Essay on A Farewell to Arms - Use of Weather

774 Words Jan 21st, 2013 4 Pages
A Farewell to Arms is a gripping novel that tells the tale of an American soldier, Frederic Henry, in Italy during The Great War who is torn between his duty as an officer and the love of his life, a nurse named Catherine. In the novel, Ernest Hemingway brilliantly uses nature to symbolize and foreshadow certain events in the couple's difficult journey to escape the war and be with each other. Rain, snow, lakes and rivers all represent either loss, safety, or freedom for the two. Rain clearly symbolizes loss, death and tragedy in the story. This is established very quickly, as in chapter one Henry states that, "At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came cholera ... in the end only seven thousand died of it …show more content…
It also represents safety when Henry and Catherine are in their home up in the mountains, completely surrounded by snow, where the war would not reach them nor the battle police to arrest Henry. It was because of this knowledge, how the snow brought an end to the fighting, that many people were hoping it would come once rumors of an enemy offensive were surfacing because snow would make it difficult for the enemy to fight and advance. When Henry returns to the front, the major says, "I don't believe they will attack now that the rains have started. We will have the snow soon" (165). Because the snow would be coming soon, the Italians didn't believe that an offensive was coming and were thus caught completely off guard when it did. In that way, snow symbolizes safety in the story. Symbols for freedom in the novel are natural waterways. Twice, Henry is able to escape war by either a river or a lake. During the retreat, many officers in the Italian army were being blamed for the army's embarrassment and shot. Henry, being an officer, was pulled to the side and put in a line to be shot. Not allowing himself to be killed, Henry, "ducked down, pushed between two men, and ran for the river"(225). He sprang into the river and was eventually able to get out downstream. He was then able to find new clothes and was completely free from the army, the river being his liberator. Once reunited with Catherine, they stay at a hotel on a lake. One night

More about Essay on A Farewell to Arms - Use of Weather

Open Document