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A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The book was published in 1929, 11 years after the war.

The novel takes place from 1916-1918 in:
the Julian Alps; along the border between Italy and the Austria-Hungary empire
the city of Milan; lies in the plains of northern Italy far from the front
Italian resort town of Stresa, lake Maggiore; between Italy and Switzerland
numerous towns/villages of the Swiss Alps.

Italy joins the war in 1915
Their strategy was to prevent the German Troops from reinforcing the Austrian army.

In the book:
The Italian retreat - took place following the Battle of Caporetto on October 24, 1917
Oct. 1918 - The Italian army mounted an offensive the resulted in the surrender of 300,000 Austrian soldiers and hastened the Austrian defeat in the war.

The book takes place during WWI, otherwise known as the Great War.
WWI began July of 1917 due to the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Austria

Born in Cicero, Illinois - which is now Oak Park
Worked for Kansas City Star after highschool which provided him with experience and help to develop his straight forward and simplistic style
Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954
Plot Summary
The novel opens with World War I raging all over Europe. A young American by the name of Henry Frederic offers his services to the Italian army. In Gorizia, he is wounded in the knee and is sent to recuperate in a hospital in Milan. He falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine Barkley, lives with her, and soon becomes pregnant. After a few months of recuperation, he returns to the front in Gorizia and is caught in the Italian retreat. In order to save his life, he deserts his post and goes away to a hospital located in Milan to take Catherine and go some place where they can start a new life and raise their child. They run away into Switzerland but cannot live happily, for a fresh tragedy awaits them. Their eagerly awaited son is stillborn and Catherine who can never have a normal delivery, dies after a Caesarian operation. It is a story of love, pain, loyalty, and desertion.
Literary Elements
&
Themes
Literary Techniques
Hemingway writes in short, declarative sentences.
Has a tough, terse prose (abrupt)
Uses Modernism to create a type of ordered form in order to represent the chaos of the times.
Employs Italian dialect to further engage the reader into the setting. ("Tenente")
Literary

Elements
Motifs:
Masculinity
celebration of a domineering, supremely competent and staggeringly virile.
uses opposites to contrast each other's personalities.
Rinaldi (womanizer) --> Priest (lack of lust)
Dr. Valentini (experienced, incautious Dr.) --> Preceding three overly cautious doctors
Bonello (ruthlessness, loyal to Tenente) --> disloyal soldiers who left and disobeyed Tenente's orders.

Themes
Tragedy:
Relationship between love and pain
they never talk of war when together
Catherine immediately announcing the pain of losing her last fiance.
Great love, like everything else in the world, despite being good, bad, deserving, innocent, or genuine cannot last forever.
Catherine dying, the baby being still-born, and Tenente dishonorably leaving the Italian Army
Historical Background
About the Author
Symbols
Rain:
Catherine is scared and has anxiety towards the rain. She claims that it ruins things for lovers.
After Catherine and their baby are dead, Henry is illustrated walking out into the rain, asserting that she was right for having anxiety towards the rain as their love did not last.
Catherine's Hair:
Henry describes her hair as being "inside a tent or behind a waterfall".
This depicts the couple's feelings of isolation from the world despite the on-going and raging war
When they are truly isolated and away from the war, such as in Switzerland, their love reveals to be just as fragile and evanescent as hair when faced with harsh reality.
Loyalty Vs. Abandonment:
Examples:
disloyal soldier who leaves troops
Tenente leaving his army and the war for good
Tenente feels bad for leaving but understands that his loyalty only counts most in his relationship with Catherine and not the Army and war of which he has come to hate.
Underlines and reflects the priorities of a specific individual's life

As the neat and organizied columns of men in war begin to crumble, the soldiers nerves, minds, and capacity for rational and moral judgement begin to fall apart as well. This can be seen when Tenente mindlessly and desperately tries to kill the run-away soldiers, only injuring one, with Bonello eagerly going out to finish off the kill.
very drastic and without thought
The war ended in November of 1918.
A peace treaty, known as the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28 of 1919. It ended war between Germany and Allied Powers.

