The paper focuses on the the novel Farewell to Arms one of the most famous war novels ever written by Earnest Hemmingway. It is totally different from other war stories; however, this novel does not glorify the experience of war. Ernest Hemmingway is one of the most remarkable writers of the modern era. His fiction style is unique and has no analogues among his contemporary writers. Hemmingway has an inspiration due to the war and soldiers. He loves to write about soldiers and about battles as he himself had been a part of the Spanish Civil War which had a great impact on his career of a reporter and, later, a fiction writer. He was also a good sportsman who wanted to display the rebel of fighting soldiers, sportsmen and adventurous people as he himself had been an adventurous person. The Spanish Civil War left a profound effect on him and this is evidently seen in his own stories and other fiction works. Unlike his contemporaries, Ernest Hemming way had a unique style of writing fiction in which he portrayed his hero or any character of the central importance usually in the miserable position, although he had been in a better position earlier but this seemed to be a trend of having his novels and other fixturous works. He will be remembered as one of the most profound fiction writers in the modern history. His writing style is simple, yet unique, and he is always aware of the fact what he is going to write about.
Those who know him closely tell a story about him that he was a compulsive writer and used good ideas taken out of nowhere; and they are always have a perfect sense, to his mind, as a list of his readers’ minds. To some extent, he was a superstitious person which is evident from his works. As a natural fiction writer who finds it quite difficult to explain he was able to do this more often than not to do. In many of his interviews, an interviewer has noted that he was unable to explain just how perfectly he could portray what to tell of the characters in his own words; this indicates his passion to his work and then how deeply he had been involved in everything he was writing about. He always preferred the undisturbed environment while working, and he explicitly says that he does not like to be disturbed while writing because he believes that writing is not only a pressing passion but in writing he is able to express himself much better. This showns that he is being a man of the words written on paper and not provided in interviews. He used to wake up early in his favorite yellow room, particularly when he had an idea that he wanted to put on paper. So concerning an idea of any character, the character had a story around him, the ethics and work; and he was in the commission. While writing, Hemingway looked like a piece of concentration. He seemed to be a person who had nothing else to do in the world but only to write right now until he has finished his work. This is the reason why he became such a masterful fiction writer in the whole history of fiction as he had the remarkable ability of concentrating to the extreme levels; this made him such a profound writer.
The story goes along in the backdrop of the Second World War where the characters of Frederick and Henry are surrounded by the unusual circumstances that can be termed as unfortunate. They wanted to get away from war and to live the life in peace and prosperity but the opposite thing happened to him and his wife. He fell in love with the British nurse whose name was Catherine Barkley (Hemmingway 21). It is necessary to say that Frederick Henry is a young American serving in the Italian army during the First World War. By nature, he is a peaceful man who does not want to be a part of the war situation but by profession he has to be involved into the war as he is an ambulance driver; it is a part of his duty to bring injured soldiers out of the stage of war to the safety of the hospital. The story revolves around an affair that occurred between Frederick Henry being an ambulance driver in the Italian army and the English nurse Catherine Barkley. The scene is set in the backdrop of the world war in the early 1917 in Switzerland. The author provided the good statements of war and the good and sufficient dialogues and thoughs of the main characters. The story has deeply rooted the philosophy in its background; this needs a good understanding. The theme suggests that an ordinary man can never start a war; and he is not able to end it. Behind the curtain, this is a game between the officers and politicians.
The author states this message through his dialogues between his characters in such a way that the readers can read between the lines and realize the actual theme and symbolism involved in the story. Although the story and its plot are secured by the author, there is a sense of bitterness throughout the whole story. Hemingway has such control over the story, and theme that he seems to be playing with is the motions of his readers, particularly when Henry and Catherine had to go their own ways. The character of Henry is shown in such a way that he believes to live the present instead of living with the past or thinking about the future that is being yet uncertain. The theme of love in the war scene is very emotional and it passes to the readers along the story very well. It is so realistic that the readers feel as if they are involved into the affairs themselves. This also signifies that no matter how hard the circumstances are the human emotions have the strength of their own, and they can overwhelm even the ambulance driver and the hospital nurse at war going through a war situation. Another notable theme is that the character of Henry is portrayed as a moral one because an event when he killed a sergeant who had been running away to rejoin his own unit rather than to obey Henry’s orders was extraordinary as he would never have killed someone under the normal circumstances. This also resembles Henry’s own situation when the military police tried to kill him as a deserter; these similar situations are portrayed beautifully by Hemmingway emphasizing the presence desperation during the war scene. Hemmingway has displayed the character of Frederick Henry learning to live in motions that he is going through. He loves Catherine deeply as this is reflected from the story but he does not care about the baby. He is more concerned about Catherine and wishes her very much when he leaves the hospital (Montero 256).
