In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer, and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it, Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.
Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms is, in turns, gripping, tragic, wearisome, and humorous.
Perhaps Hemingway’s greatest talent lay in evoking in his narrative—intentionally or not—the mindset of a generation demoralized by the first war after the Industrial Age and distanced from both others and themselves. A Farewell to Arms is his second novel, and he used as reference his own experiences as an ambulance driver on the Italian front in WWI. Hemingway highlights the tediousness and monotony of war, and his wounded characters are a reflection of the cynicism and detachment pervading society.
A Farewell to Arms established Hemingway as a major writer and is well worth the read.