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BOOK THREE


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.

(by Luck)

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 other hints.

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 war.

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.

What next, I wonder? We will see…
(by Seagull)

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…

(by Asya)


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.

(By Tanya)


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 have  a 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 the war.


 (by Megastarosta)



In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.

José Narosky

The 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.

The 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...

(by Rina)

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