A Farewell to Arms Critique

The overall tone of the book is much different than that of

The Sun Also Rises. The characters in the book are propelled

by outside forces, in this case WWI, where the characters in

SAR seemed to have no direction. Frederick's actions are

determined by his position until he deserts the army.

Floating down the river with barely a hold on a piece of

wood his life, he abandons everything except Catherine and

lets the river take him to a new life that becomes

increasing difficult to underezd.

The escape to Switzerland seemed too perfect for a book that

set a tone of ugliness in the world that was only dotted

with pure love like Henry's and Cat's and I knew the story

couldn't end with bliss in the slopes of Montreux. In a

world where the abstracts of glory, honor, and sacrifice

meant little to Frederick, his physical association with

Catherine was the only thing he had and it was taken away

from him long before she died.

The love that Frederick and Catherine had for each other was

more than could be explained in words and Frederick makes it

known that words are not really effective at describing the

flesh and blood details. Their love during an ugly war was

not to be recreated or modeled even as much as through a

baby conceived by their love. The baby could not be born

alive because their love was beautiful yet doomed so that

nothing could come out of it.

Hemingway's language is effective in leaving much to the

readers interpretation and allowing a different image to

form in each readers mind. The simple sentences and

incomplete descriptions frees your imagination and inspires

each person to develop their own bitter love story.