Imagery in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms Essay example

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Imagery in A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Imagery placed strategically through the novel A Farewell to Arms shows how well Ernest Hemingway is able to prepare the reader for events to come. Catherine Barkley, the English nurse who falls in love with Fredric Henry, an American in the Italian army, states, "I'm afraid of the rain" (125), as they stay in Milan. She goes on to explain "I'm afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it. ... And sometimes I see you dead in it" (126). The foreshadowing this provides is very ominous and frighteningly accurate. Hemingway even continues to strengthen this foreboding by saying, "She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying. But outside it kept on raining"
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The police in Switzerland, as well, are helpful and courteous to the two. When they are arrested in the customs town, the policeman, after seeing they have money and plans, "His attitude toward us became less haughty" (281). Other critics also add to this image of safety in the mountains. Carlos Baker quotes Ludwig Lewisohn saying "Switzerland with it's blending in so simple and moving a fashion of the eternal notes of love" (Baker 61). E.M. Halliday also states "it can be allowed that the lovers are not free of the contaminating shadow of war until they have escaped up the lake to Switzerland and established themselves in their little chalet above Montreux" (Halliday 70)

The mountains give a sense of home in A Farewell to Arms. After Fredric and Catherine escaped into the Swiss Alps, they stay "in a brown wooden house in the pine trees on the side of the mountain and at night there was frost so that there was a thin ice over the water in the two pitchers on the dresser in the morning" (289). Their stay in the Alps continued until the spring rains came and they decided to move into town. He explains the conditions they found there, saying, "We lived through the months of January and February and the winter was very fine and we were very happy" (306). This vision of home is the main point of discussion in Carlos Baker's "The

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