"A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemmingway (Book Report)

Essay by GeschmeidigHigh School, 11th grade June 2004

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1. Introduction

The novel " A Farewell to Arms" was written by E. Hemingway in 1929 and deals with the subject of war and destruction. Destruction of law and order, moral values and the belief in love and lasting relationships. Apart from that the novel shows the terrible effect of war on nature, towns and life in general.

The war described is the First World War which was the first global international war, which brought massive killings and senseless fighting to many parts of Europe for four years.

The setting of the novel is in northern Italy and the reader is introduced to a number of characters of different national backgrounds. The main protagonist Frederick Henry is an American working for the ambulance service, the girl he meets, Catherine Barkley, is an English nurse. Their relationship and the doom of the world at the time of a pointless war are the main subjects of the book.

The world presents itself as a battlefield in the form of a brutal war and people lose their orientation about their real values. The world is a world at war on battlefields and inside the characters that are described. The countryside is full of scars with shell holes, shattered trees and houses, roads that are congested with aimlessly wandering soldiers, refugees and carts, people in a trauma.

I chose this book because to me, Hemingway in 1929 has depicted a scene of war horror which is still very present in our contemporary minds. Every report we watch on TV about the war in Iraq, the killing in Nigeria, the problems of former Yugoslavia, they all show a world in fear and despair. Nothing has changed. We can go back to a "Farewell to Arms" and read...