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BOOK FIVE

The fifth book is rather dramatic. It begins very well. We see a happy live of Frederic Henry and his wife. They walk, talk, and spend all their time together. The war is nothing for them now. They live for their pleasure. They enjoy every moment of their life. There is no need for Frederic and Catherine to worry about their child. Sometimes they behave like two children playing tricks.

Everything seems to be calm and positive. But soon it is time for the birth of little Mr. or Mrs. Henry. Unfortunately, the process of child-bearing is very long for poor Catherine. It lasts more than one day. I should say that Henry behaves very well. He doesn’t get the jitters, but he is not indifferent also. He wants to stay with his beloved woman all the time, but follows her advice to have a rest or to eat.

Frederic has enough time to think over the whole life situation he exists in. his wife might have great problems with the childbirth. It seems strange, but our main character doesn’t think of the child. He cares only about Catherine. Doctors have to do a Caesarian. And it’s very dangerous both for the mother and for her fetus.

At last the baby is born. A nurse shows him to Frederic. It’s amazing, but Henry doesn’t care about his baby. He even hates him, because Catherine has been suffering too long to give him birth. Later doctors tell Henry that his baby is dead. It’s a tragedy for him, because he realizes that for Catherine it will be a great shock. He visits her, speaks with her. She is happy, but doesn’t know still that her baby is dead. She is tired, so Frederic has to leave her for some time.

The doctor tells Frederic that his wife has hemorrhage. It’s very dangerous for her. He came to his wife. She says she is going to die. They both are crying. Catherine is taking leave, but Henry doesn’t want to let her die. In this scene we again realize that Catherine is everything for Frederic. She is tired, so Frederic has to leave her for some time.

A thought that his wife can easily die makes Frederic crazy. He can’t but think about her death. He is like in agony repeats "What if she dies?

Well… Catherine dies. It is a great shock for Henry. It is the end of his life. Everything that he values in this world is dead now. They want to have this baby, and this baby has killed his Catherine and ruined their happy life. Frederic Henry has found enough force to say farewell to war. But now he has to say a farewell to his beloved woman Catherine… In the last scene of the book the raindrops symbolize the crying of Henry’s soul.

Somebody says this is a price for happiness. Probably, yes, but their happiness was too short to pay such a terrible price.

(by Seagull)

This is the last book of "Farewell to arms”. Here we reveal the idea of the whole novel, we observe and follow Frederic and worry about Catherine.

As for me, I consider this Book to be the most interesting one. It has some intrigue in it, it doesn’t tell us directly about war and it’s so-to-say complete. The finale is quite understandable and we may draw conclusions about the main idea of the story.

But let’s speak about the plot first. In this book Catherine and Frederic are leading a peaceful life, they are happy. As we already know from previous books, Catherine is pregnant. And here she’s giving a birth to her child. It doesn’t go smooth. At last we get to know that the baby was worn dead. And Catherine dies of haemorrhage.

In this book there is no rapid development of the plot. But there is great emotional tension. The author uses nature descriptions corresponding to Henry’s mood in order to intensify his emotions. When he goes to the café first "outside it was getting light” – some hope that everything will be all right, Catherine will go through this. Then "the day was cloudy but the sun was trying to come through” – HOPE!!!!! Then he returns to the hospital "through the rain”. He’s afraid that Catherine will die. He anticipates that. And his predictions come true: "After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain”. That’s the ending of the book. Rain, hard rain – despair, depression, frustration.

Another thing I’d like to speak about is Frederic’s  soliloquy. It begins with "Poor, poor Cat”. And ends in "what if she could die?” (chapter 40). The very thing I’d like to explain is how Hemingway manages to explain the readers what Frederic feels. He uses repetition. The question "And what if she should die?” is repeated many-many times with different answers. The starting answer-sentence is "she can’t die” or "she won't die". What does this "can’t” mean? He can’t believe in that. He doesn’t want it to happen. If it happens, he won’t overcome it. The question and the answer are accompanied by explanations. The idea is: the more Frederic worries, the oftener the question appears. Let’s count: after 3 questions, then 5, then 1, 5, 1, 0, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1. You see how often the question is repeated! It means that this thought doesn’t live his head. He can think of nothing else. "But what if she should die? She won’t. She’s all right. But what if she should die? She can’t die. But what if she should die? Hey, what about that? What if she should die?” Even if one hasn’t read the novel, this inner monologue is enough to understand Frederic’s despair. Actually the word "die” occurs 19 times in this short monologue.

There’s no happy end. But that’s life. Isn’t it really evil?!

(by Asya)


The final book made me remember the whole narration once more and I tried to understand why the author chose that "scenario” for "A farewell to arms”.  To tell the truth, the death of the baby and Catherine was quite predictable for me, and I guess for many other readers too. But I was absolutely shocked while reading the inner monologues of Henry.  Yes, he loved his darling Catherine very much, but I had no idea that the man, who saw so much cruelty in the world, being at war, could be so dispirited and despaired.  Well, he planned to build a great life together with this woman, they planned it together. Butt now everything is over, because Catherine will never be back to him. I’d like to believe that some years will pass and Henry will meet a girl who’ll take care of him and love him as much as Catherine did. But the author called our attention not to it. He prefers to live at present time. And now, there is only pain.. spiritual pain that Henry will have to overcome after all. He asked God not to take Catherine away from him.. he begged because he realized that he himself was powerless in this situation. Maybe that is why it was two times harder for Henry. I believe he felt so lonely that moment because the most horrible thing for a person is to realize that everything he wanted so much would never come true, no matter whether he agreed with it or not. This is life.

(by Luck)


In Book five we find Henry and Catherine in the mountains of Switzerland during the winter, enjoying the serenity of domestic life. The people in the surrounding villages are cheerful. The main obstacle in their life is Catherine’s pregnancy and they don’t know yet what to do with the child. "She won’t come between us, will she?” asked Catherine. Nevertheless when spring comes the couple move into a nearby town where there is a hospital. Henry begins to box at a local gym and his wife buys baby clothes, but they both have the feeling that with the baby coming so soon they cannot waste any time together. After a few weeks Catherine feels that the pains began to come. Henry decided to take her to the hospital. She spends in labor for hours, but the baby doesn’t want to come. The doctors decide that a Caesarean section is the best option to save both Catherine and the baby. Henry tells the nurse that he hadn’t wanted a boy and rushes inside to see Catherine. But the baby turn out to be dead, strangled by its corn. Henry goes to dinner and reads in the paper about some success on the British front. When he returns, he learns that Catherine has had a hemorrhage. The doctor couldn’t stop it. Catherine is dying and asks him never to say the things he said to her to anyone else. Alone Henry walks through the rain back to the hotel. Henry comes back to a real life when Catherine and her baby die during childbirth.

(by Tanya)


This is the last book and its rather pessimistic and dramatic. In the beginning we see this happy life of our main characters – Catherine and Frederick in the mountains of Switzerland. Everything is nice, the main character prepared to become parents. They were both happy.

But the tragedy came  very unexpectedly. the doctors had to do a Caesarian. When the baby was born Frederick  wasn’t happy. He thought only about Catherine and the baby was not important for him. He would know that his baby died later. And his wife, Catherine had a hemorrhage. He understood that his wife in a big danger and she could die. 

The story ended by the death of Cathrine. Cathrine was Federick’s religion. He shocked. He was depressed, despondent. His happy life ruined.

(by Megastarosta)

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