Study Guide

A Farewell to Arms Drugs and Alcohol

By Ernest Hemingway

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Drugs and Alcohol

You could almost get drunk just reading this book. There’s booze on almost every page. But it’s not just for show. The novel has some surprising views on alcohol, which provoke us to examine our own views. One of the most provocative issues in the novel is the use of alcohol on the battlefield by soldiers as a temporary or partial buffer against the nightmare of World War I. The novel also examines alcohol as it’s used to buffer against heartbreak and loss. The drinking can be at times hilariously funny, and at other times tender and tragic. And that’s part of the beauty of Ernest Hemingway’s brash yet sensitive classic.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. What are some of the ways alcohol is used in the novel?
  2. Does Frederic have a drinking problem? Why do you feel the way you do?
  3. Is drinking romanticized in the novel?

Chew on This

A Farewell to Arms shows how alcohol can destroy relationships.

In A Farewell to Arms, Frederic uses alcohol to both remember and forget the past.

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