Analysis: A Farewell to Arms

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A Farewell to arms ishistorical fiction, a story set in “the past,” that often involves historical events either directly in the plot or as a background to the main plot’s events. Historical novels may or may not involve actual people who lived during the time period the story is set. Critics have not yet reached an exact definition of historical fiction. The most popular opinions are that historical fiction is set in a time period either (1) before the author’s lifetime or (2) ten or more years before the time it was written.As Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and did, in fact, drive an ambulance for the Italian army during World War I. According to the first view of historical fiction, A Farewell to Armsis not a historical novel. According to the second view, it is. Clearly, however, the setting of World War I is more than mere decoration, and the characters’ attitudes and actions are shaped in large part by their context. Were the story set in another time and against another background, the lives of the characters would inevitably play out differently. Thus, the novel can be considered “historical.”Set in Italy during the First World War, Hemingway’s novel revolves around Frederic Henry, an American ambulance driver for the Italian Army. Seeking diversion from the war, Frederic enters into a omance with a British nurse also serving in Italy. The nurse, Catherine Barkley, has recently lost her long-time fiancé in one of the horrific battles of the Somme in France. Frederic and Catherine authentically represent many of the men and women who served with the Allied Forces in what contemporaries called The Great War; they not only faced difficult decisions about the importance of serving in the army and winning the war, but they also experienced a growing love and began to worry about each other’s safety and security. Modernism

Over the twenty years before the Great War, confidence in traditional beliefs and expectations gradually eroded under questions about...
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