A Farewell Of Arms, By Ernest Hemingway

1339 Words Mar 4th, 2016 6 Pages
"‘There is nothing worse than war,’ said Passini.” “‘Defeat is worse,’ [countered a compatriot].” “‘I do not believe it,’ Passini [persisted] ‘What is defeat? You go home.’”
Throughout A Farewell to Arms, many characters remain apathetic or disillusioned in matters most would deem vital. Frederic Henry struggles throughout the book to find sufficient resolutions to his problems, but in the end realizes the futility of his hardships. In A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway uses disillusionment and apathy to show the futility of mankind and the intimations of mortality.
Hemingway doesn’t explain why Frederic Henry, the book’s protagonist, has joined the Italian Army. Americans may have joined European armed forces before war was declared during the First World War for several reasons. Thrill seekers may have joined to find adventure and action, while others had the same ideologies who hoped to help in the struggle, and others still had family back in Europe whom they wanted to help. Which of these could classify Lt. Henry is up to the reader since Hemingway doesn’t tell us, though it is most likely he joined to seek adventure since he didn’t care about the outcome of the war and he was not close to his family. “Whether they use ‘baby’ or ‘boy’ the other characters in [Farewell] clearly perceive Frederic Henry as young, inexperienced, and unaware” (Donaldson 277). Given his inexperience, it is not difficult to see that he might have been disillusioned.
Lt. Henry is also…
Open Document