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Farewell to Arms

            Themes and Symbolism in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.
             In A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway uses nature to provide important symbols and backs this with a unique use of themes. Nature serves as a fundamental structure for the plot and events that occurred in the book. It also serves as a source of symbols that often replace human feelings or emotions. Characters die and Hemingway does not mention a single person being upset. Instead, he writes that it is raining. Ernest constantly uses symbols to "completely omit" feelings and emotions of his characters. Often times these symbols represent something that they usually do not. For instance snow represents safety and peace. His use of themes also makes A Farewell to Arms a classic novel. Hemingway uses themes to reveal hidden messages. An example of this is his use of love and war to show that war can destroy anything, even one of the most beautiful things on earth, love (Smith 1-2).
             First published in 1929, A Farewell to Arms toned down Hemingway's revolutionary style of writing to a more conventional one. The novel was set against the historical and geographical background of World War I. The characters of the novel are fighting on or supporting the side of the Italian army. Many parallels exist between Hemingway's real life war experiences and the experiences of Frederic Henry, the main character of the novel. Many of these parallels affect Hemmingway's use of themes in the novel. After Hemingway graduated high school he enlisted in the Red Cross ambulance corps. He was stationed on the Austrian front in Italy during the last year of World War I. Henry also enlisted in the Red Cross ambulance corps and was stationed on the Austrian Front in Italy during World War I. Hemingway was wounded during the war while delivering supplies to the soldiers. After being wounded he was sent to an American hospital in Milan. Here he fell in love with an American nurse.

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