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A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms

by Ernest Hemingway

Love Theme

Love is dangerous in A Farewell to Arms. In the middle of a war zone, anyone can die at any moment, breaking the hearts of the loved ones left behind. Yet the characters in the novel risk it all, to be both good romantic lovers and good lovers of human kind. Like all humans, they make mistakes, and sometimes aren’t the lovers they want to be. But as long as they have breath in their bodies, they keep on trying. They keep on trying to love, even with tragedy exploding all around them.

Questions About Love

  1. How would you describe Catherine and Frederic’s love? How does it compare with Helen Ferguson’s love? With Rinaldi and Frederic’s love? With the priest and God’s?
  2. How is love expressed in the novel?
  3. How does war factor into love in the novel?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Frederic’s job is an ambulance driver, a man who takes care of the wounded; his choice of profession is evidence of his deep love for humankind.

Over the course of the novel, Frederic grows to love Catherine as much as she loves him.

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