Hardison Certified Educator Critics generally agree that assigning a clear conflict in A Farewell to Arms, a title which has a double--even a triple--meaning, is problematic. Such a conflict is that between his life with Catherine and the demands of returning to his assignment on the front or that between his expectations
See also, Ernest Hemingway Criticism. His novel A Farewell to Arms, a tragic love story about an American ambulance lieutenant and an English nurse, was based on Hemingway's own experiences on the Italian front.
In the novel, Hemingway uses his characteristic unadorned prose, clipped dialogue, and understatement to convey an essentially cynical view of the world. Critics were at first skittish about Hemingway's linguistic and sexual frankness but soon began to regard him as a pioneer in establishing a writing style that came to dominate realistic writing for many decades.
Although feminist critics have denigrated Hemingway's alleged male bias, and others have found the love story unsatisfying, A Farewell to Arms remains a powerful statement about the effects of the horrors of war on ordinary people.
Plot and Major Characters A Farewell to Arms is autobiographical in that Hemingway himself was with the Red Cross ambulance corps in Italy and also had a romance with a nurse after he was wounded by shrapnel. His protagonist, Frederic Henry, is a young American who joins the Italian ambulance corps, only to be wounded and sent to a hospital in Milan.
He soon falls in love with his English nurse, Catherine Barkley, who then spends a happy summer with him in the country while he recuperates. A depressing scene ensues, with Frederic back at the front commiserating with his despondent comrade Rinaldi.
With him he shares the further disappointment of the retreat from Caporetto. Discouraged and disillusioned, Frederic deserts, finding his way back to Stresa, to which Catherine has been transferred.
Although in civilian clothes, Frederic fears detection, and he and Catherine flee to Lausanne to await the birth of their child. After a traumatic childbirth scene, both Catherine and the child die.
Frederic walks away alone in the rain, chastened by his experiences and feeling alone in the universe. Major Themes An overarching theme in A Farewell to Arms is the hopelessness of war and the futility of searching for meaning in a wartime setting.
Further, Hemingway suggests that the only true values people can cling to are in individual human relationships, not in abstract ideas of patriotism or service.
A Farewell to Arms is above all a story of the development of Frederic Henry, who begins as a rather rootless character who does not really know why he joined the war effort. His own wound, however, teaches him to value life and prepares him to enter into a love relationship with Catherine.
By the end of the novel, with love and hope seemingly dead, he has come to an understanding that one must be engaged in life, despite the vicissitudes of an indifferent universe. Critical Reception Early critics of the novel emphasized its realistic picture of war and disagreed over the effectiveness of Hemingway's laconic literary style.
A number of critics were squeamish about the frank language and sexual situations Hemingway presented. By the s, however, proponents of the New Criticism had begun to do closer textual studies of A Farewell to Arms, finding it rich in language, symbolism, and irony.
Other critics praised Hemingway's narrative structure and explored themes such as the conflict between abstract ideas like honor and service and concrete experience with love and death.
The s and early s saw a new flurry of Hemingway scholarship after his papers and manuscripts were opened to the public at the John F. Kennedy Library, allowing insight into Hemingway's processes of composition. In the early s, feminist critics began to lambast Hemingway for his treatment of the character of Catherine, whom they saw as little more than a projection of male needs and desires.
Her relative lack of development, compared with Frederic's evolution as a character, was called a weakness in the novel. In answer to feminist critics, others argued that one should not judge the novel from a particular ideological framework.
In the s and s, criticism shifted back to close analyses of the text itself and explorations of the ways in which Hemingway's life and the culture in which he lived influenced the novel.
Reader-response critics sought to infer what Hemingway expected from readers, psychoanalytic critics delved into the character of Frederic, and deconstructionists noted subtle uses of language, which often masked deep meanings not at first evident.Hemingway’s reputation as a writer, however, was most firmly established by the publication of The Sun Also Rises in and A Farewell to Arms in Critics generally agree that A Farewell to Arms is Hemingway’s most accomplished novel.
The results of the incidents that Ernest Hemingway experienced during the war, changed him as a man, eventually led to his death, and are reflected in his works.
Grace Hall Hemingway pleased her husband, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, by giving birth to their first son and second child of six, Ernest Miller, on July 21, in Oak Park Illinois.4/5(2). “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.
A Farewell to Arms is an autobiographical novel written between and by Ernest Hemingway and first published in The novel was written through a view point of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American who serves as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during the First World's War. Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms as an Anti-War Novel Essay Words | 4 Pages A Farewell to Arms as an Anti-War Novel There are indications in each of the novel’s five books that Ernest Hemingway meant A Farewell to Arms to be a testament against war.
War and Society. “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway Essay Wars have always played a certain important, sometimes even vital role for individuals, nations and the whole world.