Central Powers
: Germany and Austro-Hugarian Europeans
Allied Powers
: Italy, Great Britain, France, Russia, United States (who joined in 1917)


1918, Milan
Ernest Miller Hemingway
21 July, 1899 - 2 July, 1961
Hadley & Ernest
Possible Essay Questions
What concept of heroism does Hemingway present through Henry and others? Or is Henry being depicted as an anti-hero?

Throughout the novel many of the characters seek for an escape from the horrors of the war. In the end what themes does Hemingway suggest about these comforts and how does he employ it?

A Farewell to Arms is a love story and war novel. Discuss the role of love in the novel: how does it affect the character views on war, and how does it help in shaping his relationship?

To what extent are the characters in A Farewell to Arms in control of their lives, and to what extent are they controlled by outside forces? Analyze how their surroundings impacted the individual.

Trace the development of Frederic Henry as a character, does he change his outlook and ideas as a result of his experiences? How does he grow as a person?

Vocabulary
Quarrel
-
arguement or disagreement
Camions
- cart or wagon
Dago
-
Italian/Spanish/or Portuguese speaking person
Tenente
-
Lieutenant
Matron
-
dignified woman
Conniptions
-
fit of hysterical excitement or anger
Alky
-
alcoholic
Cavalry
-
military force riding on horseback
Epithet
-
word/phrase to describe an attributed quality. ie. "Mans's best friend" instead of "dog"
About the Main Characters
Tenente (Frederic Henry) :
Main protagonist in the story. Joins the Italian Army and soon falls in love with an English Nurse named Catherine. Later he quits the army and leaves to Switzerland to raise a family with Catherine.
Catherine Barkley :
English Nurse who falls in love with Henry. Previously had a fiance who died in war. She becomes pregnant and gives birth to a still-born and later died of uncontrollable continual hemorrhages.
Rinaldi :
A doctor and one of Tenente's closer friends.
Helen Ferguson :
Catherine's best friend. She is also a nurse and sometimes does not approve of Catherine and Henry's relationship. She is not sure if Henry is trustworthy.
In 1918, Hemingway went overseas to serve in World War I as an ambulance driver in the Italian Army.
For his service, he was awarded the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery, but soon got injuries that put him in a hospital in Milan.There he met a nurse named Agnes von Kurowsky, whom accepted a marriage proposal from Hemingway, but later left him for another man.
This devastated him but provided material for his works "A Very Short Story" and , A Farewell to Arms.
Still injured and recovering from the war at the young age of 20, he returned to the United States and spent time in northern Michigan and soon took a job at the Toronto Star. Then in Chicago Hemingway met Hadley Richardson, who became his first wife. They married and moved to Paris, where Hemingway worked as a foreign correspondent for the Star.
Hemingway soon became a key part of what Gertrude Stein would famously call "The Lost Generation." With Stein as his mentor, Hemingway made the acquaintance of many of the great writers and artists of his generation, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso and James Joyce.
Later has a son with Hadley but divorces her and has another child with a woman named Pauline Pfeiffer
Even at this peak of his literary career, though, the burly Hemingway's body and mind were beginning to betray him.
Hemingway suffered from depression
Early in the morning of July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in his Ketchum home.
Hemingway left behind an impressive body of work that still influences writers today.
“I was experiencing the masculine difficulty of…” (31)
“I think you and he are a little that way.” (65)
“You’re such a silly boy.” (102)
“And do you love me?” “Yes.” (30)
“You did say you loved me, didn’t you?” “Yes,” I lied. “I love you.” (30)
“We are war brothers. Kiss me good-by.” (67)
“The medical captain, ‘what hit you?’ (59)
“There isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me.” (115)

Allegory
Bacchus
Dionysus
God of Grape Harvest
Created wine
“The major said he has heard a report that I could drink. I denied this. He said it was true and by the corpse of Bacchus we should test whether it was true or not. Not Bacchus I said. Not Bacchus. Yes, Bacchus, he said.” (40)
“After some more wine…” (40)

Warfare
“The medical captain, ‘what hit you?’ Me, with eyes shut, a trench mortar shell.” (59)
“War is not won by victory.” (50)
“And the ones who would not make war? Can they stop it?” “I do not know.” (71)
Courage
“The medical captain, ‘What hit you?’ “Me, with the eyes shut, ‘A trench mortar shell.’” (59)
Full transcript