A Farewell To Arms


            Ernest Hemingway was a famous writer during the progressive and the roaring twenties era. Hemingway's A   Farewell To Arms is a novel that shows many different themes that are associated with the time period when Hemingway wrote his novels. In this novel he shows many different themes and ideas like identity, individualism, romanticism, realism, patriotism and war. A Farewell To Arms is a novel that used a technique which is purely subjective, and a style which is articulate entirely in its bones and not at all in its flesh." Thus, when compared to literature of the 1920s, Hemingway was a master in capturing the essence of the story and eliminating nonessential elements often employed by less talented writers.(answers.com) The main theme in this story is about ones self understanding of him/herself, and

the relationship between love and pain. As Hemingway uses individualism and identity to show the growth of his characters he also uses romanticism and war   to give his novel background theme to caught the readers attention. A Farewell To Arms is a semi-autobiographic novel because Hemingway did in fact participate in the world war I effort which add even more realism to his work, and as he went thought his own events this affected the way he wrote this novel and his experiences later served as the source material for his novel. As the main theme in this novel really consist of individualism, Hemingway also his insight to modernism of the world around him and he gave this idea throughout this novel by using figurative language and his own distinctive writing style, an unusually bare, straightforward prose in which he characteristically uses plain words, few adjectives, simple sentences, and frequent repetition to ignite his readers.

        Ernest Hemingway's characters are very self standing individuals. The main character in this novel

is Frederic Henry who is a confused ambulance driver involved in the war, he at first is living a life of   just plain lust and sexual feeling he is not really involved in the war mentally or emotionally. Henry also faced with the idea of heroic and cowardly actions anytime in this novel he is questioning the war trying to understand it's meaning and importance to him, and this also tells me about Hemingway's own idea of the war and as Henry explains it, it's clearly understood that Hemingway's position of the war was very negative ( anti-war). The romanticism in the Henry's character starts by playing   a "game" with a English nurse named Catherine Barkley she is at first seen as a sex object to Henry   but as the novel goes on he unwillingly falls in love with Catherine which later affects the way he thinks and feels about himself and his position in the war, " I did not care what I was getting into. . . . I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards. Like bridge you had to pretend you were playing for money or playing for some stakes. Nobody had mentioned what the stakes were." This clearly show the thoughts that the young confused Henry had on Catherine when it was his beginning as a rootless boy, but later he gains such experience from the battles and events that even in his position as reactor, he must react to his own collection of experience( answers.com) and with that he grows a love for Catherine that was unintentional for Henry from the begging of the novel and this also gives and insight to Hemingway's love attributes. Henry's story reveals his education and grow by the other character around him, his various "tutors": the priest, Rinaldi, Catherine, the mechanics, and the war. Each try to impress upon Henry a different lesson but he merely reacts to each. For example, the priest tries to persuade Frederic onto a moral and Christian path, which he does try to lead but gets caught up in other sinful action like drinking and his love of prostitution. Rinaldi helps Henry because he is able to see things before they occur to Henry and as a friend he guides he though many of his problems. Count Greffi is also an important figure in the novel because he has the political importance that Henry wishes for and he also tutors Henry on life and happiness The Count tells Frederic, while he beats him in pool, that a person ought to love one's fellow citizens, not abstract values. He says that the love of abstract values leads one to a foolish pursuit of illusions which opens henrys eyes to any situation he is at. Hemingway's characters have some sort of way they help or distract Henry from he true accomplishments. He's characters also have this similar   characteristic that I have analyzed, they all feel a need to find a better life than what they already have and this really comes close to the idea of progressivism which makes people reach out for bigger goals.

