Farewell To Arms By Hemingway

One of the best novels of Ernest Hemingway is A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway
takes much of his life story line to his novel. A Farewell to Arms is the
typical classic story that can refer to Romeo and his Juliet placed against the
odds. In this novel, Romeo is Frederick Henry and Juliet is Catherine Barkley.

Their love affair must survive the barrier of World War I. The background of
war-torn Italy adds to the tragedy of the love story. The story starts when
Frederick Henry is serving in the Italian Army. He meets his love in the
hospital after he gets injured from the mortar attack. A Farewell to Arms is one
of the best American novels because of the symbolism, the exciting plot and the
characteristic of the main character, Lieutenant Henry. The symbolism in A
Farewell to Arms is very much apparent. For example, In the book, Twentieth
Century Interpretations of A Farewell to Arms, Malcolm Cowley focuses on the
symbolism of rain. He sees rain a frequent occurrence in the book, as
symbolizing disaster (Malcolm, 54-55). He points out that, at the beginning of A
Farewell to Arms, Henry talks about how “things went very badly” and
how this is connected to “At the start of the winter came permanent
rain”. In the book, Miss Barkley afraid of the rain because she has a
nightmare and she sees death in the rain. She says, “Sometimes I see me
dead in it”, which she is referring to the rain as a death. It is raining
the entire night when Miss Barkley is giving childbirth and when both she and
her baby die (Malcolm 54-55). Most of the reader fined out that A Farewell to
Arms is fun and excited to read. Hemingway makes the language very easy to
understand and it is suitable for all ages. Agnes W. Smith, the editor of Mr.

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Hemingway Does It Again says, “A Farewell to Arms…is Hemingway’s greatest
worksit is glowing modern love story, a story of emotion that is so true it
is like an intense personal experience”(Stephens 78). Walter R. Brooks the
editor of Behind the Blurbs also says “warmth, of actuality of closeness
that only your own personal experiences have for you. It was so real to us that
we felt, as we do ordinarily in our own life” (Stephens 81). Hemingway
popularity does not stop in the United States, but explodes across over sea to
the European country such as Germany. Many of the critics such as Klaus Mann,
Max Dietrich, and Hans Falada give him a big welcome support (Kvam 92). A
Farewell to Arms is the first Hemingway novel to be reissue after World War II (Kvam
92), and the majority of German critics believe that A Farewell to Arms is the
best novel up to date (Kvam 93). According to Papajewski, According to
Papajewski, “The book was generally acclaimed by readers of all ages”;
the aspects of the novel which constituted to its wide spread success were
not only its political implication, but also its captivating love story and the
powerful tragic endingthe blurb on the Seinberg-Verlag’s edition in 1948
proclaimed that over 100,000 copies in the German language had already been sold
(Kvam 92-93) Thomas Mann, a well known critics mention A Farewell to Arms as,
“It is one of the most beautiful, carefully restrained modern love
storiesIt is a genuine, manly book, a masterpiece”(Kvam 92). In A
Farewell to Arms, Hemingway introduces Lieutenant Henry as an American Soldier
in the Italian Army during the World War I. Henry works as a paramedic and he is
the only few of the American in the Italian armed force. Lieutenant Henry has an
interesting characteristic because although, he is in the war, but his attitude
refused to be involved. For example, “he drinks with the officers and
talks with priest, and visit the officer’s brothel, but all contact he keeps
deliberately on a superficial level. He has rejected the world.” (Johnson
135) Henry truly isolates himself from the war and he does not think he desires
to be parts of the war. However, Henry is not a Barbarian at all, during the
war, Henry had study the architecture in the Italy when the war begin.

“Henry make an Ironical remarks about sculptures and bronze; his
reflections and conversation contain allusion to Samuel Jackson, Saint Paul,
Andrew Marvel, and Sir Thomas Wyatt” (Johnson 135). Lieutenant Henry knows
that he is the war and he fully understands how crazy the war is and how life
and death can be take away in any second, but instead of being paranoid, he
isolates himself from the war. This avoidance of real relationships and
involvement do not show an insensitive person, but rather someone who is
protecting himself from getting involved and hurt. It is clear that in all of
Hemingway’s books and from his own life that he sees the world as his enemy.

Johnson says, “He will solve the problem of dealing with the world by
taking refuge in individualism and isolated personal relationships and
sensations” (Johnson 134-136). Henry drinks, smoke, party, travel and fall
in love; Henry has an interesting characteristic because the way he behaves
himself during the war. A Farewell to Arms is one of the best novels of Ernest
Hemingway. Hemingway takes much of his life story line to his novel. A Farewell
to Arms is the typical classic story that can refer to Romeo and his Juliet
placed against the odds. Frederick Henry is an American who serves as a
lieutenant in the Italian army to a group of ambulance drivers. The story starts
when Frederick Henry is serving in the Italian Army. He meets his love in the
hospital after he injured from the mortar attack. A Farewell to Arms is one of
the best American novels because of the characteristic of the main character,
Lieutenant Henry, the symbolism, the exciting plot.


Bibliography
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