Ernest Hemmingways “A Farewell to Arms” is a treat to read especially for romantics. Its wry, sarcastic humor against the backdrop of World War 1 gives the story of two individuals love in a war torn country. Frederic Henry, an American by birth serves as a Lieutenant – called as Tenente by his fellow mates – in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. He is introduced to a beautiful nurse by the name of Catherine Barkley by his friend and fellow war mate Rinaldi.


It’s a classic love story which anyone would want to come across in their life. To be more clear the love here is fantasy. Lots of things go in the background. There is war, there is heavy shelling’s everywhere, lots of disease breaks out but all these guys are concerned about is each other. It’s not only that war is a drug and the first casualty of war is innocence. Combined quote from movies “The hurt locker” and “Platoon.” War is bloody and every bloody statement said showing its cruelty is true.

Ernest Hemmingway has written this novel in 1929 and has made characters who hate this war instead of being patriotic. Patriotic people who have grown up here may hate this but that’s how really the war is. No one is willing to fight. If these people had met somewhere else other than the war front they would have passed by without getting noticed, who knows they could have even been friends. War is fought because of egoists who sit in air conditioned room but war is fought by people who do it as a job for their daily bread.

A waiter tells Tenente that only fools fight in war and asks him why he joined the war. He replies, “I don’t know. I think I made a mistake.” This regret lies in many people’s heart but they mask it by showing that they are patriotic. The physical wound also helps in this case to mask the wounds inflicted deep inside the heart.

I call this love fantasy because it’s so perfect. It can be called as unnatural by pessimists. Let’s not talk about them. These people are so hell bent on impressing each other like in the first few days of love. It doesn’t die off till the end. They always want to impress each other. They are so careful to not hurt each other. Henry and Catherine are two people which every girl and guy would love to fall in love with respectively.

There isn’t any purpose in this book. It’s more like a diary written during his war tenure. But one can’t set aside this as a lazy work. It’s like a diary alright but diary which only Hemmingway could have written. I’m in such great phase of artistic exploration where every film I pick (intentional) and every book I read (unintentional) seems to be gems. Should I even say that I’ve become a fan of Hemmingway?


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