Essay PreviewMore ↓
How do we know to truly appreciate something if we don't know that it will come to an end? Can Fredrick Henry appreciate his own life and his relationship with Catherine Barkley without the present reality of death? The joy of all of what Catherine and life represented would be lost if death was not peering from around the corner like it does so much in the constant foreshadowing in this novel. Wallace Stevens, a poet, knew the importance of appreciating physical things because he knew that they would not be there forever, "Death is the mother of beauty, hence from her, / Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams / And our desires". Ernest Hemingway knew this as well, and we see that expressed in the loss that Fredrick endures. In the first section of the book he is not affected by the war and seems rather disconnected from the reality that is the war. The story is written in first person narration and this brings us as the audience closer to the action of the story and lets us be emotionally connected or disconnected like Fredrick as well. We are Fredrick Henry: "You do not know how long you are in a river when the current moves swiftly" (116). It isn't until Fredrick is injured that he begins to realize his involvement in the war and its potential to affect him. The naiveté about the war is explicit when Fredrick talks to Catherine about not being killed by the war: "Not in this war.
How to Cite this Page
"A Farewell To Arms." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Apr 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway is a novel set in Italy during World War I. It tells the story of its protagonist, an ambulance driver named Frederic Henry (most often referred to as simply Henry), and his love for a nurse named Catherine Barkley during a time in which Henry has sought to escape from the war around him. A Farewell to Arms, which is notable for its melancholy plot, strongly resembles some aspects of Hemingway’s own life; he committed suicide after a lifelong case of depression, and he too experienced the tragedies of war.... [tags: A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway]
1449 words (4.1 pages)
- 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]
1285 words (3.7 pages)
- 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]
1510 words (4.3 pages)
- 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]
3707 words (10.6 pages)
- 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]
3202 words (9.1 pages)
- Love and Agony in A Farewell to Arms The vigorous, strapping youth boldly advances into war, rifle in hand, picture of mom in his pocket- hair neatly combed, clean socks. Eagerly he arrives on the sunny front and fights off the enemy with valor, saving whole troops of injured soldiers as he throws them over his shoulders and prances upon the grassy lawn to safety. Between various sequential medal-awarding ceremonies, he meets a radiant young nurse tending the blessed wounded he saved. They fall in love, get married, produce beautiful war babies, and everyone returns home happily.... [tags: Farewell Arms Essays]
946 words (2.7 pages)
- 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]
1859 words (5.3 pages)
- 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]
1772 words (5.1 pages)
- The Italian front of World War I, while remembered as less devastating than the blood bath in France, reflected every deplorable aspect of war. The effects were far reaching; nearly 600,000 Italian soldiers lost their lives, and more than a million were wounded. Among both the enlisted and civilians, no person escaped the poisonous touch of the war. Such was the case with Frederick Henry, an American architecture student in Rome at the time the war began. When he joined ranks as an Italian Lieutenant, Frederick never anticipated the misery that would accompany military life.... [tags: A Farewell to Arms Essays]
1557 words (4.4 pages)
- 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]
1517 words (4.3 pages)
Fredrick Henry begins the book alone; not alone meaning no one around, but without true companionship. As the novel develops he has friends of course, but not friends that you see him sharing a genuine love for. There is an absence of family as well, he doesn't have a family to be an example of family hood, friendship, how to provide, or anything; he speaks of being in touch with them but expresses it as an inconvenience to continue. His disillusionment of the war is not limited to himself, but also within other soldiers like the one in chapter seven who suggests a way to opt out of fighting. The relationships around him serve as an influence on his own outlook. Fortunately, Fredrick finds a companion in Rinaldi, who is a humanist that can be contrasted with the values of the priest. His relationship with Fredrick is warm, easy, and they express the same interests in beer and whores. They also share the same fear of an encounter with the opposite sex; Rinaldi and Fredrick have more then one drink of grappa before going to meet Catherine Barkley and her friend, Helen Ferguson. His relationship also changes with Rinaldi after he is injured, while Rinaldi is still able to be mobile and drink and find whores, Fredrick is in the hospital yearning for the one relationship that he has with Catherine, which Rinaldi warmly accepts and helps with by telling Catherine where Fredrick is. When Fredrick first begins his affair with Catherine he relates it to playing a game: "I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge," (30). He tells us that his declaration for his love for Catherine is a lie but after the traumatic events in which he is removed from the action of the war he reunites with Catherine in Milan and declares his love for her and this time he means it. His maturity has grown from boy to man and his life has transformed from being lost without anyone to a life that someone cares for him and he cares back.
Throughout the book religion is always present, but it's a slight presence with more of an emphasis on love and faith. Fredrick Henry befriends a priest, the priest could be a true companion to Fredrick because that's what priests do, but there is also a genuine sense of respect for the friendship especially when Fredrick choose not to make fun of him like the other's in his unit do. Fredrick also possibly sees that the priest stands for something and doesn't want to jeopardize this connection. When Fredrick returned from his leave he knew he should have visited the priest in his home town of Abruzzi, instead he spent his free time going to bars and whorehouses. Fredrick's relation to the war and the unpleasantness of the world are disconnected through his activities with to much alcohol and unemotional sex. Some might deal with these unpleasant things by finding faith in God. Although he is respectful to religion, he is spiritually lost when we meet him: He admits that he does not love God but is afraid of him: " I am afraid of Him in the night sometimes' " and the priest reassures him that one day he will love God and be happy (72). We do see Fredrick Henry mature greatly in the novel, as his relationship with Catherine grows we see that he can truly love. Their love seems to take the place or substitute for any religion though and in the time of his deepest desperation is when he truly seeks God and wants his help. In the American hospital Fredrick says, "I was clean inside and out and waiting for the doctor" as he looks out over the rooftops at the sunlit cathedral. His character seems to change immensely when he spends his entire summer with Catherine; love has made him less insecure: he doesn't pick fights anymore like the potential of one with the men on the train. Fredrick tells Count Greffi that what he values most is someone he loves and that he "might become very devout" (263). Catherine rejected organized faith, "You're my religion,' " and yet she isn't a doubter of faith. She lived by a definite value system, and what she valued was love (116). When the baby is born and Fredrick regrets that the baby is not baptized he still admits that he is agnostic as does Catherine when she is admitted to the hospital. Fredrick's view is there is no point in believing in God in a world that kills the people that we love, but as anyone would, he tries bargaining with God in his anxiety at Catherine's looming death. You can argue that Catherine and Fredrick make a religion out of their love, but their love does not save them in the end, a true religion is never established, but love did help shape Fredrick into being a more mature human being and he will always have that to grow from.
The doom was destined to come through playful conversation that is clearly foreshadowing:
" Hell," I said, I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?'
Yes. I want to ruin you.'
Good,' I said that's what I want too' " (305).
When Fredrick walks out of the hospital at the end of the novel, he is a different man than he was in the beginning. Ruined? Not entirely but changed. He has matured to a level that any woman would admire and now understands the world and his place in it. Sadly in the reality of it all, again he is alone, with some sense of lost ness, developed from his relationships, and without Catherine, he has lost his religion. This ending is so completely moving, and Hemingway knew how to invoke the spirits of his readers, thus my justification.