             Ernest Hemingway separated his novel into 5 books which each has their own sub plot, and they all contribute to the main story plot. The main story plot is about the struggle Henry has within himself to find a lifestyle where he is completely happy, and also where he sees himself in the war and in his love life. The sup-plots in my opinion make the story easy to analyze because Hemingway's complete   writing style is broken up into individual pieces. The first part is Book One which really gives the intro to the story, places the setting, the characters, and the first main confict that herny is confronted with. The author also shows with Henry the typical soldier's lifestyle of heavy drinking and frequent visits to the local brothels during his time in the war. Hemmingway takes to the first confict of the novel when Henry become involved playing with Catherine heart which gradually follows him thoughout the novel. We also get to see the beginning of another confict which is the importace of himself in the war and his heroic values. In Book Two Henry is taken into a hospital where he is recovering his knee surgery after his failed attempted to show his heroic attributes, the main idea in this plot would be the growing relationship that Catherine and Herny obtain when Catherine takes care of Henry in the hospital and shows her love to him "There's no way to be married except by church or state. We are married privately. You see, darling, it would mean everything to me if I had any religion. But I haven't any religion. . . . You're my religion. You're all I've got." Which shows her real feeling for him and gradually Henry finds himself falling more and more in love with Catherine as they spend more nights together. Henry and Catherine spend a final night together in a hotel room before parting. Before Henry leaves for the front, Catherine announces that she is pregnant., which indicates that the plot's rising action is occurring during this section of the novel and also that Henry has connected himself with Catherine which draws a question if Henry is really in love at this time. In Book Three Henry goes back to the front and understands his place in the war he saw the true vision of the war and he becomes sick of the war and finished with fighting for a nation that is not even his own, Henry is well content to make his "farewell to arms" and to desert his post in the Italian army his realism came over him and showed him the true path that he wants to take. He willingly leaves the battle to reunited with Catherine because now he understands that he truly loves her and cant life without her. This part of the novel is important because he has really changed his old lifestyle because he has see "Pure Love" which has affected him in every way possible. In Book Four Hemingway shows his protrayal for love between Henry and Catherine and the start of romanticism for Hemingway. Herny does everything possible for Catherine showing his loyatly and passion for her, which in contrast wasn't there when Henry was involved in the war.His growth thoughtout all of these sections is very clear because he has moved from boyhood to manhood he has taken charge to find a better life for him and his lover. In Book Five Hemingway shows the pleasure

and pain of love as Henry and Catherine have the best romantic fall they have ever had there time comes short when both Catherine and the baby die in childbirth but right before Catherine passes away they exchange words of their love 'Do you want anything Cat? Can I get you anything" Catherine smiled, "No." then a little later, "you won't do our same things with another girl, or say the same things, will you?" "Never."this really shows how their love is eternal even if their time together is almost done, their love will stay forever.Hemingway puts the character driven plots in a similar way that draws you into Henry's life and the emotion the author catches is breath taking, and really show his skill in individualism, romanticism and realism.

        The setting of this novel changes from battle front to a Swiss chale home, the time this is taking place is probably right around 1916-1919 because of the world war I battles that were occurring. This first setting of the battle front is semi related to the author's experiences in the war which probably influenced him to have a grim description of the war and he observed the life style, the social status of people and their attitudes. The setting of the hospital in Milan shows the circumstance that Herny had with his injury , which is also related with Hemingway's knee injury that he received in the mist of battle and the time he spend recovering. Other main setting that is in the book would be the last setting the Swiss chale in the fall were Henry and Catherine come together in peace and love. Hemingway uses these places and times to show the mood and give a backdrop to the novel, one example of the mood he gives would be the way he uses fall to show the ending of something which later becomes Catherine and her baby. Hemingway also places settings within settings to give the novel a different tone when the character is in a different setting, and example would be when Henry is in the countryside trying to help the drive in the front, but as he is fighting to get though he show is heroic side but gets caught up in   the grim reality of war which makes him to be want to escape and eventually jumps a train headed for Milan and Catherine.

         Hemingway's style is a very distinctive writing style, an unusually bare, straightforward prose in which he characteristically uses plain words, few adjectives, simple sentences, and frequent repetition. Nevertheless his powers of description are not diminished by his taking care to choose such simple language.(answers.com) Hemingway's style is based on his tone, figurative language, syntax, diction, point of view, symbols and motifs.Hemingway also uses Black Humor and this very narrative dialogue to show even more his unique style.   As Hemingway uses tone, diction, figurative language, and his straightforward prose to warp up his own individual style, he also uses these elements to grab the reader attention so he can produce a   free flowing theme that can show and capture the time period that he is greatly affected by, and he also be easily understood throughout his literary elements. Hemingway is a great novelist in my opinion, he uses the main ides that he first provideds us with throughout the whole novel like his individualism, romanticism, realism, patriotism and war. The author's style also tells a lot about the author's own thoughts and beliefs.Many critics believe that Hemingway's diction and dialogue make the text feel like its unclean and unnecessary but in my own opinion I believe that it's necessary to add words like testicles and shit because it adds to the realism of the soldiers life style an their own dialogue and also adds to the mood of the novel though the author's style.

