Summary and Analysis Book Three: Chapter XXVI



In Lieutenant Henry's room after dinner, he and the priest discuss the war.


This chapter, written mainly in untagged dialogue, serves primarily as an index of Lieutenant Henry's growth. Near the end of their talk, Henry agrees with the priest when the latter says "I don't believe in victory any more." Henry still asserts that he doesn't believe in defeat, either. And yet he suggests, philosophically, that defeat "may be better." The Henry at the novel's opening was incapable of such a statement. The priest too has changed, "surer of himself" now than when Henry left the front.