I guess one of the main themes of this novel is
love. And we can see the author devotes the whole book to it. Frederic and
Catherine…it was a chance meeting, but after it they both understood that they
couldn’t live without each other. Their roman developed very fast. At first
they of course regarded their relationships just like a play or infatuation,
but then some time passed and they understood that life meant nothing to them
if they were apart. So they fell in love with each other…but that love was
limited by war. We could compare the destiny of those two heroes with the
destiny of Romeo and Juliet. Their love was as passionate as tragic. And the
tragedy was just about the fact that they could do nothing about the war. At
the same time, we could see that that couple didn’t want to give up and they
were ready to wait, though nobody knew what they were waiting for, and I guess
still both heroes clearly understood that there would be no happy end, but they
tried to believe in happiness for some moment. They started planning their
future life; they truly believed that they would manage to find a way out… We
don’t know now what would be then…we always tend to believe that everything
will be just as we want things to be, but too often life plays a mean trick on
The war is not a reason for killing your feelings.
The events the second book tells us about can only prove this statement.
Here the relationships between Frederick and Catherine are shown being a
leitmotif of the whole second book.
Frederick is wounded so he is lying in the hospital waiting for
recovery. Or for the war to end. Catherine is nursing him gently so they have enough
time to spend together and enjoy their peaceful life. Peaceful life during the
war... Sounds strange, doesn't it? This paradox is quite symbolic, it gives the
idea that even when people are dying and suffering there is a place for hope,
love and sympathy. Even when the whole world is getting to it's end, there is
still a chance to escape the catastrophe. That there is no absolute evil and
even in the darkest times a light can shine. That the war is not a reason for
killing a human in your own soul. Death and life, war and love go hand in hand
and the opposition between them is clearly shown by the contrast between the
second book that's full of hidden hope and the third book where the
consequences of the war are revealed as omnipresent. But it'll be later and
now... now there are two loving people far away from the grief and tragedy who
know that their time to suffer is coming but keeping hope that together they'll
The second book represents a happy life of Frederic
Henry and Catherine in Milan. Yes, Henry has got wounded, but he is with his
beloved woman. Here our man character realizes that he can’t live without
Catherine. Frederic is going to become crazy about his beloved woman.
They spend nights together while she is on duty. The war
is somewhere far away. They see only the consequences of this war such as
wounded soldiers in the hospital. Here Frederic and Catherine decide to get
married. But they understand they can’t do it legal yet. So they are married
only in their minds. But they behave themselves like a couple when they are
I think this calm life is a turning point in Frederic’s
view of life. The war is becoming the Past for him, so that he wants to live
all his life with Catherine, to stay with her forever. But life dictates its
own rules. So Frederic has to come back to the front soon.
In the end of the book we see that Catherine is
pregnant. It makes Frederic worry about his wife and their baby. But the couple
believes everything will be good. This baby is another motivation for Frederic
to get rid of this war and to live a peaceful life as a family man. But it will
be later, and now Frederic Henry comes back to the front.
In Book Two, Frederic is transferred to a hospital in Milan where he is
visited by Catherine, and she manages to have herself reassigned there to be by
his side. Frederic is first told that he will have to wait six months before an
operation can be performed on his legs, but when he asks for a second opinion,
it is immediately done.
It is summertime now, and, while he waits for his leg to heal, Henry spends
most of his days with Catherine. One day, when coming back from treatment,
Henry meets an officer in the Italian army named Ettore Moretti. In contrast to
Henry, Ettore is obsessed with his scars, medals, and an impending promotion to
At another time, Catherine and Henry decide to go to the horse races with
some friends. Twice, with the aid of friends, they bet upon winning horses.
However, both horses barely pay because there are already many bids on them.
Finally the two detach themselves from the crowd and choose a random horse to
bet upon. They lose, but feel better doing so.
As the end of summer approaches, Henry gets a letter from the army saying
that when he is discharged. He will be given three weeks leave before he must
return. Catherine declares that she will find a way to leave the hospital at
that time as well.
The second book is more interesting. It describes the relationships between
the main characters and their life in Milan.
Frederick is wounded and he should stay in a hospital for some time. And
Catherine took care of him, because she is a nurse. They spent days together.
One of the most shocking things is that Hemingway showed these moments so quiet
and calm in spite of the fact that there was the war. The author showed death,
love, life, grief together.
In the end of the second book Catherine is pregnant. And the reader is
worry abouther and her baby future. The main character Frederick was
very happy to hear about the baby. But he became to think a lot how it would be
possible to take care of him during the war time. Most of all he worried about