A Farwell To Arms

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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STORY: A Farewell to Arms, © 1929 AUTHOR: Ernest Hemmingway (1899-1961) CENTRAL CHARACTER: Lieutenant Fredric Henry is an American soldier who drives ambulances for the Italian Military during World War I.

Catherine Barkley is a nurse during World War I who ends up falling in love with Fredric Henry after her fiancé dies.

OTHER CHARACTERS: Rinaldi is Henry's best friend in the war. He is also a surgeon.

Helen Ferguson is Catherine's friend and also a nurse.

The Priest is the chaplain in the town where Henry is stationed.

Dr. Valentini is the doctor who operates on Henry after no one else will.

SETTING: During World War I in a small Italian town next to the alps.

NARRATOR: Lieutenant Fredric Henry EVENTS IN SUMMARY: (1) Henry is introduced to Catherine. (2) Henry and Catherine kiss and declare their love for one another. (3) Henry and others, while eating, are bombed and Henry is sent to a hospital after being badly hurt.

(4) After seeing each other, Henry and Catherine declare their love for one another again and have sex in the hospital. (5) Henry and Catherine stay the summer together while Henry's leg gets better. (6) The night before Henry has to go back to the front, Catherine tells him that she is three months pregnant. (7) Henry's town is bombed and all the ambulance drivers leave. (8) Henry and another ambulance driver shoot a disobedient soldier. (9) Henry dives into the river for fear that the Italian army will kill him. (10) Now out of the Italian Army, Henry hides behind some guns on a train. (11) Henry is reunited with Catherine. (12) Henry and Catherine go to Sweden after hearing that Henry would be arrested for leaving the army. (12) Henry is taken into custody, but is let go later. (13). Henry and Catherine's baby is born dead. (14) Catherine dies of a multiple hemorrhages. AUTHOR ATTITUDE: IRONY: (1) I think it is ironic that Fredric Henry was fighting with the Italian army but towards the end of the story they were the ones trying to kill him. (2) That Henry was sleeping with prostitutes and seemed fine with it, but when he finally meets someone he loves and gives all that up, she dies. (3) The fact that Henry shoots a deserting soldier but towards the end he deserts the army.

SYMBOLS: The rain. Catherine told Henry that she hates it because she often sees herself and him dead in it. Every time something bad happens it is raining. At the end of the book Henry walks home in the rain after his baby and fiancée both die.