Written by @PresidentELLA
This story tugs at your heart. We can read history books all we want, but this is a wonderful tale of an individual life. Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” is a story about love and war. The American solider is fighting on the Italian side during World War I and we get to follow him on his daily conquests – whether it be women or in his job or riding around with the ambulance. The whole time he’s at war, you’re thinking about his lady back home even if he doesn’t want to. With every page you turn, you find yourself praying for a man who doesn’t believe in anything… That, in my opinion, is great writing. Hemingway made me care.
The main character, Frederic Henry (who they also just call Henry or “Tenente”, is really an upstanding guy. It seems like everyone loves him and you surely root for him the whole way through. Even when his team is hit by bombs (twice), when he’s escaping to Switzerland, and when he’s worried about his wife giving birth.
If this story taught me a lesson, it would be the you can expect things, but you can’t avoid them. Whatever might happen really might happen; when a bomb drops… there’s really no where to run. Maybe you’ve heard the saying: when it rains, it falls on every man’s house and everyone in this story is proof of that. Tenente has an amazing set of friends including a priest and a doctor who are really entertaining, but so different from him. He falls in love with a half-crazy English girl even though he doesn’t think he knows what love is. Regardless, they are all caught in the war whether they like it or not — and who truly likes war?
Sometimes, I look back at those world wars like they didn’t happen. Just stories. Even the wars going on now, I’m so far removed from them because there aren’t bombs dropping on my street. But what if they were? I’m happy to be a sheltered American and I feel for anyone involved in these battles. They are human beings… how easily we forget…
Anyhow… amazingly written story. It’s a little tough with the Italian, but once you skip over that, it’s really a wonderful story. And… I can’t believe that one of the best books I’ve ever read does not have a happy ending.
Hope you get a chance to pick it up.