A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Farewell to Arms tells the story of an American teenager, Frederick Henry who met Catherine Barkley, a British nurse, while volunteering as an ambulance driver in northern Italy during World War I. Henry was wounded by a shell while on duty at the front and was taken to a Milan hospital. Due to the shortage of nurses, Catherine also came to Milan; the two meet again. This time, Henry found himself deeply in love with Miss Barkley. During the medical treatment in Milan, the two were in love and had a good time. During this time, Catherine became pregnant. When Henry returned to the front from his wounds, he found the Italian army demoralized, full of defeat and despair. German attack finally crushed the Italian resistance.

The soldiers were very excited and anti-war enthusiasm was high.In front of a bridge, the Italian front army began to arrest officers who were alleged to have deserted their posts. Henry escaped execution by jumping into the river while others were interrogated. He finally realized that his duty as a soldier had been washed away with the river. At this time, he has only one purpose: to find Catherine, and then the two would escape the bitter sea of war. Henry travels to Milan and finds that Catherine has gone to a resort town on the frontier. When Henry found Catherine, they were happily together again. However, they were chased by the Italian police and had to flee to Switzerland. Catherine died in childbirth, leaving Henry alone in exile.

Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms successfully created the war-torn hero Henry as a strong, brave, confused, and desperate hero. Through Henry’s disillusionment from hope to disappointment and then to despair, Hemingway profoundly revealed to people the great destruction and injury caused by war to society and humanity. He called on people to have a thorough reflection and awakening to the war, to persist in opposing it as a major and far-reaching cause until one day all mankind can finally say “farewell” to weapons.

-Coreen C.

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