Farewell to Arms Essay

992 WordsAug 8, 20124 Pages
Practice Essay Coursework “A Farewell to Arms” “Nothing positive comes out of Frederic Henry’s experience of war”. Do you agree? Patriotism – The Hopelessness of war Although the men look at the war in entirely different ways, all of them try to escape the horrors of the war through drinking and womanising. Henry himself joins an army he has no affiliation for; he sees the war itself as pointless and does not think that it is a way for men to prove their bravery. This change is seen evident because at the beginning of the novel, he has never experienced true loss, believes that war is dreadful but necessary, has a lust for adventure, drinking, and women, and sees Catherine as just another diversion. As the stakes of the war intensify, however, he becomes deeply pessimistic about the war and realizes that his love for Catherine is the only thing he is willing to commit himself to. Examples: During a conversation with his friend the priest, Henry argues that the winners never stop fighting, which means the war will never end. He claims that peasants are wise because they are defeated from the start. Catherine believes that if people really understood war, “it couldn’t all go on.” War is no longer a personal battle where people are injured face to face with a sabre rather they are blown all to bits like her fiancé. The love of country and the willingness to sacrifice all for one’s country is the patriot’s reason for joining the battle. By the end of the novel, his experiences of the war have convinced him that it is a fundamentally unjust atrocity, which he seeks to escape at all costs with Catherine. Quotes: This war is terrible,” Rinaldi said. “Come on. We’ll both get drunk and be cheerful” ‘The ridiculousness of carrying a pistol at all came over me’ Love and Grief as a result of the war At the beginning of his relationship with Catherine,

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