Title: A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Synopsis: A Farewell to Arms is a story of the love affair between Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley. He was an American in the Italian Army, working as an ambulance driver. She was an English lady working at a hospital close to the Italian front line. They meet near the front, as she and some other nurses are moving from one hospital to another. Soon after, at the beginning of an Italian offensive, he is injured by an Austrian shell and is sent away from the front. He goes to a brand-new hospital in which he is the first patient. Catherine is there, and during his recuperation, they begin an intense relationship. Before he returns to the front, Catherine reveals to Frederick that she is pregnant. Soon after he returns to the front, the Italians begin a massive retreat, and Frederick and his ambulance drivers are separated from the main group. With the increased paranoia toward enemy infiltration, Frederick is arrested by a group of officers who suspect him of being a spy because he speaks Italian with an accent, being an American. He runs from the army, meets up with Catherine, and they escape from Italy to Switzerland. Several months later, she is ready to deliver her baby. There are complications, and after a Caesarean Section, the baby is born lifeless. Catherine becomes unconscious, and dies, unable to be saved
Themes: The main theme in A Farewell to Arms is that war kills us in more ways
than one. It can wound us in battle, but it can scar us in sometimes deeper
ways. It causes betrayal, like the paranoid Italians turning on Frederick because
he spoke with a foreign accent. It can even trouble us from afar, as in the
case of Catherine, how she was haunted by her long-time love's death in the
war, several years after he was gone. War can touch us in many more ways than
any other thing of human making.
Point of View:
A Farewell to Arms was written in the 1st person point of view.
Characters/types: Hemingway creates characters who seem to be pretty shallow,
but are driven by much deeper forces. For example, Catherine Barkley seems like
an English lady nurse who likes to be around Frederick. When one looks at her
more deeply, one can see her deep desire to please him is driven by the loss
of her first love, and she thinks that if she does everything that Frederick
wants her to, maybe somehow he will be saved from the fate of her first love
who died in the war.
Figurative Language/literary devices:
The main literary device in the book is that it is all written as a flashback,
and this tells the reader several things. First, since it is in First person,
the person who is narrating will be an important character, also, he will not
die throughout the novel, because he could not be telling the story if he was
dead. Also used in the story are good diction conveying the emotions of the
character, as well as other literary devices.
1. Which element was the most important to the development of the novel? Explain why.
The climax was the most important element to the development of the novel because it showed Frederick that no one could escape the reaches of the war and no one could forget the death and destruction that it brings with it.
2. Identify the elements of plot below. Justify your answer.
A. initial incident The initial incident in the plot was the first time that Catherine and Frederick meet. They seem to have been made for each other, and hit it off instantly.
B. climax The climax of the plot is the scene at the hospital. After escaping the war unscathed, Frederick must fight an internal war as his newborn son dies, and his wife dead He reminded of the gruesome violence of war and how it spares none.
3. Give an example of conflict. Identify the type of conflict and how it is / why it is not resolved.
One example of conflict in the novel is the escape of Catherine and Frederick
from Italy when the police are trying to arrest Frederick for being a deserter.
They snuck out of their hotel room during the night and rowed their way to Switzerland.
The Italian police never captured him.
4. Give an example of irony from the novel. Identify the type and explain how or why it is ironic.
An example of irony in the story is the ending. It is dramatic irony, because the reader knows that something will go wrong during the birth, because their life is too perfect in Switzerland, and this is Hemingway- nothing can end as well as things were going in a Hemingway novel. Frederick is broken by the death of Catherine.
5. Identify a flashback from the novel and explain the effect of the use of this device.
The entire novel is a flashback, this tells the reader several things. First, since it is in First person, the person who is narrating will be an important character, also, he will not die throughout the novel, because he could not be telling the story if he was dead.
7. From what point of view is the story told? What effect does this point of view have on the reader?
The story is told from the 1st person point of view. This point of view puts the reader more into the action and the plot of the story because the reader feels like they are in the story rather than looking in on the story.
8. Describe the setting of the novel.
The novel is set in war-torn Italy, and for a short time in Switzerland. The front line in World War I in Italy is a gruesome picture of all-out war. During Frederick's breaks from the front, Italy seems to be a deserted place, with very few people in the towns because they are all at the front lines fighting the war.
9. Identify two major characters from the novel. For each character: A. Identify
the type. B. Give
three quotes, with page numbers, which illustrates the character.
Character one: Frederick Henry
B. "...come to bed" p 116
" He's not an Italian. He's an American"
" I have also drunk it myself" p 142
Character two: Catherine Barkley
A. Supporting Character
B. "I thought I had never seen any one so beautiful" p 91
" Nobody is like us" p 147
"You're splendid, darling" p 280
10. Give a one sentence statement of theme for the novel.
There is no way to escape the horrors of war, each person must fight them
in his own way.
Identify six different types of figurative language or literary devices used in the novel. For each
type: A. Identify type. B. Give a quote with page number. C. Explain the effect.
1. A. Flashback
B. "We lived in a house in a village" p 3
C. Shows that the entire novel will be a flashback.
2. A. Diction
B. " Don't let her die. Oh, God, please don't let her die. I'll do anything for you if you won't let her die. Please, please, please, dear God, Don't let her die." C. This diction shows the human lack of eloquence during a crisis. There are no complex phrases, just begging God for what you need.
3. A. Indirect Characterization
B. "It did not take her very long to die"
C. A very subtle way of telling the reader that Catherine was dead.
4. A. Simile
B. " You are like a snake" p 246
C. Describes Frederick as being sly and slithering, like a snake
5. A. Foreshadowing
B. " If people bring so much courage into this world, the world has to kill them to break them,so of course it kills them.
C. Foreshadows the death of Catherine
6. A. Sarcasm
B."It's not deserting from the army. It's only the Italian army.
C. Describes the Italian army as not being an army, only a joke.
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