A Hurt Like No Other


A Hurt Like No Other Essay, Research Paper

There are many different things that are repetitively evident throughout ErnestHemingway’s A Farewell To Arms. Such things as rain, alcohol, and food are talkedabout over and over as the novel progresses. At first glance, these reoccurring itemshave no real meaning, but after further research and complete dissection of the novel,there are hidden meanings behind each one. These meanings may vary from person toperson because they are personal opinions, but the items which contain these meaningsremain the same. The first of these items which offers more than first thought is theuse of rain throughout the novel. In any novel that takes place over a long period of time, there is bound to be astretch, or a few stretches, where it rains. Rain is not first thought of as having hiddenmeaning, but in A Farewell To Arms, rain symbolizes many different things. The wargoes back and forth throughout the novel, and neither side seems to get anywhere. Thefighting stops one time in the novel due to the harsh winter weather. The days are verygloomy, and the weather is brutal. Lt. Henry gets injured very badly, and things seemto go badly whenever the rain begins to linger overhead. The relationship betweenFrederick Henry and Catherine Barkley is evidently problem prone during rainy, mistyperiods. Sometimes Lt. Henry tries to escape these bad times through drinkingalcohol. Lt. Henry and Rinaldi drink socially at the beginning of the novel. Drinking isa way for the two to relax, and enjoy their days away from the front. As the novelgoes on, alcohol becomes increasingly present at all times. Lt. Henry is drinking winewhen he gets hit by the mortar shell, which seems sort of ironic. Tenente is having aglass of wine with his dinner when he is at the front, moments later he is injured veryseverely. After his operation, he begins to drink heavily to get away from all of hisproblems caused by the injury. The drinking becomes so bad that, at one point in thenovel, he get jaundice. When Lt. Henry returns to the front, he finds that Rinaldi hasbecome a heavy drinker, and a womanizer. What started out as somethingsocial, became something very troublesome. As large a role as alcohol played in the novel, food also seemed to play a largepart in the hidden meanings. As I stated earlier, Lt. Henry was drinking wine with hisdinner as he was hit by a mortar shell. The same ironic features that alcohol contains,pertain to food. The turning point in this novel is when tenente gets hurt. It is strangethat something as far from war as eating dinner can have such a lasting effect on anovel. Whenever tenente leaves the hospital to go out, he always seems to end upeating something. He meets many new friends when he goes out to eat, which makeshis life more enjoyable. It’s funny that the same thing that hurts him, eating dinner,makes his life better. The same thing happens with Catherine, but in the oppositemanner. The thing that makes his life better, her love, hurts him in the end, her death. Alcohol, food, and rain all have their own significant meanings. Each thingseems to hurt Lt. Henry and everyone else in the novel, almost as much as it seems tohelp them, with the exception of rain. There are many things in life that people takefor granted; things that occur each and every day, things that nobody takes the time outto see whether or not there is something more to it, things that have a profound effecton a person’s life. What doesn’t hurt you, can only make you stronger; except in thisnovel where whatever hurts you also helps you

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