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The Elements of Fiction in "Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway

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The name of Ernest Hemingway is widely known all over the world as it became the symbol of literature success and fame, unique skills and hard-working nature of the writer. One of the main accents in his works of the 1920s years is war. He was searching for truthful values in life. Ernest Hemingway was considering the fate of front-line soldiers of the First World War, their return to their homes and girlfriends. Moreover, he wrote about the solitude of those women who did not meet their beloved after war. The same tragic mood the author describes in his war novel Farewell to Arms.

The novel Farewell to Arms tells about the events of 1915-1918 at Italian-Austrian front. The protagonist and narrator Frederic Henry is a young lieutenant in the Italian army. He tells the story from the first person. Henry comes to a small town in Italy, where he and other officers enjoy themselves as the war is winding down. They are drinking much, playing the billiards, visiting bordello etc. Thus, everything changes when Henry meets a beautiful young nurse Catherine Barkley. She tells him a story of her life. Here the exposition ends. The background information is given and now a reader knows that something is going to happen with these people.

The rising action starts when Henry and Catherine start their love affair. First, Catherine does not allow Henry kissing her and slaps him in the face. Thus, later they become devoted to each other and their relationships begin. No one approves of their relationships. The officers consider Henry to be not serious about Catherine and the nurses are afraid that he is going to hurt her. Apart from that, war actions continue and Henry has to leave. 

The attack begins and Henry is wounded. There is blood, screams and bodies all over. He is transported to Milan to a local hospital. Fortunately, Catherine is also there. Henry is operated there and waits with impatience to see Catherine. Now, they feel truly in love. Henry wants them to get married and be together. But, Catherine has obscure misgiving. Moreover, she does not like the rain. It makes her think of dreadful things that are going to happen. Here the rising action ends.

The climax of the story is the situation when Henry and Catherine are setting apart as he has to return to the front. Catherine tells Henry that she is pregnant. What is more, the situation on the front is difficult. The Italian army retreats. Henry is suspicious for Italian gendarmes and they capture him.

Finally, Henry manages to escape death and gendarmes. He understands that he is fed up with war and duty. He realizes that he is not created for war, but for being with Catherine. The war is finished for him. The falling action describes Henry’s decision to desert and be with his beloved.

The resolution of the story describes the events of Catherine’s labor. There are lots of problems with the labor and the doctors decide to make Caesarean section.  Unfortunately, the child is still-born and Catherine dies. Henry is left absolutely alone and devastated. He thinks that everything always ends with death. A man is given life and told the rules how to live it. Nobody is given a chance to hide from life or death.

Farewell to Arms is the story which describes the lives of the whole devastated generation after First World War. This novel helps to understand why people reject admitting any ideological dogmas, military service or social duties. Thus, Ernest Hemingway’s heroes never give up. A defeat makes them search and find new sense of their existence in love and friendship.

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