A Farewell To Arms

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A Farewell To Arms

Experiences can distort the mind.

A Farewell to ArmsBy:Ernest Hemingway

Key Events• Frederic Henry meets Catherine Barkely • Henry gets wounded by a mortar shell on the front lines and recieves care at an American Hospital• Catherine tells Henry about her pregnancy• Henry and Catherine leave Italy to escape the war• Catherine and Henry's newborn child die Henry's experiences throughout the book cause his attitude toward the world to be negatively changed. The war and the death of his child have the biggest impact on Henry as he slowly begins to become a bitter person.

This novel is set in Italy during World War I. As an ally in World War I, Italy fought agaisnt the axis powers, mainly Austria and Germany, in order to help win the war. The story is based on the front lines so, therefore the book depicts fighting and also the mindset of the soldiers who were fighting in the war. Frederic Henry gets a first hand experience of war events as a front line ambluance driver and during his time in Italy falls in love with an English nurse named Catherine Barkely.

The theme of this novel is the reality of war. Because Henry is a ambulance driver, he witnesses the pain and suffering of many soldiers during the war. Henry experiences the deaths of his crew members when the mortar shell hits them and he himself loses a leg. He also fortunately escapes from the battle police that were murdering his crew for insubordination. The other key theme of this story is love and pain. Henry's relationship with Catherine Barkely is shaped by multiple events including the war, injury and pregnancy that ultimately lead to Catherine's tragic death. Henry is pained when they are not together but, when she dies he builds up an angry toward the dead child and his mood toward the world changes dramatically. " 'Aren't you proud of your son?' the nurse asked. They were washing him and wrapping him in something. I saw the little dark face and dark hand, but I did not see him move or hear him cry. The doctor was doing something to him again. He looked upset. 'No', I said. 'He nearly killed his mother.' "(pg.325)




CareerFrederic Henry works in an ambulance crew in Italy during World War l on the front lines. He transports the wounded soldiers on the battlefield to safety. Because war results in many deaths, Henry comes in contact with many critical wounded people. He learns, through his endeavors, that although war is a reality, it is painful and tragic.Impact on those around himHenry falls in love with Catherine Barkely. She becomes pregnant while he is out performing his war duties. Henry and Catherine then move to Switzerland to leave the front lines of the war. They lead a happy life until she dies after a failed child birth. Henry's character through much of the story is optimistic for his future with Catherine. He displays his optimism when he speaks with the priest and many of the people he encounters in during this book. However, after Catherine's death he becomes bitter and angry.Achievements For Henry's bravery and actions during the mortar explsion he recieves a medal. Also, Henry shows a leadership role when he tries to guide his crew to safety. However, his main achievement is his determination. He moves to Switzerland to avoid the war so he can have a relationship with Catherine and in his mind hopefully get married.


Foreshadowing"I had no feeling for him. He did not seem to have anything to do with me. I felt no feeling of fatherhood"(Pg.325).Hemmingway insinuates that the reason why Henry does not connect with his child is because his child was not alive. Symbolism"While Catherine was there I went up to a beer place and drank dark Munich beer and read the papers"(Pg.292).Throughout the story the word papers has two different meanings. In this context, Henry is refering to papers as newspapers which he reads to connect to the world especially his home. The other meaning of papers in this book is identification, which during war time are key in organization of rank and crew. The purpose of Hemmingway's use of the identification papers is to define the characters by what it says on their papers but, also to show how Henry is connected to his home.


Text to TextIn the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main character Nick Caraway becomes bitter toward the New York style of life in much the same reason Henry becomes bitter toward the world. They both lost someone close to them. After Catherine's death, the nurses inform Henry that he can not be in the room but Henry angrily tells them " 'You get out,' I said. 'The other one too.' "

Text to MediaThe film In Love and War was based on Ernest Hemmingway's life and relationship with Agnus von Kurowski. Like A Farewell to Arms, this movie depicts what it is like to fall in love during war and portrays Hemingways view on love in war.


Text to SelfI can relate to Henry,at the beginning, of the book through a mental state because I believe that resilience and determination are key character traits. Henry shows his these traits by saying " 'Let's get married now,' I said"(293). He constantly wants to be married to Catherine and never loses sight that one day she will marry him.

Text to WorldThis book is based on a time where war was engulfing the world. However, war still plagues the world today. Although necessary, war is a burden to society and can cause a lot of pain in the lives of people. This is evident in the world today but, also in A Farewell to Arms.


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