A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms: Narrative Structure Essay College

Ernest Hemingway’s novel, A Farewell to Arms, follows a distinct narrative structure. Each component of the plot – exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution – is contained within a book. This definite sectioning allows the audience to follow and map the plot of the story.

The first book of the narrative contains the exposition, or introduction to the story. The protagonist, Lieutenant Frederic Henry, is an American serving in the Italian Navy during World War I. He is an officer working as an ambulance driver. Another central character, Catherine Barkley, is also introduced during this book. Catherine is a British nurse who volunteered to serve in the war. At this stage in the novel, the characters are in Italy, fighting to prevent the Austro-Hungarian forces from joining the Germans on the Western front. Although an initial conflict is not obvious, Hemingway emphasizes the scenery surrounding the war, suggesting that the war and Italy are central to the story line. At the end of this book, Frederic is wounded, and transferred to a hospital in Milan for x-rays and treatment. This shift in setting sets the stage for the next plot component.

The second book in the story encompasses the...

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