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A Farewell to Arms

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In A Farewell To Arms, the main focus of Ernest Hemingway (the author) is the title character's involvement in the war and his love interest, Catherine Barkley. When Frederic Henry first meets Catherine it is just playful flirting. Then they soon learn that when they are together, they are able to escape the reality of the war. From there their relationship grows to one where Catherine and Henry need the war to take them away from the pain of not being with each other. After the war Henry and Catherine are able to run away together and start a new life together. In both Henry's and Catherine's life, war and love are two major things in their lives.

When Henry and Catherine first meet, Catherine initiates their relationship in a playful and frivolous manner to help her forget about the pain from the loss of her fiancйe while Henry plays along to help him forget about the war. When Henry and Catherine are together, they are able to find solace in each other. At one point during a conversation they are discussing the war. Catherine says to Henry, "Let's drop the war." And Henry responds with, "it's very hard..." (Catherine, Henry, 26). This shows that even though they are together at that point, that the war still takes a great toll on both of them. While staying off the topic of the war, it allows them to grow closer and form a stronger relationship. Which will continuously allow them to find refuge in each other.

After a leg injury, Henry is moved to a different hospital in Milan where the doctors are better able to treat him. Catherine is moved there too, which only allows their relationship to grow stronger. After Henry's leg heals, he is to be sent back to the front while Catherine remains behind at the hospital. Henry can't stand being away from Catherine once he had returned, and found that ironically, the best tactic to keep his mind off of Catherine, is the war. The Italian Army has started a retreat and after narrowly escaping death Henry decides it's time to leave the army. While on a military train thinks about Catherine, "I could remember Catherine but I knew I would go crazy if I thought about her when I was not yet sure I would see her..." (Henry, 231). As you can see, Henry's loyalty lies not with the army, but with Catherine.

Henry arrives in Stresa where he was told he could find Catherine, and then later they decide that Switzerland would



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