A Farewell to Arms

War's Bond

Ernest Hemingway's Farewell to Arms features the numbing experiences of Lieutenant Federico Henry while serving in Italy during World War I. Despite serving as such a dismally despondent milieu, the war actually acts as a powerful catalyst in creating, as well as reinforcing, relationships between fellow humans. Lt. Henry's indelible bond with his lover, the intimate friendship he shares with his comrades, and the close ties he creates with common civilians are all illustrations of how war can bring people together.

Introduced to one another at a British hospital near the front, Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley grow closer and closer to one another over the course of the story. Initially, however, their relationship is quite superficial; though they may say endearing things to one another, they both know that neither means what they're saying. Lt. Henry even admits: "I knew that I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards" (30). Catherine herself is also aware of this fact, acknowledging, "This is a rotten game we play, isn't it?...You don't have to pretend you love me.... It sounds very...

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