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A Farewell to Arms The book A Farewell to Arms, written by Ernest Hemingway, is a classic about the love story of a nurse and a war ridden soldier. The story starts as Frederick Henry is serving in the Italian Army. He meets his future love in the hospital that he gets put in for various reasons. I thought that A Farewell to Arms was a good book because of the symbolism, the exciting plot, and the constant moving of the main character. The symbolism in A Farewell to Arms is very much apparent. Ernest Hemingway has always been one who is big on the symbolism of night as being bad.
To the main character in Hemingway's novels, nights have always been a sign of death, or something negative to happen. Another one of the symbolisms in A Farewell to Arms is when Henry tries to escape from the Italian army by jumping off one of the ships the army was traveling on and running away from the army. This symbolism was the water that he jumped into was a symbolism of the new, clean life that he was going to live from now on. At this time, Henry goes off and finds his wife to be. The plot in A Farewell to Arms was always active.
They were never staying in one place too long. It had a very good story line, which was a love story that ended up in a tragedy. The main characters wife got pregnant and she was off to have her baby when problems started occurring. They had to have a caesarean, and the baby dies, and when the mother of the child starts to hemorrhage Henry knows that it was over for his wife and he was right. From the beginning of the book until the end, the action was up.
Ever since the front page Henry was traveling around to different towns so it was not boring for the reader. That made it very interesting for the reader because it was always a new town coming up so they were being introduced in the new characters quite often. As the story goes on, the reader is not introducing as many new people, but they are still traveling around quite a bit. Hemingway has a way with arranging the plots of all his stories.
They all have that right timing to them. He always introduces only people that will affect the story, he does not introduce someone who will be in the scene for five minutes and then leave. I felt that the authors planning on putting this novel together was very good. Ernest Hemingway has always been one of the worlds best known classic writers.
His style and technique of symbolism is much different than others. He uses then in very strong ways that you the reader does not always pick up. I am sure that I missed some of the symbolism that went on in the book. I picked up a few though and they were very interesting. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in a love story that does not get too intimate.
A Farewell to Arms Critics usually describe Hemingway's style as simple, spare, and journalistic. These are all good words; they all apply. Perhaps because of his training as a newspaperman, Hemingway is a master of the declarative, subject-verb-object sentence. His writing has been likened to a boxers punches combinations of lefts and rights coming at us without pause.
Take the following passage: We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it. The last country to realize they were cooked would win the war. We had another drink. Was I on somebody's staff? No.
He was. It was all balls. The style gains power because it is so full of sensory detail. There was an inn in the trees at the Bains de lallans where the woodcutters stopped to drink, and we sat inside warmed by the stove and drank hot red wine with spices and lemon in it. They called it gluhwein and it was a good thing to warm you and to celebrate with. The inn was dark and smoky inside and afterward when you went out the cold air came sharply into your lungs and numbed the edge of your nose as you inhaled.
The simplicity and the sensory richness flow directly from Hemingway's and his characters beliefs. The punchy, vivid language has the immediacy of a news bulletin: these are facts, Hemingway is telling us, and they cant be ignored. And just as Frederic Henry comes to distrust abstractions like patriotism, so does Hemingway distrust them. Instead he seeks the concrete, the tangible: hot red wine with spices, cold air that numbs your nose. A simple good becomes higher praise than another writers string of decorative adjectives. Though Hemingway is best known for the tough simplicity of style seen in the first passage cited above, if we take a close look at A Farewell to Arms, we will often find another Hemingway at work writer who is aiming for certain complex effects, who is experimenting with language, and who is often self-consciously manipulating words.
Some sentences are clause-filled and eighty or more words long. Take for example the description in Chapter 1 that begins, There were mists over the river and clouds on the mountain; it paints an entire dreary wartime autumn and foreshadows the deaths not only of many of the soldiers but of Catherine. Hemingway's style changes, too, when it reflects his characters changing states of mind. Writing from Frederic Henrys point of view, he sometimes uses a modified stream-of-consciousness technique, a method for spilling out on paper the inner thoughts of a character. Usually Henrys thoughts are choppy, staccato, but when he becomes drunk the language does too, as in the passage in Chapter 3: I had gone to no such place but to the smoke of cafes and nights when the room whirled and you needed to look at the wall to make it stop, nights in bed, drunk, when you knew that that was all there was, and the strange excitement of waking and not knowing who it was with you, and the world all unreal in the dark and so exciting that you must resume again unknowing and not caring in the night, sure that this was all and all and all and not caring.
