A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Essay

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Essay

Length: 1859 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Farewell to Arms is a novel by Ernest Hemingway about an American ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, and the nurse, Catherine Barkley, with whom he falls in love. The story is narrated by his driver, named Frederic Henry. Whether or not this book is truly an anti-war novel is debatable, but it well depicts the effects an ongoing war has on soldiers and how the men try to numb this pain. Henry's close friend at the front, Rinaldi, forgets the war with the help of sex and seduction, the priest takes comfort in God, the Captain has humor and jokes about the priest, and almost all drink profusely, taking wine and brandy like water. But the most important and notable attempt to escape from the pain of war is Henry and Catherine's: they hide from the real world in their imaginary tales of love, then become buried in obsession with each other, but, eventually, they truly love one another.
Mr. Henry meets Ms. Barkley (very appropriately) in the springtime. Rinaldi originally was planning on having a relationship with the English nurse, but forfeited her to Henry when he saw their mutual interest. When Catherine and Henry first met, she was carrying a rattan stick, and Henry asks about it. Catherine explains: "‘It belonged to a boy who was killed last year'... ‘He was a very nice boy. He was going to marry me and he was killed in the Somme.'" (Hemingway, 18) The fact that she is carrying around one of her fiancee's possessions shows that she is still mourning his death. Catherine, wanting escape from the grief of her fiancee‘s death, and Henry, wanting to forget about the war, begin their relationship. Since their relationship was born of a need for entertainment rather than real mutual interest, it started off as...


... middle of paper ...


...the end the world kills you. Catherine gets a hemorrhage, and Henry pleads with God not to let her die. Before she does, she tells Henry that she wants him to have other girls. Even while dying she was thinking about Henry's happiness, a sure sign of honest love. Catherine dies, and Henry walks to his hotel alone, in the rain.
Henry and Catherine both tried to hide from the pain of reality in each other. Their relationship started as a meaningless game, but as their need for companionship grew they became obsessed with each other and their love. Finally, when the fantasies and dreams were not enough, they literally ran away from the war together. In the end, even though their love started as a lie, it is obvious that they both held a true love for each other.

Works Cited

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms . New York: Scribner Classics, 1997. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway Essay

- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway describes the life of a young American ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I, Lieutenant Frederic Henry. Henry doesn’t pay much attention to the war; instead he focuses on sex and alcohol. Spending many nights in the bawdy houses with his fellow officers left Frederic wanted something more exclusive. He finds this in Catherine Barkley. Catherine is a little hesitant at the start but as time passes she becomes more relaxed and available for Frederic....   [tags: A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway]

Powerful Essays
1285 words (3.7 pages)

A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway Essay example

- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway displays the distraction from pain that love can provide. The characters Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley use their romance to escape from the agony that war has brought to them. Throughout the novel, the two become isolated from the outside world as their love grows. The theme of love providing a temporary escape from loss is prominent in A Farewell to Arms. However, the distraction of love may bring Catherine and Henry pleasure, but their happiness cannot last....   [tags: Love, Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms]

Powerful Essays
1510 words (4.3 pages)

A Farewell Of Arms, By Ernest Hemingway Essay

- In the novel A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway expresses love and relationships in many forms. The role of love moves the plot forward in the novel. The first example of love is shown when Henry dreams of Catherine in his sleep and talks aloud about her, “ You’re so lovely and sweet. You wouldn’t go away in the night, would you. Of course I wouldn’t go away. I’m always here. I come whenever you want me.” (Hemingway, 197- 198). When Henry is dreaming about Catherine it shows that he misses her when he is away fighting in the war....   [tags: Marriage, Love, Ernest Hemingway]

Powerful Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Ernest Hemingway and A Farewell To Arms

- Ernest Hemingway and A Farewell To Arms      "We did not do the things we wanted to do; we never did such things" (Hemingway 13). This single sentence voiced early in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms by the American protagonist, Lieutenant Frederic Henry, sums up the rather pessimistic and drab tone and mood presented in Hemingway's works, particularly this novel, which also reflects the pessimistic and judgmental mind housed within the author. Regardless of the unhappy circumstances and heart-breaking situations which prevail throughout the novel, A Farewell To Arms certainly deserves a place in a listing of works of high literary merit....   [tags: Farewell Arms Essays]

Powerful Essays
3202 words (9.1 pages)

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Essay

- A Farewell to Arms is a novel by Ernest Hemingway about an American ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, and the nurse, Catherine Barkley, with whom he falls in love. The story is narrated by his driver, named Frederic Henry. Whether or not this book is truly an anti-war novel is debatable, but it well depicts the effects an ongoing war has on soldiers and how the men try to numb this pain. Henry's close friend at the front, Rinaldi, forgets the war with the help of sex and seduction, the priest takes comfort in God, the Captain has humor and jokes about the priest, and almost all drink profusely, taking wine and brandy like water....   [tags: Farewell Arms Hemingway]

Powerful Essays
1859 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Religion in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms

- The Role of Religion in A Farewell to Arms       Religion played a significant role in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. The attitudes that the character had towards the war and life were closely associated with their views on religion. Due to extreme circumstances of war, moral standards were obscure for the characters. Almost everything related to the war violated the normal code of morality, which led many to feel disenchanted. Those who viewed the war as senseless had no faith in God or religion....   [tags: Hemingway A Farewell to Arms]

Powerful Essays
1984 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

- I have read the book ”A Farewell to Arms” written by Ernest Hemingway in 1929. Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 in Illinois, USA. When he was young the First World War broke out and he decided to join the Italian army as an ambulance driver. After the war he worked as a correspondent in Europe. As a correspondent he visited France, Spain and Greece, and among other things reported from the Spanish Civil War. He stayed in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to his work as a journalist he began writing books....   [tags: Hemingway Farewell Arms Book Report]

Free Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Imagery in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms

- Imagery in A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway        Imagery placed strategically through the novel A Farewell to Arms shows how well Ernest Hemingway is able to prepare the reader for events to come. Catherine Barkley, the English nurse who falls in love with Fredric Henry, an American in the Italian army, states, "I'm afraid of the rain" (125), as they stay in Milan. She goes on to explain "I'm afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it. ... And sometimes I see you dead in it" (126)....   [tags: A Farewell to Arms]

Powerful Essays
3707 words (10.6 pages)

Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms Essay

- The setting of A Farewell to Arms is Italy, where they were fighting Austria, during World War I. The story is about Frederick Henry, an American, who served as a lieutenant in the Italian army to a group of ambulance drivers. At the start of the novel, Frederick was a drunk who traveled from one house of prostitution to the next. Yet he was discontent with his unsettled lifestyle. Frederick meets Catherine Barkley an English volunteer nurse, who serves in Italy, at a near by hospital. In the first few chapters, Frederick’s life is seeing Miss Barkley, drinking with the others at his barracks, and driving the ambulance....   [tags: A Farewell to Arms Essays]

Powerful Essays
1772 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms as an Anti-War Novel

- A Farewell to Arms as an Anti-War Novel There are indications in each of the novel’s five books that Ernest Hemingway meant A Farewell to Arms to be a testament against war. World War One was a cruel war with no winners; ”War is not won by victory” (47). Lieutenant Frederic Henry, the book’s hero and narrator, experiences the disillusionment, the hopelessness and the disaster of the war. But Henry also experiences a passionate love; a discrepancy that ironically further describes the meaninglessness and the frustration felt by the soldiers and the citizens....   [tags: Hemingway A Farewell to Arms]

Powerful Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)