A Farewell To Arms
In 1918 Ernest Hemingway decided to go to war. He was sent to Italy, there he got wounded. From that experience came this novel A Farewell to Arms. His description of war is incredible. Hemingway recreates the comradeship, the fear and the courage of men and women he met in Italy. This is not just a book about the war, it has an intense love story between the American Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley. The character of Frederic is similar to Hemingway. The plot of the novel is based on Hemingway’s experiences in Italy during the war.
SUMMARY-A Farewell To Arms
Frederic Henry is an American. He is an ambulance driver in Italy during the World War I. At the beginning of the story, the war is turning down so Henry decides to tour through Italy little bit. The next spring he returns to the front. He meets a charming young lady Catherine Barkley. She is an English nurse at the British hospital. Also she is a love interest of Henry’s friend Rinaldi. But Henry and Catherine are very much attracted to each other. Catherine is still grieving the recent death of her fiancé. She longs for love and affection so much that she will even settle for the illusion of it.
Henry is wounded in the war. He is in Milan in hospital recovering. Doctors told him that he will have to stay in hospital for about six months and will need an operation for his knee. Henry is inpatient and he finds a doctor who will do the operation immediately. Henry find out that Catherine is relocated to Milan. She will take care of him as a nurse. During his recovery in Milan, their relationship intensifies. Their love becomes strong and powerful.
Henry’s knee has healed. Army grants Henry a three week release and after he must return to the front. He is planning a trip with Catherine. She admits him that she is pregnant. The next day, Henry is diagnosed jaundice. Miss Van Campen, superintendent of the hospital, accuses Henry of bringing the jaundice to hospital because of his excessive drinking. She believes Henry is lying about the illness to avoid his duties. She reports him and his leave is revoked.
Henry must go to the front. German troops are approaching the Italian lines. Allied forces are preparing to retreat. Henry guides his team of ambulance drivers into the column of evacuating troops. On their way, the men pick up two girls and two engineering sergeants. Henry and his team decide to go and to take secondary roads. One of vehicles bogs down in the mud. Henry orders the engineer sergeants to help them free the vehicle. They refuse to do it. Henry shoots one of them. They continue their trip but again they get stuck and dismiss the two girls. They continue on foot to Udine. On the way, one of the drivers is killed by the frightened guard of the Italian army. Another driver wants to surrender. Henry and the other driver are looking for the shelter at a farmhouse. The following day they rejoin the retreat. But soldiers angry by the Italian defeat, pull the officers from the battle and they execute them. The police grab Henry but he successfully escapes. He boards on the train for Milan. He is thinking that his duties are now over and he cannot wait to see Catherine.