A Farewell to Arms


[A review of a novel entitled A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway]

Frederic Henry was an American ambulance driver who joined the Italian army during World War I. After taking his winter break, he met Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. Actually, she was loved by Rinaldi, Henry`s friend who was a surgeon. But, Barkley liked Henry more than Rinaldi. They both fell in love quickly.

One day, when Henry and three other drivers were eating in Plava, they were hit by a big trench mortal shell. Henry`s knee was badly wounded because of that accident. He would be shipped to an American hospital in Milan where there were better X-ray facilities and operation. In Milan, Henry was nursed by Miss Gage and Mrs. Walker. Several weeks later, Barkley was transferred to that hospital too. While waiting for his operation, Henry spent a lot of happy time with Barkley. After having some treatments, he got an official letter that informed him to go back to the front. Before he returned to the front, Barkley told him that she had been pregnant.

When Henry went back to Gorizia, his major wanted him to get to Udine with three ambulances. He went there with Piani, Bonello, and Aymo. In that journey, Bonello gave a ride to two sergeants, whereas Aymo gave a ride to two girls. When the two cars got stuck in a muddy road, the two sergeants went with the other car. One of them was shot, but the other had gone with the car. Finally, they went to Udine by foot. When they crossed the road, they were arrested by Italian army. Knowing that he would be executed, Henry jumped to the river. He rode a train illegally to Milan.

When Henry arrived in Milan, he got a bad news: Barkley had gone to Stresa with other nurses. Fortunately, Henry could find Barkley easily at a hotel near Stresa station. One night, someone came to tell him that he would be arrested in the morning. He decided to borrow a boat to Swiss. Henry and Barkley had a great time in Swiss. They lived in a house in the pine trees on the side of the mountain. They moved to Lausanne before having their baby. Unfortunately, the pregnancy was lengthy and painful. His baby was dead because the cord was caught around his neck and Barkley was dead too after having haemorrhages. That day was the worst day in his life.


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