Ernest Hemingway

The author of the notorious novel: A Farewell to Arms, is Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899. He had a mother named Grace Hall, who had married Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, who is responsible for teaching Hemingway to love the out-doors. While attending public schools in Oak Park, he was already publishing his first stories and even some poems in his high school news paper. Ernest Hemingway graduated in 1917, and after that he worked for a short time as a reporter for
The Kansas City Star. He joined a volunteer ambulance crew that was stationed in Italy during WW1. Later in 1918 he was severely wounded in the leg during combat. While recuperating, Hemingway had an affair with one of the English nurses, which would become the basis of his book A Farewell to Arms. After returning to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers. Hemingway was sent back to Europe to serve as a reporter, covering the events that were happening during that time. After this period, he wrote most of his books. A lot of ideas for his books came from his real life experiences as an adventurer and soldier. Later after winning the Nobel Prize for literature, he died in 1961 from suicide in Idaho (Ernest Hemingway).

Some of his popular books are

  • Men Without Women (1927)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926)

Plot Synopsis
A Farewell to Arms is a story about a young American man who serves as an ambulance driver and an infantrymen with the Italian army. The story is about his experiences of war and love, and the mixture. The magnificent tale begins by describing the Italian and Austrian fronts of World War I (**Click here for more information on Italian fronts**). The main character is Frederic Henry, and after being wounded in the leg during the first offensive of the year, he is removed from combat and sent to a hospital in northern Italy. In the hospital he finds a nurse named Catherine Barkley. "When I saw her I was in love with her. Everything turned over inside of me" (Hemingway 91). They fall in love and continue their romance secretly, because Catherine fears she will lose her position and be sent away. After healing, Frederic's life is changed when he is separated from Catherine and is sent back to the front, where unexpected events begin to unravel and lead to a very thrilling ending.

"I could see nothing but the dark and the rain falling across the light from the window. So that was it" (Hemingway 327).


Most of what Ernest Hemingway puts into A Farewell to Arms contributes to the incredible book that it is. He wrote this book in a very articulate way which makes it easy to understand, but that does not make it a children's book; it is often very deep. Along with being articulate, it can also be intricate at times. Hemingway's description of the war is awesome and keeps the reader interested and involved, "There was much shelling and many rockets in the rain and the machine-gun and rifle fire all along the line. They did not come again and it was quieter and between the gusts of wind and rain we would hear the sound of a great bombardment far to the north" (Hemingway 186). The combination of love and romance also adds a tastily amount of emotion that keeps the reader on the edge. Hemingway's precise descriptions are legendary and help create moods for the reader. The literature used in the novel is very impressive and because Hemingway was a soldier in World War I, and experienced the war, and the love and emotion that came with it, the story is understandable. What works well in A Farewell to Arms, is the break up of the book into five parts, or five books. These parts mark the change of the book, as Hemingway describes Lieutenant Henry's switch from the front, to a hospital, back to the front, and then the breathtaking ending. In an overview, Ernest Hemingway's book
Hemingway writing
offers a view of men and women behaving with grace in a time of hardship, and under pressure.

"We were quiet awhile and did not talk. Catherine was sitting on the bed and I was looking at her but we did not touch each other. We were apart as when some one comes into a room and people are self-conscious. She put her hand out and took mine" (Hemingway 138).

Literary Works
A Farewell to Arms is written in first person narrative from Frederic's point of view. The book is fiction, but could be sorted into several different genres. Genres such as war, drama, romance, and tragedy all work well in defining this book. This book is written in a style that is fairly straight forward. His style is simple, descriptive "Everybody was in the dugouts. There were racks of rockets standing to be touched off to call for help from the artillery or to signal with if the telephone wires were to be cut" (Hemingway 23). His style is also somewhat journalistic, probably because he spent a lot of time writing newspapers. Hemingway wants to tell the story simply because in a sense it is an autobiography. There is repetition involved in this story to get the message across, with few uses of figurative speech.

Hemingway has been deemed "the most significant of living poets, so far as the subject of extraordinary reality is concerned" by Wallace Stevens, an American poet, and Pulitzer Prize winner (Liukkonen).

This book is an outstanding novel because Ernest Hemingway's writing is so creative and so unique, the way he portrays his ideas in this book is spectacular. The development of his characters are unbelievable, which makes the book even better. To go along with the characters, amazing dialogue and conversations exist in this book, conversations that other writers would not be able to put together. Behind Hemingway's impressive abilities to create dialogue, he also creates symbolism. A lot of symbolism is represented in Hemingway's book, especially through the war, and emotion. Hemingway is able to create ideas that are deep in meaning, and let them escape through the words. I believe this book was put on the list because it combines interesting topics such as war, and love, and how together in A Farewell to Arms, they make a well rounded book for all readers. I would suggest this book to everyone because it is unlike other war books, and books with love and romance in it. It is not just "another one of those books," it is a fantastic book written by an experienced writer, and that is why everyone should look into this book.

Helpful links related to this wiki:
**The Red Sun Rises**—book by Ernest Hemingway
**Ernest Hemingway Biography**
**Famous Quotes from Ernest Hemingway**
The Old Man and the Sea: Video

Works Cited:

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1957.

Duffy, Michael. "Battles - The Itilian Front." First World War.com. 2009. 15 Mar. 2009.

Frenz, Horst. "Ernest Hemingway." Noblyprize.org. 2009. Noble Foundation. 9 Mar. 2009.

Liukkonen, Petri. "Ernest (Miller) Hemingway (1899-1961)." Books and Writers. 2008. Amazon.com. 10 Mar. 2009.

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