Books and Movies Reviews

A Farewell to Arms

In Hemingway's book, A Farewell to Arms, there are many moral lessons to be learned.
One of the primary lessons is to be prepared and expect the unexpected.Many instances in
the novel support this idea. For instance, the main character, Frederic Henry, never dreams
that he will fall in love with Catherine Barkley. Atfirst, he only wishes to use her and take
advantage of her situation, but later, he begins to look past his lustful desires and truly love
Catherine. The irony that Hemingway uses sets the tone for the many unexpected events.
At the beginning of the novel when Catherine and Fredericfirst meet, Frederic
makes it very clear that he does not intend to fall in love with her. He says plainly that he
does not love her and he has no intention to.He is only playing a game with her, like
bridge, in which words are used instead of cards (Hemingway 30). His intentions are only to
play this cruel game with Catherine to get her into his bed. He has no real desire to love her,
but later after all the experiences they go through together, their love matures. When they
escape to Switzerland they are so deeply in love that they want to isolate themselves from
everything except each other. Their love grows strong and lasts through Catherine’s last
breath. Frederic never wants her love; but he is devastated when he loses it.
Another example of an unexpected event is when Frederic is injured. Frederic
believes that he is merely an ambulance driver and the war can never affect him
(Hemingway 18). But in all honesty, the brutal effects of war hit Frederic hard in two
aspects: physically and mentally. At the front, the Italian offensive begins and Frederic takes
shelter in a dugout; but a canister shell hits it and severely wounds his legs. He is sent to an
American hospital in Milan where he takes a leave from his duty. Mentally the war takes
another toll on Frederic. He watches as friend …


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