Moving away from lavish parties, exuberant lifestyles and Wall Street, “Farewell to Arms” is an anti-war book published in 1929 by World War One veteran Ernest Hemingway.
Set in Italy during the war, the book details the military experiences of Frederic Henry, an American who volunteered with the Italian ambulance services, and his romantic relationship with nurse Catherine Barkley. Wartime love stories have time and time again tugged at the heartstrings of readers, particularly at moments of separation when Henry was forced to leave for the war front leaving Catherine behind.
Yet “Farewell to Arms” elevates this love story to the next level by drawing upon Hemmingway’s personal experiences to express the brutality of war in a subtle but brilliant manner. As the Italian army retreated in disarray, the actual frenzy could be seen through the demoralization of the solders’ spirits, inside their crumbling minds, emotions and lives.
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