Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

Our existence in life is special and unique, but unfortunately war destroys all living things. Ernest Hemingway explores his viewpoints on war and presents those concepts in the novel, A Farewell to Arms. Difficult situations arise during war, because it interferes with many aspects of life and usually has a negative impact overall. Hemingway articulates his beliefs about life during war, through the young character Fredrick Henry, but focuses on his change in values as he experiences it.
Hemingway shares some of his own life experiences about war in the novel. Hemingway conveys his thoughts about fairness, honor, and morals though the characters. The novelist describes man’s struggle with each other, himself and the forces of nature. The narrative entails many subjects including war, love, religion and death as he knows it: “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime” (Hemingway). During World War I, Hemingway himself joined a volunteer ambulance unit with the Italian Army. While serving on the front line, Hemingway was wounded in the knee requiring surgery and he shares his knowledge with the same occurrence to some degree in this story (Horst Frenz).
Hemingway shows the significance of the effects of war on nature.Hemingway criticizes war in the novel and it’s obvious by the way uses symbolism with the changes in nature throughout the story. He illustrates his position with the use of symbolism in the landscape and the rain. In the first chapter he describes the plains of fruit trees going bare and the hillsides turning as war grows near. Hemingway’s words transpire the feelings of the geographical changes in the mountains of northern Italy. Bob Corbett explains how his story is unique in that it reflects more than just the changes in the landscape because he also describes the changes of the weather as well. Malcolm Cowley centers on the symbolism of rain as a disaster, in the Twentieth Century Interpretations book (Malcolm, 54-55). He refers to the permanent rain and relates that to how the character, Fredrick Henry talks about things going very badly. Hemingway begins his story with rain and death, and then closes with it too: “At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera (10). “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain": (297). Only the deaths are different. At first we hear about the deaths of thousands and then only the death of his love.
Hemingway expresses the impact of love in war-time.
Hemingway was known as a man’s man. He is the type of man that enjoys drinking, hunting and many other manly activities. He likes to move from one loving relationship to another. The influence of love on Hemingway’s character Henry, during the war is overpowering. The background focus of the story, is the love between Henry and Catherine. Henry is so taken with this love, that he deserts the war: "God knows I didn't mean...

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