An Overveiw of a Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway



             Write a character sketch of the character you feel is the most important to the book.

             The character that I feel is the most important to the book is Catherine Barkley. She was a constant character in the novel. Hemingway uses Catherine as a hero. She is worldly but she is modest and truthful. Even though she dies she still is a principle character.

             List the primary conflict in the book.

             Henry is struggling throughout the book to become a more mature person. Catherine challenges him and sees right through his games.

             Write a solid paragraph discussing what you feel is the theme.

             The battle of the sexes is continuous throughout the novel. Hemingway writes of two lovers who were so engrossed in each other that they seem to feel there was no one in the world but them. There is a war going on but the couple is sharing a free-living and heavy drinking life to dull the pain of real life experiences.

             Critical commentary.

             Pedria Bryfonski writes that Hemingway's disillusion during the First World War was best written in A Farewell to Arms. He states that in the conversation between the hero and an Italian the subject is about loosing. The hero makes it a point to change the conversation about loosing to winning. "Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the number roads, the names of rivers, the names of regiments and dates.” In the light of this statement it is clearer why the older writer had such difficulty in saying what it is he hates and what it is that he sets against it. He uses symbols to express his hurtful dissatisfaction with the Christian universe.

             Bryfonski, Pedria. Contemporary Literature Criticism. Volume 10 1979.

             About the author. .

             Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father Clarence E. Hemming way was a doctor. He later committed suicide in 1928. His mother was very religious. She gave up a singing career to raise a family.

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