A Farewell to Arms is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I. The book, published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant ("Tenente") in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by 16th-century English dramatist George Peele.
A Farewell to Arms focuses on a romance between the expatriate American Henry and Catherine Barkley, whose nationality is variously described as English or Scottish, against the backdrop of the First World War, cynical soldiers, fighting and the displacement of populations. The publication of this, Hemingway's bleakest novel, cemented his stature as a modern American writer, became his first best-seller, and is described by biographer Michael Reynolds as "the premier American war novel from that debacle World War I.
The novel was first adapted to stage by Laurence Stallings in 1930, then to film in 1932, with a 1957 remake. In 1996 the film "In Love and War" directed by Richard Attenborough and starred by Sandra Bullock, depicts Hemingway´s life in Italy as an ambulance driver in the events prior to his writing of "A Farewell to Arms".
The novel is divided into five books. In the first book, Rinaldi introduces Frederic Henry to Catherine Barkley; Frederic attempts to seduce her, and their relationship begins. While on the Italian front, Frederic is wounded in the knee by a mortar shell and sent to a hospital in Milan. The second book shows the growth of Frederic and Catherine's relationship as they spend time together in Milan over the summer. Frederic falls in love with Catherine and, by the time he is healed, Catherine is three months pregnant. In the third book, Frederic returns to his unit, but not long afterwards the Austrians break through the Italian lines in the Battle of Caporetto, and the Italians retreat. Frederic kills an engineering sergeant for insubordination. After falling...
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