A Farewell to Arms

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Novel by Hemingway, published in 1929, and dramatized by Laurence Stallings (1930).

Frederic Henry, an American lieutenant in the Italian ambulance service during World War I, falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine Barkley. She returns his feeling, and when Henry, wounded during a bombardment, is sent to a hospital at Milan, Catherine comes to nurse him. They spend a happy summer together while he recuperates, and in the autumn Catherine confesses that she is pregnant, but will not marry him, fearing to be sent back to England. Henry returns to his post, finds his comrade Rinaldi depressed by the monotonous horrors of the war, and shares the suffering during the disastrous retreat from Caporetto. He deserts, learns that Catherine has been transferred to Stresa, and joins her there. Although he is in civilian clothes, he is suspected, and forced to flee with Catherine to Switzerland. They go to Lausanne for the birth of their child, but both mother and baby die, leaving Henry desolate and alone in a strange land.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Ernest Hemingway (1899—1961) American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist