A Farewell to Arms shows a directionless world devoid of hope ‘A Farewell to Arms’ explores the complexity of finding hope in a world that appears directionless, where the severe consequences of war ultimately lead to the destruction of loyalty, Justice and honor, leaving people feeling hopeless and helpless. The realization of war inevitably destroys all hope and meaning initially found in God and religion. Yet through the characters’ love, Hemingway explores the shimmer of hope and meaning that remains, making clear that the world may not be entirely hopeless A Farewell to
Arms draws upon the strong image of war causing the destruction of values and the penalties this has upon humanity. Soldiers are merely the fodder of war as “only seven thousand died from cholera,” reducing Innocent Individuals lives, communicating that men are fighting for a hopeless and directionless cause as eventually they will Just die. When Frederic is in hospital after being wounded he Is able to see the graves from his window and a “soldier making white crosses and painting on them names and ranks. Lives amount to a white crosses, all soldiers including those who were cowards and those of great heroism are depicted as equal. Proving their efforts were meaningless. When in Banzai Frederic exposes the abstract concepts of war, such as “glory, honor, courage, or hallow,” as being “obscene,” given that they legitimate and aggrandize human atrocities. These concepts are a ploy used by the army to get men to fight and die for no real reason. The retreat portrays the fractured loyalties within the Italian army, men are being killed by their own side for no apparent reason “l killed him, I had never killed anyone
In this war”. Additionally Frederic Is questioned by the military police about the “treachery” displaying the unjust and unfair system used because the “honor” of the army takes precedence over human Fife. Characters such as Emilio and the proprietor exhibit their willingness to help Frederic escape, showing that much of the population shares Frederic’s and the other army members’ hatred of the war, displaying the pointlessness of pure destruction. Most civilians had lost hope that the war would end in a victory, let alone end at all.
Ones religious beliefs are strongly Estes in a display of constant death and destruction. Many men within the armed forces began to lose faith in their beliefs as circumstances were merely worsening and religion being directionless could not cure humanity. The Major being an atheist himself makes the remark “all thinking men are atheist” reinforcing the illusion of a higher being, conveying the meaningless idea of religion. When the Priest meets with Frederic he claims he “does not love God” especially after witnessing the death of his friend Passing.
In the grim reality of war Frederic cannot comprehend why God can attach such atrocities. Christianity is not meant to get Involved In war yet the priest ironically asserts “No. If there is a war I suppose we must attack,” challenging religions views about war. In a time like this do you put religion first or patriotism first? The priest Like many others appears to be compromising his Initial beliefs, this exemplifying humanities loss of faith as the war degrades. Yet no matter how much characters may discard religion, it still acts as a means of hope in times of extreme circumstances.
Passing aggressively shouts “Oh Jesus Mary stop it” when he is hit by Off Catherine is dying that Frederic declares Gods presence “God please make her not die,” declaring his once believed faith for something that was the only thing that gave him purpose. Although it may seem the world is purposeless, Hemingway depicts ways in which a little bit of hope still remained. As romance of Frederic and Catherine continually advanced they found themselves deeper in love, enabling them to transcend the dross of human existence and flee from the annihilation and destruction of reality.
The love acts as a safe haven and provides both characters tit a meaning, purpose and direction in life which current reality could not provide. During the retreat, Frederic dreams of Catherine and she becomes a remnant, residue of hope “of course I wouldn’t go away. I am always here. I come whenever you want me. ” When the pair escapes to Switzerland they live life peacefully and idyllically. They had successfully escaped the insincere war and even in a world filled with eradication, Frederic and Catherine were able to find a glimpse of hope and direction.
Given these facts, A Farewell to Arms delves into the consequences off orphic war, fought for no purpose. War ultimately creates a meaningless world devoid of hope and direction. Religion becomes pointless as circumstances do not prevail but they degrade, adherents start to question Gods existence, yet religion may appear as a back bone and means of hope in times of severe situations. Although the world may be stuck in a hopeless, chaotic mess, Hemingway still provides a shimmer of hope for characters like Frederic and Catherine as through the confines of their love are able to escape war and find direction and hope within each other.