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A Farewell to Arms - Essay Example

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This study will present an analysis of the novel “A Farewell to Arms”. This research will begin with the statement that “A Farewell to Arms” is one of the best-known works to describe the destructiveness and horrors of war – in this case, the World War I…
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A Farewell to Arms
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A Farewell to Arms

The researcher states that the novel’s plot wholly conforms to the standard pattern of tragedy wherein the start, development, and the conclusion of the plot-structure is marked by the well-known stages of exposition, complication, climax, crisis, anticlimax, and denouement. The 41 chapters of the novel show the rising and falling action running through the various stages; beginning with the introduction and exposition of the action centering on Frederic. It then leads to complication of the action by the new factor of love, which pulls the hero in the direction opposite to that of the war. The rising action reaches a climax in the wounding of the hero in the war front, then the action taking a downward journey leading to the crisis. The turning point in the fortune of the hero is in his desertion of war in the Caporetto retreat, then reaching the anticlimax of the falling action in the hero’s migration along with Catherine from Italy to Switzerland. It ends with the catastrophe or denouement in the death of Catherine leaving the hero alone and bitter. Thus, the novel’s patterning is modeled on the plot structure of a classic tragedy. The exposition is in the introduction where we are introduced to the novel’s setting, war-torn Italy, the major characters, their conflicts and the dramatic tensions working against the characters. He builds up suspense through the arousal of the readers’ expectations followed by their ironic reversals....
Frederic’s duty as a soldier and his love for Catherine pull him in separate directions. The activating incident if Frederic’s wounding which makes it possible for Catherine to nurse him and for the couple to fall in love. The rising action is marked by numerous coquettish games that Frederic and Catherine had. These fetish actions foreshadow their affection for one other. This is further demonstrated in their final days together, prior to Frederic’s departure to the front zero by the demands of love in competition with his life beyond their relationship. The rising action is also characterized by complications in the form Frederic’s growing affection for Catherine, his injury and her graveness. By the time Frederic is about to go back to the front, they realize that Catherine is three months pregnant (Hemmingway 149). Frederic sees a life he could have with Catherine as they live in Milan. Catherine’s pregnancy and the call to report to the front, however, divide Frederic’s loyalties, trapping him between two desires. The climax of the novel is the disastrous retreat at Caporetto and Frederic’s near-execution by the carabinieri, which utterly changes his attitude toward the war (Hemmingway 152). Frederic’s action during the Caporetto retreat becomes the turning point of the conflict between war and love. In shooting the Italian sergeant for desertion but then deserting the war himself, Frederic’s disillusionment with battlefield bravery is complete. He commits himself to his love for Catherine. The falling action comes is when Frederic decides to flee and abandon the army marking his farewell to arms. Frederic and Catherine idyllic time together in Stresa, an Italian town, may seem an odd setting for a story’s falling action. Nevertheless, as ... Read More
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