by Ernest Hemingway Book : Fiction
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A Farewell to Arms- As I See It.   (2010-12-29)
A Farewell to Arms is a beautiful novel,a love story set in the background of war.But it is not just a love story or a war story for that matter.It is a story of a quest for the meaning of life.
Henry is an American citizen serving the Italian army.He has no relative to speak of.So he indulges in sensual pleasures.However, once he happens to meet a British nurse names Catherine Barkley who leaves an indelible impression upon him he changes for ever.They fall in love.Henry's worldview undergoes a sea change. He begins to think that life is, after all worth living.But the war does not let them be together.
Hemingway makes the reader sit and read the novel.A perceptive reader does not find anything out of place in it.His narration is remarkable for its simplicity and freshness.The coincidence in Henry getting wounded and Catherine being transferred to the hospital where Henry is taken is not unbelievable.
The unexpected death of Catherine when everything seem to fall in place saddens the reader beyond measure.But that is what makes it a great love story.Hemingway brings out the violence involved in war more effectively more than any other writer.That makes it a great war novel.
The personality change, Henry undergoes is remarkable.A man who used to wander about and spend his time at bars and brothels is transformed into a responsible, caring lover and husband 9though they are not formally married).The priest teaches him that love is self sacrifice and what is important is loving others not being loved or served.Henry tries to practice it.That makes A Farewell to Arms a great novel about human condition.
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