From the very beginning of the book we are taken
into the atmosphere of war. The main hero, Frederic, expresses the author’s
attitude to this war. And we can easily see how these attitudes are being
changed during the whole novel. At first Frederic is sure that the war is just
and taking part in it he defends democracy and human rights. But while being at
war, while seeing all the disaster of that war he comes to understand the
unnecessity and fatality of it. The soldiers, the drivers and even some
officers share Frederic’s opinion. "There is nothing as bad as war...
When people realize how bad it is they go crazy…" Frederic says, "It
is a rotten war". And here we can really see it, because now the author
shows us all the horrors of the war: the bombardment, the retreat, the wounded
soldiers, the smashed villages and towns. We see mud, darkness, mist, dust and
rain along the whole narration. And it is obvious that the war is a great crime
against the mankind.
I guess the main point here is that people
realize the futility of the war. Even the officers have realized that there are
no winners in the war. Everybody wants to come back to peace and maybe that is
why they still hope that one day people will stop killing each other. Because
this is the only way out.
In "A Farewell to Arms” E. Hemingway
writes from the point of view of one of the characters. This very person (in
this case, Frederic Henry) is a narrator-participant. I think this is very good
for readers. Such kind of narration really helps us to live in the story, to
feel the atmosphere. But sometimes it can be difficult not to stick in the set
of unimportant events and things. This narrator-participant also lets us
analyze behavior and mood of other characters using only what we see without
After a calm life of a married man Henry comes
back to the front. Italians have to retreat. In this time we see different
opinions about the final of the war. One of them belongs to the priest. He
thinks the war will end soon. Probably, he is right. Officers and soldiers have
lost the dot of light in their eyes. Military men and common people are
exhausted of war.It means they want to
finish it no matter how.
Frederic Henry also needs the end of this war.
Henry hates it. Particularly, we realize it in the end of the Third Book. While
retreating Henry sees all the horrors of the war. He sees only pain, grief and
death in it. He even avoids shooting. But whatever happens to Henry he thinks
of Catherine. When Henry is in the train, he begins to think of what is going
on around him. Frederic Henry wants to eat and drink, and most of all he wants
Catherine to be with him. He misses her and wants this war to be finished. He
is really afraid that he will not see his beloved woman again. She is the only
important person for him in life. Our narrator-participant also misses his
friend Rinaldi. Henry tries not to think about it, because he can become mad,
but he can’t keep all these dark thoughts deep inside his mind. But these
thoughts are signs of his tiredness, exhaustion and a great depression of this
I think one of the main topics of this Book is
the futility of every action. Whatever people do is nothing for this war. This
war rules the lives of its participants. And the problem is how the main
characters react to this futility. Rinaldi is going mad, priest becomes more
and more apathetic, but Henry… As I’ve said, he wants this war to be finished,
so he does his best to come back from front to Catherine in spite of the
futility. And this desire to achieve a happy life with his beloved woman helps
him to cope with all the horrors of the war.
next, I wonder? We will see…
This very book is
totally devoted to the war. The war is not going well back at the front, and
the men have lost all hope for an end to the war. All the characters are
depressed and show signs of weariness. Henry says: "The Austrians won. They
kept them from taking San Gabriele. They’ve won. They won’t stop fighting”.
The day after his
return, Henry is ordered to take over the ambulance cars in the mountains.
Before that they go to sleep as they haven’t slept for three days. Meanwhile
"the wounded were coming to the post, some were carried on stretchers, some
walking and some were brought on the back of men that came across the field.
They were wet to the skin and all were scared”. Actually this book is full of
horrifying examples of what the war has done to people, to all people, not only
to military ones.
In these chapters
the readers get acquainted with two minor characters. These are little girls,
sisters. They are frightened to death, they have no shelter and they are
suffering from malnutrition. Is it fair??? Are they guilty in something??!!! To
tell the truth, the episode with the girls has stricken me much more than other
facts. War is war. Nobody will argue with that. War presupposes violence,
fights, death, loss of nearest people and despair. That’s true. But what about
children?! Why must they suffer? What do they suffer for? They’re deprived of
Childhood. Isn’t it a greater crime????
To conclude, such
books are quite necessary to read. If all people knew how horrible the war is,
maybe, there would be no wars anymore…
This novel describes different phases of Henry’s adventures. Episodes and descriptions in the novel reflect the authors’ personal attitudes to the main characters and main events. In the book three the priest and Henry talk about life and war. They all full of hope to see the end of the war. The only things Rinaldi finds interesting are alcohol and woman. Everybody wants to believe that the war will end soon. Theme "War” is involved in everything. Even when Fred and the others are eating or doing something the war is always in the background. And of course it makes everyone very tired. In this book Australians are winning and the war will continue. Not far from Undine the Henry’s ambulance get stuck in the mud. That’s why they decided to go on foot. Suddenly Fred sees a car crossing a bridge. They realize that they are cut off. It was Italians. And everybody knows that in this war Italians are much more dangerous than Germans. They send a man to arrest Fred because he doesn’t have a native accent. They smooth him but Fred jumps into the river. He tried not to think about Catherine. He was not angry but tired, he realizes he will never see Rinaldi again. And one of the most important symbols in this novel is rain. It is raining almost every time when something bad happens.
In the third book the war line was showed very
brightly. The author showed the war more detailed: blasted buildings, villages,
houses, solder’s emotions , their sufferings, horrors. The atmosphere of the
third book is very important and we can imagine it with the help of synonyms
that Hemingway used a lot: darkness, blood, tears, shock, screams. This War
means Parting, this war means expectation. And all of these things were shown
through the main character – Frederick Henry.
The author wanted us to understand that there
are no winners in the war. War is a horrible thing and all nations that
participate in it havea lot of victims
after all. We see soldiers, they believe that the war will end soon, they pray
for it. The role of religion is
important because it help them to believe in a happy end, in a happy life after
war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
third book. Frederick says "Good-bye” to Catherine being sure
that they'll meet again one day. He returns to the front – the war
is waiting for him like a wild animal is waiting for its victim.
Henry is ordered to take over some ambulance cars but the war changes
everything – the foes have broken through the line, so, Henry and a
group of ambulance drivers are ordered to retreat. Trying to find the
right way to reach Udine they find themselves lost and stuck in the
mud. This event is quite symbolical. Frederick and the drivers seem
to symbolize the whole army – stuck and not knowing where to go.
The war with all its dirt is sucking them down and their weak defence
doesn't matter even more. The defeat is somewhere nearby and the hope
is almost lost. Some of them are killed, others prefer to desert.
Some of them are still trying to fight. This small group of people is
a whole army in miniature.
third book is full of endless sorrow and hopelessness. It shows the
war as it is – with all its cruelty and grief, with death and
treachery. But the reader feels that something is to be changed.
Henry is going to find Catherine and escape with her. The war is
coming to its end. But will it bring happiness to the main
characters? We'll see...