A Farewell Of Arms, By Ernest Hemingway

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“‘There is nothing worse than war,’ [said Passini].” “‘Defeat is worse.” “‘I do not believe it,’ Passini [persisted] ‘What is defeat? You go home’” (Hemingway 49). 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 acceptable 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 fruitlessness of mankind and prevalence of mortality. The differences between Frederic Henry’s expectations and the realities of war are striking. This can be attributed to Henry’s lack of experience. Hemingway does not explain why Frederic Henry, the book’s American 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 similar 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 does not tell us, though it is most likely he joined to seek adventure since he did not care about the outcome of the war and he was not close to his family. “He is, after all, a soldier who is only an ambulance driver; and one who has seen no action” (Wagner-Martin 13). Given
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