The rhythm, the repetition, have us reeling with Henry. Thus, Hemingway's prose is in fact an instrument finely tuned to reflect his characters and their world. As we read A Farewell to Arms, we must try to understand the thoughts and feelings Hemingway seeks to inspire in us by the way he uses language. A Farewell to Arms John Stubbs Love and Role Playing in A Farewell to Arms John Stubbs essay is an examination of the defense which he believes Henry and Catherine use to protect themselves from the discovery of their insignificance and powerlessness in a world indifferent to their well being He asserts that role-playing by the two main characters, and several others in the book, is a way to escape the realization of human mortality which is unveiled by war. Stubbs thinks that Hemingway utilized role-playing as a way to explore the strengths and weaknesses of his two characters. Stubbs says that by placing Henrys ordered life in opposition to Catherines topsy-turvy one, and then letting each one assume a role which will bring them closer together, Hemingway shows the pairs inability to accept the hard, gratuitous quality of life.
Stubbs begins by showing other examples, notably in In Our Time and The Sun Also Rises, in which Hemingway's characters revert to role-playing in order to escape or retreat from their lives. The ability to create characters who play roles, he says, either to maintain self-esteem or to escape, is one Hemingway exploits extraordinarily well in A Farewell to Arms and therefore it is his richest and most successful handling of human beings trying to come to terms with their vulnerability. As far as Stubbs is concerned, Hemingway is quite blatant in letting us know that role-playing is what is occurring. He tells that the role-playing begins during Henry and Catherines third encounter, when Catherine directly dictates what is spoken by Henry.
After this meeting the two become increasingly comfortable with their roles and easily adopt them whenever the other is nearby. This is apparent also in that they can only successfully play their roles when they are in private and any disturbance causes the game to be disrupted. The intrusion of the outside world in any form makes their role-playing impossible, as evidenced at the race track in Milan, where they must be alone. The people surrounding them make Catherine feel uncomfortable and Henry has to take her away from the crowd. He goes on to describe how it is impossible for them to play the roles when they are apart and how they therefore become more dependent upon each others company. Stubbs goes on to explain how, neither mistakes role-playing for a truly intimate relationship, but both recognize that it can be a useful device for satisfying certain emotional needs.
He says that originally Henry and Catherine are playing the game for different reasons but eventually move to play it as a team. Henry is role-playing to regain the sense of order he has lost when he realizes the futility of the war and his lack of place in it. Catherine is role-playing to deal with the loss of her fiance and to try to find order in the arena of the war. When they are able to role-play together, the promise of mutual support is what becomes so important to them as they try to cope with their individual human vulnerability. He also analyzes the idyllic world introduced early in the story by the priest at the mess and later realized by Henry and Catherine in Switzerland. They fall fully into their roles when they row across the lake on their way to their idealized world.
The fact that they actually are able to enter this make-believe world strengthens their game and allows it to continue longer than it would have otherwise. And once they are in this new world they adopt new roles which allow them to continue their ruse. They also need to work harder to maintain the game because far from the front they are both still aware the war is proceeding and they are no longer a part of it. The world in which they exist in reality (! ) is not conducive to role-playing because it tries repeatedly to end their game. Stubbs manages to uncover numerous instances in which the two are role-playing and he makes a very interesting case that this is exactly what they are doing and not just his imagination reading into the story. He does make certain assumptions, that their love is not real, that the characters are searching for order, which are not completely justified or even necessary to prove his point.
He also forces an intentionality upon Hemingway which could have been avoided without harming his theory. Towards the end of the essay Stubbs infers that their role-playing is inferior to true intimacy, which is a point that, although he defends well, is not central to his theory and seems to detract from his objectivity. The essay is a valuable tool to help the reader understand this view of what is happening through Henry and Catherines relationship and how they use each other to maintain their self-images, provide themselves with psychological support, and in a way escape the war. Hemingway may not have been trying to purposely create a role-playing scenario, but Stubbs essay will benefit someone wishing to explore this aspect of the relationship of the two main characters in greater depth. Bibliography: Broccoli, Matthew J. and Clark, C.
E. Frazer (ed. ), Fitzgerald / Hemingway Annual 1973, pp. 271 - 284, Microcard Editions Books, Washington, D. C. , 1974 A Farewell to Arms The overall tone of the book is much different than that of The Sun Also Rises. The characters in the book are propelled by outside forces, in this case WWI, where the characters in SAR seemed to have no direction.
