"A Farewell to Arms" by Earnest Hemmingway.

Essay by head141High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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A Farewell to Arms

I had mixed feelings while reading Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. Initially, I disliked the book intensely, but I continued to read, and eventually I began to appreciate the style he used to write the book. Toward the end of the book I was certain Hemingway was some kind of genius. Finally, I finished the book and, though I disliked the last chapter intensely, I liked A Farewell to Arms very much as a whole.

A Farewell to Arms is broken into five sections. In the first, we meet most of the main characters. The first is the narrator, an American officer in the Italian army who drives ambulances. His full name is mentioned once throughout the entire book, and that is in section two, but for structure's sake, we'll include it here. The narrator's name is Frederic Henry. There is also Rinaldi, one of the narrator's friends and his roommate.

We also meet the priest, whose name we are never allowed to know. The narrator seems to like the priest very much, and they have conversations throughout the book. Finally, and in fact most importantly, we meet Catherine Barkley, and English nurse with whom the narrator falls in love.

During the first section, we learn that the story takes place in Italy during the First World War. Most of this section is used to introduce characters and assure the reader that every male character in the book is a raging alcoholic. Toward the end of the section, the division of the army that the narrator is in launches an offensive. In the early part of the battle, the narrator is injured in a trench while eating cheese and is sent to a new hospital in Milan for treatment and recovery.

There were a...