A Farewell to Arms

"A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemigway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in 1899. His father was a doctor and he was the second child of six children. The family lived in a Chicago suburb.
In 1918 he volunteered to work at the Italian front as an ambulance driver. There he got badly wounded, but also twice decorated for his services. One year later Hemingway returned to America, where he married in 1921. The following year he was sent to the Greco - Turkish war as a reporter. After that he settled in Paris, where he started to fiction. His direct and simple style of writing fascinated many people. In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for the publication, "The Old Man and the Sea". Ernest Hemingway died in 1961.
His three major works: â Fiesta
â A Farewell to Arms
â Men Without Woman

The story takes place in Italy during the time of the First World War, when Italy faught against Austria.

The main characters:

Mr. Henry: He is an American volunteer, in charge of the ambulance drivers, who had to get the wounded people out of the battlefield.

Rinaldi: He is an italian doctor, who is the best friend of Mr. Henry. Rinaldi works at the same station as Mr. Henry does.

Catherine Barkley: She is a nurse and becomes the girlfriend of Mr. Henry.

Helen Ferguson: She is the best friend of Catherine Barkely and works as a nurse too.

The plot:

It’s wartime in europe, a major conflict, which strikes the whole world. Italy tries to defend his country against the Austrian troops. Many foreign soldiers help the Italians to succeed, among them Mr. Henry. He is an ambulance driver, who is in charge of the transport of wounded people. The headquaters, where he has to work, is situated near the Isonze valley. His best friend is a doctor, who’s name is Rinaldi. The two have a very close relationship to each other.
One day get to talk about women and Rinaldi tells Mr. Henry that he has found a girl he would like to marry. The only problem is, that she is English. So Rinaldi takes Mr. Henry with him. He should help him to make good impressions on Miss Barkley. But instead of Rinaldi getting engaged with her, Mr. Henry grabs himself the young nurse. From this time on Mr. Henry is seriously engaged with Miss Barkley.
At the front things seem to go well and the Italians plan an attack. So the ambulance drivers are ordered to go to the battlefield, to carry the wounded soldiers out of the combat zone. During the fighting the drivers have to hide in a duckhole, where suddenly an explosive device goes off. One of the drivers gets killed and Mr. Henry is badly injured. Other ambulance drivers carry Mr. Henry out of the battle zone.
To cure his wounds Mr. Henry is sent to Milan, where he stays in an American hospital. Catherine Barkely, his girlfriend, is able to come with him, because nurses are needed at the same hospital. After one surgery, about one month later, Mr. Henry’s knee does already function normal. So he gets sent back to the ambulance drivers, whereas Miss Barkely has to stay in Milan, even though she was expecting a child from him.
The war was going on pretty good for the Italians, but as the winter comes closer, the Austrians win battle after battle. Now it’s time for the Italian army to retreat. Mr. Henry and his ambulance drivers aren’t able to retreat quickly enough. They come between the lines and one man gets killed by their own Italian army. Mr. Henry tries to reach the place, where the ambulance is supposed to meet again. But he crosses the way of some radical Italian militarists. They sort out all the foreign soldiers, because they don’t trust them. Mr. Henry watches them killing these people. Before the militarists are able to shoot him he jumps into the river (Tagliamento). So he is able to flee. One day later he travells to Milan, on board of a transportation train. There he visits the hospital, where Cathrine Barkley was supposed to stay. But she isn’t there any more. She went to Stresa, which is situated near the swiss border. Of course he follows her. He meets her in a hotel together with her friend Helen Ferguson. A few days later the italian army wants to arrest Mr. Henry for leaving the combat zone. He and Cathrine are able to flee with a boat, that he bought.
In Switzerland they lead a gorgeous life. They have everything they want and they are happy together. Half a year later Cathrine is trying to carry out her baby. But problems occur and Miss Barkley dies. (End of the story)

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