Fredericks actions are determined by his position until he deserts the army. Floating down the river with barely a hold on a piece of wood his life, he abandons everything except Catherine and lets the river take him to a new life that becomes increasing difficult to understand. The escape to Switzerland seemed too perfect for a book that set a tone of ugliness in the world that was only dotted with pure love like Henrys and Cats and I knew the story couldnt end with bliss in the slopes of Montreux. In a world where the abstracts of glory, honor, and sacrifice meant little to Frederick, his physical association with Catherine was the only thing he had and it was taken away from him long before she died. The love that Frederick and Catherine had for each other was more than could be explained in words and Frederick makes it known that words are not really effective at describing the flesh and blood details. Their love during an ugly war was not to be recreated or modeled even as much as through a baby conceived by their love.
The baby could not be born alive because their love was beautiful yet doomed so that nothing could come out of it. Hemingway's language is effective in leaving much to the readers interpretation and allowing a different image to form in each readers mind. The simple sentences and incomplete descriptions frees your imagination and inspires each person to develop their own bitter love story. A Farewell to Arms A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, is a typical love story.
A Romeo and his Juliet placed against the odds. In this novel, Romeo is Frederick Henry and Juliet is Catherine Barkley. Their love affair must survive the obstacles of World War I. The background of war-torn Italy adds to the tragedy of the love story. The war affects the emotions and values of each character. The love between Catherine and Frederick must outlast long separations, life-threatening war-time situations, and the uncertainty of each others whereabouts or condition.
This novel is a beautiful love story of two people who need each other in a period of upheaval. Frederick Henry is an American who serves as a lieutenant in the Italian army to a group of ambulance drivers. Hemingway portrays Frederick as a lost man searching for order and value in his life. Frederick disagrees with the war he is fighting.
It is too chaotic and immoral for him to rationalize its cause. He fights anyway, because the army puts some form of discipline in his life. At the start of the novel, Frederick drinks and travels from one house of prostitution to another and yet he is discontent because his life is very unsettled. He befriends a priest because he admires the fact that the priest lives his life by a set of values that give him an orderly lifestyle. Further into the novel, Frederick becomes involved with Catherine Barkley. He slowly falls in love with her and, in his love for her, he finds commitment.
Their relationship brings some order and value to his life. Compared to this new form of order in his life, Frederick sees the losing Italian army as total chaos and disorder where he had previously seen discipline and control. He can no longer remain a part of something that is so disorderly and so, he deserts the Italian army. Fredericks desertion from the Italian army is the turning point of the novel. This is the significance of the title, A Farewell to Arms. When Frederick puts aside his involvement in the war, he realizes that Catherine is the order and value in his life and that he does not need anything else to give meaning to his life.
At the conclusion of this novel, Frederick realizes that he cannot base his life on another person or thing because, ultimately, they will leave or disappoint him. He realizes that the order and values necessary to face the world must come from within himself. Catherine Barkley is an English volunteer nurse who serves in Italy. She is considered very experienced when it comes to love and loss since she has already been confronted with the death of a loved one when her fiance was killed earlier in the war. The reader is not as well acquainted with Catherines inner thoughts and feelings as we are with those of Frederick. The story is told through Fredericks eyes and the reader only meets Catherine through the dialogue between her and Frederick or through his personal interpretations of her actions.
Catherine already possesses the knowledge that her own life cannot be dependent on another. She learned this lesson through the death of her fiance. Her love for Frederick is what her life revolves around, yet she knows not to rely on him to be the order in her life. Had she been dependent on Frederick for the order in her life, she would not have been able to allow him to participate in the war for fear of losing her own stability with his death. The theme that Hemingway emphasizes throughout the novel is the search for order in a chaotic world. Hemingway conveys this through Fredericks own personal search during the chaos of World War I.
Catherine has found strength within herself to lead her through life. This is what Frederick must come to realize. Through his involvement with Catherine, Frederick slowly finds his own inner strength. Fredericks affair with Catherine prompts him to leave his wild life of prostitutes and drink. He becomes aware of an element of stability in their affair and realizes that the war that he was involved in was too chaotic, so he deserts the army. He and Catherine make a life for themselves totally isolated from everything and everyone else.
