The Historical Accuracy and Relevance of A Farewell to Arms

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A Farewell to Arms was written at a time when the world war was at its peak and depicts characters who are romantically involved but their relationship is challenged by the events of the war. Upon reading through the semi-autographic text, a lot of meaning is placed on the details especially the tittle selected. A farewell to arms is a term that could be looked at in different ways but one is rather self-explanatory is a call for the end of war. Although at the end of the book when Catherine Barkley the war is still on, it was the desire of Henry for the way to come to an end so that he could finally reunite with his lover in Italy. Perhaps, ‘a farewell to arms’ refers to the frequent escapes that Henry had to make from war – by keeping aside his tools of trade/war to meet up with Catherine.

Historical Accuracy

The two themes that are apparent in the novel are the First World War and Love. The war sets pace for the setting of the novel to demonstrate the challenges that the world was faced with and more importantly the people who were caught in it. Henry and Catherine had their personal woes as each sought to find space in a war torn society to find love. It is compelling to perceive the way Henry has to run away from the authorities on multiple occasions to be in the arms of her pregnant lover. The dates that are provided in the novel and the occurrences, save for a few fictitious ones to make the story compelling, are based on true occurrences. Thus, there is verifiable historical accuracy in the novel. For instance, the attack of the Italian army by the Austria-Hungarian forces that led to the backing off of the former is factual and is recorded in books of history. Also true is the fact that Frederick Henry, a created character of the author Earnest Hemmingway, was actually a lieutenant of the field ambulance serving with the Italian Army.

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Impact to Current Events

Hemmingway teaches us that the will that human beings hold often goes beyond or surpasses the challenges that they are faced with. His narrative about the move he had with his lover Catherine is told or takes place during war. The same is applicable today in the sense that human beings will go to great lengths to get what their hearts desire. In spite of the day to day risks that doing this exposes them to, they still go ahead with it because quenching the thirst of their heart is offering to it what it craves for.

Thesis and Its Proof

The probable thesis of the text is that nothing stands in the way for love and affection – not even a world war. This is proven through the engagements that Henry and Catherine had. On repeated occasions henry had to run away from his duties as a lieutenant to be in Catherine’s arms. This, as is proven, was despite the risks that he exposed himself to. Even when there was little hope that the war would come to an end and ‘a farewell said to the arms’ highly unlikely, love still won in the end. Reflecting on the events of the five books of the text, I agree with the depiction that love and social interactions do thrive in all situations. I have learned that what is most important for these two to be found, the maintenance of hope and positivity are essential.

What I Learned

Upon reading the text, I learned that there is need for one to hold on to the desires of their heart because in some mysterious way, they tend to come true in the end albeit in surprising ways in some occasions. I learned that the destiny of human beings is often in their own hands. All that human beings need to do is maintain self-belief and a bit of physical endeavors to help realize their desires. The most important lesson that was picked from reading the text came from the title - A farewell to Arms. Henry and Catherine desired for the war to end in order for them to be united but this did not happen. Yet, despite this not happening, they still found ways to create time for themselves amid the risks that doing that exposed them to. From this, I learned that the world is not designed to fit perfectly into our needs. Instead, it is upon us to weave our way through the fabric that nature is in order to find happiness or to realize our dreams. If the war did not stop Henry and Catherine, then most probably nothing could apart from death.

Relevance of the Book to World History

A Farewell to Arms is a detailed text that highlights important issues about life and which are very important to world history. The text highlights the ills that war brings to society and to man. War does little to benefit the warring parties but to give unnecessary power to one over the other. Although war is sometimes a necessary evil, all it does is to create a platform where human beings slay each other for no apparent reasons than for power and status. The text is relevant to the world history as it immerses readers on the situation as it was in World war one and how daily social interactions were compromised.

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