Catherine is going through the similar emotions that she also has a duty to fulfill. However, Henry is a character that has learned of the art of living as a good husband and a loving father who was more concerned about the well being of his pregnant wife and to care of her whether they are together or apart. When she informed Frederick of her being pregnant and that he wants him to get away from the war zone and to live the peaceful life away from the irony of war. The tradegy is a main theme of the story; and the author has put it in such a way that brings tears into the readers’ eyes. Frederick saw the massacre with his own eyes, and he was no longer able to take the brutality of war. He saw his colleagues betting for the massacre brutally injured in front of his allies; and he was not willing to take any risk to his life as well as to his wife’s. He was an ambulance driver in the Italian army during the World War (Glens 91). Hemmingway has displayed the character of Frederick Henry learning to live in motions that he is going through. He loves Catherine deeply as this is reflected from the story but he does not care about the baby. He is more concerned about Catherine and wishes her very much when he leaves the hospital (Montero 256). Catherine is going through the similar emotions that she also has a duty to fulfill. However, Henry is a character that has learned the art of living as a good husband and a loving father who had been more concerned about the well being of his pregnant wife and cared for her not depending on the fact if they are together or apart. Hemmingway has skillfully portrayed the character of the man being involved into the war and who loved as a mature person having a better understanding of life after going through the very deep emotions. From the horrors of war when he had seen his colleagues totally injured and murdered around him, his personality did not disintegrate; even when some of his colleagues had left him instead of helping him when his car was stuck in mud; though he shot them but this was a desperate action. Another example of his majority is seen when he had left the battle scene and escaped to Switzerland with Catherine for which he cared more than for himself.
When Catherine was admitted into the hospital and her baby died, Henry sensed the pain inside of him but was still hopeful that Catherine might survive. Before her death, Catherine told him not to worry because she had not been afraid; he was able to see more and talk less because he had been witnessing a person dying in front of him for whom he cared more than for anything else. After her death, Henry landed in her room to see her for the last time and say goodbye to the person that was not more than a statue. He was being cynical, and the reality began to overwhelm him; he understood that life is the precious thing, no matter how difficult the circumstances are. One must appreciate life despite all misgivings it provides because Henry learned through the hard way that life is always a gift; and Catherine played her part in making him realize the beauty of life, and how a person must always be thankful to it. Hemmingway has a simple style of expressing things and emotions with the help of his stories. He is one of the few writers that does not prolong his stories for the sake of arguments and encounter arguments. This adds the simplicity along with the understanding about what is going on in the story, and what the author is talking about. The whole novel revolves around typical Hemingway’s style, where the readers get everything in a calm and polite manner. The warzone is an intense place to live in as there is the chaos and deaths everywhere around but Hemingway’s hero always remains calm and maintains his charm. Similarly, Henry does the same while he is being in the middle of the intense battle zone where his own forces are constantly receiving the bombardment from Austrians and Germans; the undisturbed ambulance driver is the least bothered (Hemingway 16).
Rain is an important factor in Hemingway’s works; and it is often seen in most of his novels. Farewell to Arms is not the other one in this aspect also as rain has been described in many scenes of the war theme, in the hospital, in the meeting between Henry and Catherine, or in the last scene where Henry was going back to his hotel empty handed and lost. Rain plays a vital role in the author’s works signifying both happiness and sorrow (Hemingway 19). In Henry’s case, he is not at all greedy and a traitor of his country but he does what he deems to be necessary at that point of time. He is a rationally minded person who likes to set the priorities in his life and to save his love as the highest priority than to save his fellow soldiers at that time. However, he felt sorrow and guilt towards them repeatedly but he had remained behind other soldiers that would have either killed him or brought to the military court to be judged.. He chose none of these options, but instead this suited him better to go with his love and to lead a peaceful and the trouble free life. What happened to him is being another story though his rationality had never been under the question from the very beginning.