Frederick believes that his life is now completely in order and that his values are in perspective, yet he still seems discontented. He continuously has to convince himself that he has a fine life. He has not yet reached Catherines level that enables her to be perfectly happy in their love and yet not dependent on it for all comfort and support. Frederick still has to find that within himself. Until the conclusion of the novel, Frederick still relies on Catherine as the source of order in his life.
With the end of their affair when Catherine dies giving birth to their stillborn love-child, Frederick realizes that he cannot depend on any one person, such as Catherine, or any thing, such as religion, war, or frivolity, for order and discipline. Hemingway describes Fredericks enlightenment best in the final paragraph of the novel when Frederick sees Catherines corpse for the first and last time. Fredericks reaction was that it was like saying good-by to a statue. Frederick realizes that Catherine was only a symbol of the order and strength in his life. Strength to face life must come from within him and only he will be able to get himself through his own life. He will have to learn to depend on himself.
Frederick realizes this and is able to get on with his life on his own. After a while [he] went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain. He did not mourn or feel like his own life had ended with her death, rather he was able to continue on with his newfound inner strength and face his world alone. This novel succeeds in getting Hemingway's message across. Fredericks realization causes the reader to reflect on his / her own life and on what institutions they depend on in their own lives. I enjoyed this novel because I learned along with Frederick that I must face my life on my own.
The strength to face my problems cannot come from any other source because no other source can ever be as permanent as the strength that I can find within myself. Ernest Hemingway s classic novel, A Farewell to Arms, is one of the greatest love and war stories of all time. The success and authenticity of this tale is a direct result of Hemingway s World War I involvement. The main character, Frederick Henry, encounters many of the same things as did Hemingway and creates a parallel between the author and character. Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, July 21, 1899. He was a very handsome, athletic, adventurous young man.
When the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, Hemingway tried to enlist in the army. He was rejected due to an eye injury that he sustained during his high school football career. Hemingway s bold, daring, personality and determination landed him a job as a Second Lieutenant ambulance driver of the American Red Cross during World War I. Hemingway arrived in Milan April of 1918. On his first day, he and his fellow drivers were rudely awaken to the total devastation of the war when they had to remove the parts of dead or severely injured victims of a munition factory explosion. This, as well as later experiences in Fossalta, Italy, makes for a very believable novel.
Frederick Henry was, like Hemingway, an American lieutenant who drove ambulances in Italy during World War I. He was badly injured by a mortar shell explosion and was taken to a hospital in Milan where he fell madly in love with an English nurse. The young nurse, Catherine Barkley, and he go on to have an almost fairy-tale type of relationship. Hemingway s World War I experience varies only slightly from that of Frederick Henry.
One night while stationed in Fossalta, Hemingway rode his bicycle, while dodging the Austrian s crossfire, to bring chocolate and cigarettes to his friends in a nearby trench. Soon after he arrived at the trench, the Austrian s launched a five-gallon canister filled with scrap metal. Many of the Italians in the trench were badly injured. While trying to rescue one of the victims, a machine gun shot tore through Hemingway s leg. He fell, but he managed to get back up, and hobble with the other man to safety. The two were taken to a shed filled with dying or already dead people.
About two hours later Hemingway was, like Frederick Henry, transported to an emergency medical post in Milan for his leg wound. It was there that Hemingway fell in love with an American nurse from Washington, D. C. Her name was Sister Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky. She grew fond of young Hemingway, but was discouraged that she was thirty years old and he was only twenty. Nothing ever really became of their mutual attraction.
Perhaps Hemingway tried to relive and recreate his love through Catherine and Frederick. It is obvious that Hemingway created Frederick Henry s character and experiences from his own. Because he endured the very things he writes about the reader is captivated by his detailed, believable story. Hemingway almost was and created one of the greatest love and war stories of all time. A Farewell to Arms [If The Sun Also Rises was one of the best books I have ever read, then A Farewell to Arms is Truth. I simply cannot believe that these books existed so long without my knowledge of how grand they are.
I consider myself to read constantly, more than almost anyone I know, literature and simple, and here in less than a month I read two books that are undoubtedly among the best I have encountered. How many other good books exist that I have yet to read? Am I really a reader? Will I ever finish them all? What will I do if I tire of reading? ] When I finished FTA I was of course stunned by the death of Catherine and the baby and Henrys sudden solitude. What happens now?
