A Farewell to Arms

By, Ernest Hemingway


A Farewell to Arms is an untraditional love story. An ambulance driver falls for a nurse in nan unexpected way. The couple has a strange way of describing their relationship. Henry is the ambulance driver, narrater, and main character in this book. He describes himself as a stoic lover and will never ever marry. Then he falls for a nurse named Catherine. A traditional girl who believes in love but not in marriage the same as Henry. He doesn't believe he can ever love anyone and that she will merely be another companion. After an injury his eyes open to the love he though he could never have and falls head over heals for Catherine. During a war a love between the two of them becomes stronger. Even after being captured Henry dreams of Catherine and his unborn child every waking moment of the day. The couple will find solitude in Switzerland and live their time together and prepare for a new life with their child. Yet Catherine knows that the birth will not go over as hoped. The ending is not like a teenager novel or typical love story. One is left alone and regrettably returns to a state of unhappiness.


This book is one that I love to hate. The main character Henry is the worst possible person on the planet. He is dreadfully addicted to women and alcohol and believes that he is merely a stoic human being who doesn't deserve happiness. For this, I feel a sense of pity for him and for the woman he pretends to love in the first half of the book. Catherine is a woman of pure love and devotion. She is repetitive and asks Henry multiple times if he truly loves her. Henry after being injured falls in love with her which is all fine and good but he is still the most dry and confusing man ever described. Their relationship in itself is ridiculous and has no point. They believe to be married one day but yet to be married now is useless and not worth the effort. His devotion to her becomes unbelievable as his heart starts to melt to her. The ending of the book can make one either cry or say he deserved it. I am stuck in the middle, I hate how he approaches intimate situations and is so blunt. However no one ever deserves to feel the sadness that he feels at the end and you can feel his sadness through his prayer. Overall a good book but one you will have mixed feelings on.

Favorite Passage

"The nurse went into the room and shut the door. I sat outside in the hall. Everything was gone inside of me. I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don't let her die. Oh, God please don't let her die. I'll do anything for you if you won't let her die, please, please, please, dear God, don't let her die. Dear God, don't let her die. Please, please, please don't let her die. God please make her not die. I'll do anything you say if you don't let her die. You took the baby but don't let her die. That was all right but don't let her die. Please, please, dear God, don't let her die."

This passage was my favorite due to the fact that Henry falls into desperation. He looks to God to seek a miracle for the woman he actually loves. It is a sad passage that makes you realize the sadness he must feel. He prays anyway in the hopes that there is a chance she will survive.


Lieutenant Henry is an American who drives an ambulance for the Italian army. He believes that he does not deserve love and treats other women as if they will be friends but nothing more. He believes that war is a waste of time and that there is no point into one side fighting another. He goes through the war with an injury to his leg when he goes to the front. He then falls deeply in love with a nurse, which creates a blunt love between him and her.

Catherine Barkley is an English nurse that meets Henry on a double date with her friend Miss Ferguson. She is a woman of pure love and devotion and ask repeadtly for confirmation that Henry loves her and only her. She was previously engaged with her boyfriend of eight years but broke it off later. She is small woman that will be her undoing later in the novel.

Rinaldi is Henry's best friend that is iItalian. He originally is in love with Catherine but realizes that Catherine is in love with Henry. He is a constantly drinking and comforts Henry on multiple occasions.

There are also multiple people that help the couple throughout the story. They give aid through money, escape vehicles, housing, and clothes.

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Works Cited

Sarah Allison

A Farewell to Arms SMORE Project

"A Farewell to Arms (1932 Film)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.


"Cinema OCD: A Farewell to Arms (1932) Picspam." Cinema OCD: A Farewell to Arms (1932) Picspam.

N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://cinemaocd.blogspot.com/2010/06/farewell-to-arms-


"Conscientious Reflections." : A Farewell to Arms: Apolitically Anti War. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.


File:A Farewell to Arms (1932 Film) 4.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.


Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner Classics, 1997. Print.