- A Farewell to Arms
name = A Farewell to Arms
image_caption = First edition cover
country = USA
language = English
genre = War
release_date = May–October, 1929
media_type = Print (Serialization)
pages = 336 pp (Scribner reprint ed)
isbn = ISBN 978-0-684-80146-9 (Scribner reprint ed)
"A Farewell to Arms" is a semi-autobiographical
novelwritten by Ernest Hemingway, first published in 1929. Much of the novel was written at the home of Hemingway's in-laws in Piggott, Arkansas.cite web|url=http://hemingway.astate.edu/|title=Hemingway-Pfeiffer Home Page|publisher=Arkansas State University|accessdate=2007-01-30] Considered by some critics to be the greatest war novel of all time,Fact|date=January 2008 the novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I. The title is taken from a poem by 16th century English dramatist George Peele.cite web|title=George Peele: A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth)|publisher=The DayPoems Poetry Collection|url=http://www.daypoems.net/poems/104.html|accessdate=2008-05-19]
The novel is divided into five books. In the first book, Henry meets and attempts to seduce Catherine Barkley and their relationship begins. While on the
Italian Campaign (World War I), Henry is wounded in the knee by a mortar shell and sent to a hospital in
Milan. The second book shows the growth of Henry and Catherine's relationship as they spend time together in Milan over the summer. Henry falls in love with Catherine, and by the time he is healed, Catherine is three months pregnant. In the third book, Henry returns to his unit, but not long after, the Austro-Germans break through the Italian lines, and the Italians retreat. After falling behind and catching up again, Henry is taken to a place where officers are being interrogated and executed for the "treachery" that supposedly led to the Italian defeat. However, Henry escapes by jumping into a river. In the fourth book, Catherine and Henry reunite and flee to Switzerlandin a rowboat. In the final book, Henry and Catherine live a quiet life in the mountains until she goes into labor. After a long and painful labor, their son is stillborn. Catherine begins to hemorrhageand soon dies, leaving Henry to return to their hotel in the rain.
*Frederic Henry, often simply called Tenente ("Lieutenant"), is the
narratorof the story. Henry is a volunteer ambulance driver from the United States. In Henry, we see the beginnings of what comes to be called Hemingway's "Code Hero": Henry is stoic under duress or pain; he modestly deflects praise for his contributions to the war; he is unflappable under fire; he does his work. He is a "man's man," in that his thoughts revolve on women ("girls") and drink. He participates in and seems to enjoy the banal, everyday conversation between the soldiers. He is attracted to the simple goodness of the priest, who, like Henry (who is not religious), sticks to his beliefs despite the war's constant presence.
*Catherine Barkley has been used hard by life. She declined a proposal of marriage, and then her love was killed in the war. She is Scottish, professional, deeply feeling. Her sexual desires and her simple desire for companionship are sometimes at odds with her needs to tend to the ill. Like the code hero, she handles conflicting needs with grace, giving to both, but shorting none. Feminist thinkers will see in Catherine, Hemingway's perfect woman: wise and cynical in many ways, her wisdom cannot contain her desire. As Henry gives his health and youth to the war effort, Catherine's chief heroism is to ignore the dangers of unprotected sex and to accept the pain and death of childbirth stoically.
*Rinaldi is a physician through which Hemingway draws his idea of an Italian male. Sketched somewhat jingoistically, Rinaldi is unfailingly exuberant, ignoring small details that would stop his large and giving gestures. He loves women and drinking, bearing a bottle of the latter and tales of the former to his friend Henry as Henry recovers from his wounds. He enjoys performing surgery, seeing it as an enjoyable challenge; he greets his friend Frederic Henry with a formal European-style kiss. Rinaldi is a form of the code hero as well. He allows Hemingway to explore another, non-Anglo-American, way of being male, of facing even a difficult world, an injured Italy, with joie de vivre, ignoring all danger, giving himself.
*The novel was adapted for the stage by
Laurence Stallingsin 1930.
*The 1932 screen adaptation was nominated for the
Academy Award for Best Picture. The screenplay was written by Oliver H.P. Garrett and Benjamin Glazer. It was directed by Frank Borzage, and features the music of Richard Wagner. The movie stars Helen Hayes, Gary Cooperand Adolphe Menjou[imdb title|id=0022879|title=A Farewell to Arms (1932)] .
*A 1957 remake starring
Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, and Vittorio De Sicawas directed by Charles Vidorand John Huston. De Sica was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance [imdb title|id=0050379|title=A Farewell to Arms (1957)] .
BBCbroadcast an abridged adaptation - written by Giles Cooper, directed by Rex Tucker, and starring Vanessa Redgraveand George Hamilton- on February 15, 1966 [imdb title|id=0397787|title=A Farewell to Arms (1966)] .
Battles of the Isonzo
* [http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/farewell/ Spark Notes: A Farewell to Arms]
* [http://literapedia.wikispaces.com/A+Farewell+to+Arms Literapedia: A Farewell to Arms]
* [http://www.scribd.com/doc/485409/Hemingway-A-Farewell-to-Arms Read On-Line in Scribd.com]
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