A Farewell to Arms: Love Story Essay

1177 Words Oct 2nd, 1999 5 Pages
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, is somewhat of

a Romeo and Juliet love story, with a tragic ending. In this

novel, Romeo is Frederick Henry and Juliet is Catherine

Barkley. Their love affair must survive the everything that is

around them during World War I. The setting of this novel is

war-torn Italy. The love between Catherine and Frederick

must outlast long separations, life-threatening war situations,

and the uncertainty of each other's whereabouts or

condition. This is a love story of two people who need each

other in a period of chaos.

The book A Farewell to Arms is partly autobiographical.

Hemingway , like his hero, was a Red Cross ambulance

driver on the Italian Front in World War I. Not only was

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The other type of conflict that

we see is man verses himself, which is shown in Frederick's

constant struggle within himself. Since we are told of

Frederick's thoughts we know constantly of the internal

struggle within himself over everything from his love for

Catherine to his thoughts during battle in the war. The

conflict that Frederick experiences within himself starts at the

beginning of the novel and is not resolved until Catherine's


The theme that Hemingway seems to emphasize throughout

the novel is the search for order in a chaotic world.

Hemingway conveys this through Frederick's own personal

search during the chaos of World War I. Catherine has

found strength within herself to help lead her through life.

Frederick sees this in her and wants it also. Through his

involvement with Catherine, Frederick slowly begins to find

his own inner strength, and as a result his of his affair with

Catherine he leaves his previous wild life of prostitutes and

drink. He states in the novel that spending the night with

Catherine is better then spending the night in a house of

prostitution even though his feelings for her are not deep at

that time. He becomes aware of an element of stability in

their affair and realizes that the war that he is involved in is

too chaotic, so he deserts the Italian soldiers he has been

helping. He and Catherine make a life for themselves totally

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