Ernest Hemingway's “a Farewell To The Arms”

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Ernest Hemingway's “A farewell to the arms”


The purpose of this paper is to discuss element of conflict in Hemingway's novel “A Farewell To Arms”. This paper enlightens the reason for conflict in the novel and will discuss it. Hemingway is an author who prefers reality rather than fantasy. This behavior of Hemingway can also be illustrated through the novel “A Farewell To Arms” because, in this novel, the whole story revolves around the scenario of World War I and does not comprise a happy ending. The main characters of this novel are Henry and Catherine who are deeply in love. Throughout the story, it can be realized that Henry and Catherine are willing to sacrifice everything to run away, in order to live a peaceful and happy life. However, the novel ends with a tragic death of Catherine at the time of childbirth.

Thesis Statement

In Ernst Hemingway's “A Farewell to Arms,” conflict is used to illustrate two desires that become the core and essence of the story.

Discussion and Analysis

“A Farewell to Arms” (1929), concerned with some of the themes (like death, violence, and the loss of love, honor and courage), echoes more closely than those works the lyrical structure of “In Our Time”. In "A Very Short Story" and “A Farewell to Arms” a wounded soldier falls in love with a nurse; both protagonists lose their lovers but for different reasons, the unnamed soldier to another man, Frederic to death. “In Our Time” and “A Farewell to Arms” deal (“In Our Time” only in part) with expatriated persons in Europe during the time of World War I. Both works struggle to find a way to deal with fear and loss; in their effort, both works imply affirmative value. (Davidson, pp. 121-30)

Obviously “A Farewell to Arms” has a more continuous narrative pattern and a more consistent tonal modulation than “In Our Time” because it is controlled by a single point of view: Frederic Henry's chronological reverie. Even, though, this single controlling point of view gives the novel cohesion, within this single voice a succession of contrasting tonal qualities proceed by juxtaposition among the novel's concerns, much the way the varied voices of the stories and inter-chapters in “In Our Time” proceed. (Davidson, pp. 121-30)

The novel is broken up into five books, the books decreasing in number of chapters from twelve each in Books I and II, to eight in Book III, five in Book IV, and four in Book V. Within these books are subjective centers of feeling which give the novel its lyrical structure. Like “In Our Time”, however, the individual segments of the novel have their own tonal characteristics, often counterpointing one another. (Grimes, pp. 69-101) As the books become shorter and shorter, these centers gradually build in intensity and are channeled into a single tonal stream at the conclusion of the work.

Briefly, “A Farewell to Arms” is a story of Frederic Henry's wounding in Italy during World War I, his subsequent falling in love with an English nurse named Catherine, ...
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