick’s sense of depression and isolation.