        Hemingway's tone is very realistic, romantic, violent, and humorous in this novel. The best way to show his tone is really by identifying his use of diction, figurative language and syntax so it is better to mix all these elements as he does in his novels to clearly show Hemingway's tone. The author's tone is very realistic thoughout the novel Hemingway shows the ugliness in the world and the war that was only dotted with pure love like the one Henry and Catherine had. The realism and violence that Henry faced was all connected to the war, "The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry." This shows the things that herny has witnessed like gory, injustice with each other as humans and   most important killing, and this also gives a grim view on how killing in the war is nature but outside the war it becomes a whole different reaction. Hemingway's language is effective in leaving much to the readers interpretation and allowing a different image to form in each readers mind but he does supply the reader with a setting which lets us imagine the bitter war . Hemingway's tone is also romantic and tragic in many ways, from the start of the novel Love and   passion have been part of   Henry and Catherine relationship but as their love goes on it is not perfect, the love that Henry and Catherine had for each other was more than could be explained in words but their love during an ugly war was not to be recreated or modeled even as much as through a baby conceived by their love. The baby could not be born alive because their love was beautiful yet doomed so that nothing could come out of it.(cyberessays.com) This tone of romantic and tragic changes througout the novel and the diction he uses show what type of mood the novel is at one time, Hemingway uses words that show anger and unsatifaction like never and shit. When the tone is romantic the author uses word like Love, forever and wonderful, but at the end the novel is hit with a tragic ending that Hemingway placed to show the relationship between love and pain and the suggestion about comfort and how no matter where the characters turn for comfort and happiness from the harsh circumstances of the world, the need for comfort and protection can never be fulfilled.One of the last kinds of tones that hemingway uses would be humor, he uses this unique type of humor " Black Humor" it is mainly the point of repressing fear through laughter which is used a lot in Hemingway's style to give a greater understanding of tone. Black Humor is used like a mask to hide someones true feelings, and example of this would be "all right" Catherine said "I'll come   and stay with you nights," she said. it was very hard for her to talk."don't worry, darling,"Catherine said. "im not a bit afrad. It's just a dirty trick." "you dear, brave sweet" this show   the Black Humor that Catherine uses to hide her true feelings, she knows that she is going to die but she keeps tells him she isn't afraid to make him less worried. Another example of this Black Humor is " if you drop me again' "it was because we were scared" "are you wounded?" "we are both wounded a little"...they droped me once more before we reached the post "you sons of bitches" I   said that shows the fear herny has from being hurt on the knee but hides it with his sense of humor. As you can see Hemingway's diction is Raw and powerful to draw together all these elements like tone, theme,   figurative language and syntax to make his ides run more fluently.

            Hemingway style also consist of he use of   motifs and symbols. He uses these two elements to conduct and easyer view of the novel's main theme. One of the motifs Hemingway uses help the story arc and the theme, one example of these motifs would be the authors idea of   masculinity and loyalty versus abandonment. Hemingway shows the portrayal and celebration of a certain kind of man: domineering, supremely competent, and swagger which he shows in many male charcters like Rinaldi a faithful friend to Henry and an oversexed womanizer. Hemingway also gives the respect to each man, even at their lowest points, is highlighted by the humor, if not contempt, with which he depicts their opposites. The success of each of these men depends, in part, on the failure of another which follows Henry thoughout his time in the war, in my opinion Hemingway's own idea of a man consist of bravery, confidence and leadership. Another motif that is used is loyalty versus abandonment which is seen in the novel many times and Hemingway sees both of these loyalty and abandonment is necessary to make choices and for what you truly need,   an example is when Henry eventually follows in the engineering sergeants' footsteps by abandoning the army and his responsibilities. While he does, at times, feel guilt over this course of action, he takes comfort in the knowledge that he is most loyal where loyalty counts most: in his relationship with Catherine. That these conflicting allegiances cannot be reconciled does not suggest, however, that loyalty and abandonment lie at opposite ends of a moral spectrum. Rather, they reflect the priorities of a specific individual's life.(spark notes) The Symbols that Hemingway uses help the way the tone is understood throughout the events one example would be "Rain" which shows the absensence of happiness in a characters life at the time an this happends to many characters, for Henry it is clearly shown After Catherine's death, Henry leaves the hospital and walks home in the rain. Here, the falling rain shows Catherine's great love that Herny couldn't keep and show his sadness in the rain.

         Hemingway was a great novelist that knew what he was wirting about a had his exprences guide him thought his ideas. He places his tone theme and diction in his own unique style that is seen as a masterpiece and he also put identity, individualism, romanticism, realism and war into one great novel that really was influenced by the time we was at . He placed that need for a better life just as the stuggle for a better life in the progressive era.


refernce : A Farewell To Arms (Novel)

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