War Scene Essay

2081 words - 8 pages

War scene

A Farewell to Arms is one of the great American novel written by Ernest Hemingway concerning his own experiences serving in the Italian campaigns during the First World War. It opens with a description of artillery-laden troops marching slowly through the rains of late summer and autumn. One of these men is an American called Frederic Henry, a volunteer ambulance driver. Henry is currently in the Italian army, at the Italian front during World War I. This novel gives brilliant depictions about the conflict’s senseless savageness and violent perplexity: the scene of the Italian army’s retreat remains one of the most intense evocations of war in American literature.

In the first part of the book begins in the Alps around the frontier between Italy and present-day Slovenia. Britain, France, and Russia for allied against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, Italy is responsible for preventing the Austro-Hungarian forces form assisting the Germans on the war’s western front, and Russia in the east. “Book 1 charts Frederic’s descent into the horrors of the war. In book 2 his fate improves radically once he is taken to Milan, where he consummates his affair with Catherine. But book 3 returns Frederic to the front, where everything is worse than before. In book 4 and early in book 5, the happiness of Milan emerges Again, as Frederic and Catherine make their escape to Switzerland.” Bloom (Page 28). The Italian-Austrian Henry was border during the First World War. Henry returns from winter leave in early spring. His roommate, Rinaldi, is enamored of Catherine and he convinces Henry to visit the hospital with him and Henry finds himself attracted to Catherine. Henry and Catherine briefly begin a romantic relationship finally; however, when Henry is wounded during a battle, he’s sent to a hospital in Milan.

The setting of the story is mainly in Italy. This is where all the action of the story takes place. Fred is in Italy at the beginning of the war and he joins the Italian army. The city that Henry stationed in throughout most of the book is Gorizia. Frederic Henry meets a beautiful English nurse named Catherine Barkley near the front between Italy and Austria-Hungary. At first, Henry's relationship with Catherine is a complicated game based on his attempt to seduce her, but when he is wounded and sent to the American hospital where Catherine works, their relationship progresses and they begin a passionate affair. After his recovery in the hospital, Henry returns to the war front. During a massive retreat from the Austrians and Germans, the Italian forces become disordered and chaotic. Henry is forced to shoot an engineer sergeant under his command and in the confusion is arrested by the Italian military police for the crime of not being Italian. Disgusted with the army and facing death at the hands of the battle police, Henry decides he has had enough of war. He dives into the river to escape. After swimming to safety, Henry...

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