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