In A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway portrays the idea that life and war create nothing but hopelessness and tragedy - Research Paper Example

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Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms can be rightly claimed as a parallel to Romeo and Juliet’s story of love and sacrifice Introduction A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1929. The book is a first person account of the author’s personal experience in the war front during the First World War…
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In A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway portrays the idea that life and war create nothing but hopelessness and tragedy
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"In A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway portrays the idea that life and war create nothing but hopelessness and tragedy"

Download file to see previous pages The relationship between Henry and Catherine blossoms and results in Catherine becoming pregnant. Post treatment, Henry has to return to the waterfront leaving behind Catherine and consequently is taken as captives. However, he manages to flee and returns to Catherine. Both of them escape to Switzerland where fate desolates them and both Catherine and the new born baby dies leaving Henry devastated. The theme of love, separation and desolation in the novel can be rightly claimed as a parallel to William Shakespeare’s immortal tale of love and sacrifice Romeo & Juliet. The major theme of this book was to present love as a major theme against war and all kinds of wrongdoing in the world. From the beginning to the end of this novel, every incident was associated with rain. And other images of water. The rain always associated with destruction, sorrow and death, As this story was all about the death of a lover and destruction caused by the war therefore the backdrop of rain was appropriate to demonstrate the scenario. But in this story the rain was not only the symbol of destruction, it was also used as a symbol of life when Henry were able to escape from the authority twice through a river and lake. There was a clear indication that all the character of this novel was trying to dissociate themselves from the horror of war by means of involving in different games. For Henry, the biggest diversion was his love Catherine. He first treated his love as a game, but slowly started to realize the attraction and connection that he was having with her and how she able to change his life. This love story in the backdrop of the horror of WWI was a resemblance to the immortal love story of Romeo and Juliet. The story portrays that love is always more important than war, and life and war can only bring hopelessness and tragedy. A Farewell to Arms: A story of sacrifice A Farewell to Arms finds its place among the best tragic creations of Ernest Hemingway. Baker in his book says that Hemingway himself “referred to the story of Lieutenant Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley as his Romeo & Juliet” (Bloom, 69). The striking similarity between Henry and Catherine and their Shakespearean counterparts, Romeo and Juliet is how the love relationship between them, which started as flirtation affair, graduated to mature relationship where they held their own even when the odds were stacked against them. The background of the love story between Catherine and Henry is the Austria-Italy war amidst the grueling World War I while the Shakespearean lovers had to hold out the Montague-Capulet family feud. Drawing other similarities between the two immortal creations of love and sacrifice, Baker says “Neither in Romeo & Juliet nor in A Farewell to Arms is the catastrophe a direct and logical result of the immoral social situation” (Baker 99). Baker concludes that Catherine’s death “is an unfortunate biological accident” and “the death of Shakespeare’s lovers is also precipitated by an accident – the detention of the message bearing friar” (Baker, 99). Baker also observes that “Catherine’s death,….shows a kind of artistic inevitability. Except by a large indirection, the war does not kill Catherine any more than the Veronese feud kills Juliet”. (Bloom, 39). Hemmingway does not portray every graphical detail of the war. The only strong depiction of war comes in when the book illustrates the bombardment and injury of Henry immediately after the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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