I felt, as I so often do when I finish a book that I want to go on forever. This is infinitely more difficult with a book that has no conclusion, and FTA leaves a reader not only emotionally exhausted but also just as alone as Henry and with nowhere to go. The entire work was aware of where it was going and what was going to happen next, and then to stop the way it did was unfair. Now, Ive read enough essays while deciding which would be the topic for my class presentation that I know many people see that the unfairness of life and the insignificance of our free will are apparently the most important themes in the book, but I dont agree. I also dont agree that it is a war story or a love story.
Exactly what it is, though, is not clear to me. Cant art exist without being anything? There isnt always an explanation for everything. War and love are obviously important themes in the book, and the relationship between the two is explored by Hemingway and, somewhat, by Henry. In the first two Books we are in the war and the war is overwhelming. In the last two Books we are in love.
And, just as the first two Books are peppered with love in the time of war, the last two Books are tinged with war in the time of love. The third Book is the bridge between the two stories and it is not surprising that it centers on the escape. It is during the escape that Henry resolves that he is through with the war (a war in which he really has no place) and decides that all he wants is to be with Catherine. Until the third Book Henry doesnt seem to be agonizingly concerned with matters of right or wrong in the war and it seems, in fact, separate from him. Even when he is injured it doesnt appear that he is really a part of the war which surrounds him. He maintains a distance from it and this distance isnt really closed until Arms is killed by his own army, he discovers that Bonello is only staying with him out of respect, and he is almost killed as a spy.
After this he resolves to desert the army and be reunited with his love, Catherine. Henry is no dummy and he could easily tell that everything was not all correct with Cat, which leads to the question of his love for her. You must admit that Cat is a bidwell flaky when they first meet. She loses that persona soon enough, although I couldnt help but distrust her integrity until somewhere in the middle of the fourth Book. It is also difficult to believe wholeheartedly in his love for her until much later in their relationship, and it leaves me wondering if he is leaving his involvement in the war because of his unfailing love for Cat or if Cat and any feelings he has for her are just excuses to escape the insanity of the war he experiences in the third Book. When he is with Catherine, they are in another place, untouched by the war, both symbolically (in the tent of her hair) and literally (in Switzerland). [It seems like I dont ever say anything earth-shattering, or even critical, in these response papers, and Im not sure if Im supposed to do that.
The line, The war seemed as far away as the football games of some one elses college, is beautiful. ] A Farewell to Arms Essay Many novels use contrast images of the land or surroundings to contribute to the central meaning of the work. In Ernest Hemingway s A Farewell to Arms the foil images of Italy and Switzerland help shape the theme of the book which is the cruelty of war and what it does to people. The descriptions of the two countries, Italy and Switzerland, are greatly different and represent two types of places. On one hand, Italy is a site of cruelty and death. Here is where all of the war and fighting takes place throughout the novel. The front and plains in Italy are described to be where all the death and disaster happen to the armies and the volunteers.
Henry and the other men even were wounded with not even being in battle. They were just eating some cheese and drinking some wine when they were bombed. Here many of the people lost hope and moral because of the death surrounding them. Rinaldi even told Henry that this war is killing me, I am very depressed by it.
A major even told Henry It has been bad. You couldn t believe how bad it s been. I ve often thought you (Henry) were lucky to be hit when you were. This shows how death and the war affected everyone making them dejected and downhearted. It got so bad Henry even decided to escape from the Italian army and leave the front to escape to Switzerland. On the other hand, Switzerland is a place of peace and hope because no fighting took place here.
Switzerland was neutral during the war so it was a perfect place to escape the cruelty of war. In this land of mountains is where the Priest s homeland was. The Priest symbolized morals and goodness, so that is why it s a wonderful place for people to regain hope and confidence of survival. This is a good reason why Catherine and Henry decided to start their new life in the comfort of Switzerland. They knew there that them and the baby would be safe from the disasters related to the war.
These contrast descriptions of the two countries and their landforms form one of the themes of the novel. The descriptions of the plains and the front in Italy demonstrate how cruel a war can be and how it affects all the people around it. War breaks people down to become hopeless and depressed. While the descriptions of the mountains in Switzerland present a peaceful place to escape to harshness of war and regain an optimistic view of life. Hemingway used contrasting images of the surrounding lands to contribute one of the main themes of the novel. Italy symbolized death, disaster, and the brutality of a war, while Switzerland represented peace, hope, and the comfort of safety from war.
These foiling contrasts demonstrate how cruel a war can become.
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