A Farewell to Arms Summary 3

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A FAREWELL TO ARMS, written in 1929, briefly after World War I, is a tragic story about the cruelties and gloominess of being a soldier of war, which once seemed like a somewhat alluring and admirable, and the psychological connection between love and suffering. Lt. Fredric Henry, the main character, is an American ambulance driver serving in the Italian army. Henry scoffs at his fellow naïve and air headed soldiers who fully support the war and its happenings. Death, violence, chaos, and brutality depress Henry, and he loses faith in the war’s cause. In the midst of the war, Henry meets Catherine Barkley, an English nurse’s assistant whose fiancé has been recently deceased. Catherine, despite her grief and sense of loss towards her once soon-to-be-husband, she begins to entice Henry. Her reasons for beginning a relationship with Henry are clear: Barkley wants to distance herself from her fiancé’s death. Henry also uses Barkley in a way. Because of the anguish that war is causing Henry, Catherine is a welcome distraction to get his mind off of war. Because of his experiences in war, his love affair with an American nurse, his depression which led to problems with alcohol abuse and suicide, Hemingway’s tale of tragedy is even more real and in-depth than ever. Ernest Hemingway, author of A FAREWELL TO ARMS, wrote this novel from a somewhat firsthand experience. During World War I, in 1917, Hemingway volunteered in an Italian ambulance unit. A few months after being stationed, Hemingway received a serious leg injury where he was seriously wounded by several pieces of shrapnel, for which he went to a nearby hospital. While recovering, Hemingway met American nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky; he and Agnes had a brief love affair. Hemingway also had a history of depression, drinking problems, and suicide in his family, much like the main character, Lieutenant Fredric Henry. Aspects of Hemingway’s involvement in WWI, his relationship with Nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, and family...
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