A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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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. Ernest Hemingway’s first literary work, “Three Stories and Ten Poems”, came out in 1923. The breakthrough did not come until three years later with “The Sun Also Rises”. Ernest Hemingway is considered as one of the greatest modern writers and got the Nobel Prize in litterature in 1954. Hemingway travelled a lot and has lived all around the world, for instance in Paris, in Florida and on Cuba. He devoted himself a great deal to hunting and fishing, and also enyojed bullfighting. Food and drink were other things that he appreciated in life. His extensive consumption of alcohol probably was the cause of the mental disturbances (like paranoia and depression) which hit him when he got older. In 1961 he shot himself in the head with a rifle.

This book is about an american named Frederic Henry. He has joined the Italian army and serves as an ambulance driver. His roommate and best friend, Rinaldi, is fond of a British nurse, Catherine Barkley, who works at a nearby British hospital. Henry visits the hospital with Rinaldi and finds Catherine very attractive. Rinaldi notices the attraction between them and leaves them alone. At first Henry just wants a physical relationship with Catherine. She realises it and indirectly explains that she does not approve of it. She has lost her husband during the war and are afraid of being abandoned once again. Nevertheless Henry manages to convince Catherine that he loves her.

An approaching offensive dispatches Frederic Henry back to the front. While he is sitting with his men in a dugout eating, a trench mortar shell suddenly explodes and blasts open the shelter. Many men are killed and Henry’s both legs are severly wounded. At first he is taken to a field hospital where he meets Rinaldi. A few days later he is transfered to an american hospital in Milan.
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