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. Wouldn't it be just lovely if war were really like that?
It's not. It's war. Ernest Hemingway's, A Farewell to Arms is a book about war. As a reader, when I start reading a book about death, blood, guts, and destruction, I typically will not expect a Cinderella "Happily Ever After," "aw, isn't that sweet?" ending. But, isn't it a love story? Well, yes, it's love in war. Let us not forget the circumstances that surround and confine this love. Is the tragic ending of the novel thus valid? Well, yes- it is war, after all. Few good things result. Am I pro-ending? Well, I'm certainly not rejoicing over the death of two innocent lives, nor do I think Mr. Henry does either. There is a difference though between recognizing the possible realism of the story, including how the ending fits into it, and personally liking the occurrences within- I for one have no strengthened desire to pack my bags and head off to war.
Pain and agony, blood and guts, bodies strewn over fields of mud are all immediate turn-offs for me. But, besides the obvious, my biggest issue with the war is that it causes the characters to create their own fragile wor...
... middle of paper ...
...ou'll never get married...You'll die then. Fight or Die. That's what people do. They don't marry.' " (108).
Indeed, it's war. They don't get married. She does get pregnant. She does die, as did many young women in such times and circumstances, in childbirth. Is this unreasonable? Of course not. Is it sad? Very much so. Does the one who loved her, however superficially it may have been, rejoice over her death? No. He prays for her survival, and he grieves. He didn't want to see his buddies die on the battlefield, he didn't want to see Rinaldi die from a sexually transmitted disease, and he certainly didn't want to see the death of his so-called wife and newborn child. War brings pain. Even through the pretending, no one can truly escape the agony.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1929.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- “You are all a lost generation” -Gertrude Stein This quotation’s importance on author Earnest Hemmingway is reflected in his modern Romeo and Juliet novel entitled A Farewell to Arms. The recurring tone of the novel suggests that the only reality is the harsh truth which is anything but romantic and proves that in the end, all is futile. This generation in which Stein spoke of to Hemingway is the generation of romantic war times. This idea is symbolized in the character Catherine Barkley’s vision of her wartime love where she states “ ‘ I remember having this silly idea he might come to the hospital where I was.... [tags: essays research papers]
1436 words (4.1 pages)
- 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)
- In Book II of A Farewell to Arms, written by Ernest Hemingway, the narrator and main protagonist, Frederic Henry, traveled to Milan to recover from his injury from a battle in World War I. Frederic Henry is a dynamic character who, in Milan, builds his relations with his lover, Catherine Barkley. Also, Henry encounters many people who may or may not exhibit the traits of a “Hemingway Hero”, a man for whom it is a point of honor to suffer with grace and dignity, and who, sensing that defeat is inevitable, plays “the game” (of life) well.... [tags: Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- The Progression of Love in A Farewell to Arms There are two major themes in A Farewell to Arms that Hemingway clearly conveys: war and love. The war theme is obvious because the book is set during the World War. The theme of love is less obvious, it begins faintly because of the uncertainty between Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley. Neither desire love or commitment to anyone, but act upon their desires of passion. As the story progresses, so does their love. The strength of their love is enforced by various understandings and agreements.... [tags: Farewell Arms Essays]
1314 words (3.8 pages)
- True Love in A Farewell to Arms At first look, Catherine Barkley, the woman from Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, appears to be an example of a dream girl. She emerges as a mindless character who asks nothing of her man and exists only to satisfy his needs. Therefore, it has been propounded that Catherine's character is demeaning to women. By analyzing the actions of only one of the characters, however, the special relationship that exists between Frederic and Catherine is overlooked. If Catherine is Hemingway's manner of demeaning women then one must also examine the manner in which Frederic is described, for he too is very dependent and dedicated to Catherine as she is to him.... [tags: Farewell Arms Essays]
1005 words (2.9 pages)
- The Defeat of Love in A Farewell to Arms The story begins in Gorizia, Italy, the headquarters of Frederick's troop, during World War I. The narrator is Frederick Henry, which is unclear at first. Frederick is an American volunteer in the Ambulance Corps, and a second lieutenant in the Italian Army. A young priest stays with the troop. Everyone but Frederick is Roman Catholic, but he is the only one who respects him. Frederick has a leave and is deciding where to go. The priest suggests going to Abruzzi.... [tags: Farewell Arms Essays]
575 words (1.6 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)
- 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)
- Imagery in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
- Finding Truth in Lies in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
- True Love in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
- A Farewell to Arms Essay: Inevitability of Death Revealed
- Stream of Consciousness in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
- Religion in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms