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A farewell to arm overview

A Farewell to Arms: Overview

The overall tone of the book is much different than that of The Sun Also Rises.

The characters in the book are propelled by outside forces, in this case WWI,

where the characters in SAR seemed to have no direction. Frederick's actions are

determined by his position until he deserts the army. Floating down the river

with barely a hold on a piece of wood his life, he abandons everything except

Catherine and lets the river take him to a new life that becomes increasing

difficult to understand.

The escape to Switzerland seemed too perfect for a book that set a tone of

ugliness in the world that was only dotted with pure love like Henry's and Cat's

and I knew the story couldn't end with bliss in the slopes of Montreux. In a

world where the abstracts of glory, honor, and sacrifice meant little to

Frederick, his physical association with Catherine was the only thing he had and

it was taken away from him long before she died.

The love that Frederick and Catherine had for each other was more than could be

explained in words and Frederick makes it known that words are not really

effective at describing the flesh and blood details. Their love during an ugly

war was not to be recreated or modeled even as much as through a baby conceived

by their love. The baby could not be born alive because their love was beautiful

yet doomed so that nothing could come out of it.

Hemingway's language is effective in leaving much to the readers interpretation

and allowing a different image to form in each readers mind. The simple

sentences and incomplete descriptions frees your imagination and inspires each

person to develop their own bitter love story.

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