A Farewell to Arms Short Summary
By author Ernest Hemingway, “A Farewell to Arms” is a novel about a man named Frederick who is in the Italian army as part of their ambulance Corp. The novel was published in 1929. Since then it has been adopted into stage and film in 1930 and 1932 respectively.
Lt Frederick Henry drives an ambulance for the Italian army. When he gets back, he meets a nurse named Catherine Barkley and falls for her. She had previously lost her fiancé but quickly accepted Henry’s advances. Their relationship helps Henry heal from the horrors of war.
Henry gets injured and is taken to a hospital for an operation in Milan. Catherine switches to that hospital to take care of him after surgery. Their love grows as they spend time together. Henry is recalled to his duties. Catherine reveals she is pregnant before he leaves, and they are both happy about it.
The Italians are forced to make a retreat as the Austrians and Germans break through their lines. Henry is in the company of two sergeants of engineering and also two girls. The car gets stuck, and the sergeants decide to abandon them. Henry shoots one down, and the other driver kills him. An Italian driver gets shot by one of their rearguards. Another decides to become a deserter and prefers to be a war prisoner to death.
Henry gets accused of treason by a corrupt lieutenant who blames him for the defeat of the Italians. Wary of his execution, Henry dives into a river from a bridge they had reached and swims with its currents. He then jumps a train heading for Milan. He reaches Catherine, who was in Stresa, and they escape together to avoid Henry’s arrest. Henry is still guilty for abandoning his comrades.
The couple moves to a town called Laussane and Catherine goes into labor. Hours later, the baby is delivered, through the C- section. Sadly, it was stillborn. It gets worse as Catherine dies from hemorrhaging, and Henry could not say goodbye to her. He goes back to his hotel.