A Farewell To Arms By Ernest Hemmingway
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A Farewell To Arms By: Ernest Hemmingway
Lieutenant Frederic Henry is a young American volunteer who is serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during WWI.
It is the start of winter, and it has started raining.
Henry has just returned from to the front from leave, and has learned that a major offense is about to start.
Rinaldi his roommate / best friend has told him of a group of English nurses that have arrived and that he is in love with one of them, Catherine Barkley.
Henry is introduced to her the next day.
Henry calls on Miss Barkley frequently
He likes the frank, young English girl in a casual sort of way, but he is not in love with her.
Catherine gives Henry a St. Anthony medal to wear during the battle before he leaves for the front.
It is spring time
At the front, as Henry and some Italian ambulance drivers are eating, an Austrian mortar shell explodes over their dugout.
Henry is badly wounded in the legs and is takes to a field hospital and later is moved to a hospital in Milan.
The nurses forbid him to drink wine, but he bribes a porter to bring him a supply which is hides behind his bed.
Catherine comes to the hospital and he now knows that he is in love with her.
It is summertime
The doctors tell him he has to be in bed for six month before they can operate on his knee, he insists on getting a second opinion, another doctor then tells him that the operation can be performed the next day.
Catherine is by his side constantly.
Henry convalesces after his operation, and Catherine attends to him.
Their love is growing more intense and they are together all the time, dining out and riding carriages around the countryside.
Catherine often spends nights with him in the hospital.
It starts to rain, and Catherine asks Henry if he will always love her as he says he will, then she says that's good. I'm afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it.
Summer passes into Autumn
Henry has healed he is due to a leave in October, but he comes down with jaundice before he can leave the hospital, he is accused by the head nurse that the jaundice was brought on by his drinking, so he wouldn't have to go back to the front.
He and Catherine had planned to spend the leave together. Henry had always dreamt of making love to Catherine in a hotel room in Milan.
Henry is ready to leave for the front, he and Catherine spend a night together in a hotel room, Catherine is unhappy, but brave at the same time. She tells him she is pregnant.
They take a carriage to the railway station and say good-bye in the rain.
At the front Henry is ordered to load his three ambulances with equipment and head into the Po valley.
Rinaldi admires the work done on his knee, and observes that Henry had begun to act like a married man.
The Italians have learned that that the German divisions are reinforcing the Austrians, fearing for their lives, they begin their terrible retreat from Caporetto.
While Henry is driving the ambulance during the retreat his is held up by many wagons, guns and trucks. He picks up two straggling Italian sergeants.
The retreat is held up by rain.
Henry attempts to drive across the country by the side roads to reach Udine, the ambulance gets bogged down in a muddy side road.
The sergeants decide to leave, Henry asks for them to help, they refuse. Henry shoots at them and wounds one while the other gets away.
Another Italian ambulance driver shoots the wounded one and kills him.
Henry and his three comrades set out on foot.
They reach Udine, but one of his men is killed by a nervous Italian sniper.
The Italian army is frantic, soldiers are throwing down their arms and officers cutting their ranks from their sleeves.
Officers are being executed by the river.
Henry is detained but in the dark of the night he breaks free, plunges into the river and escapes on a log.
By foot and by freight trains he reaches Milan and goes to the hospital to find Catherine, he learns she has gone to Stresa.
Henry has made his "farewell to arms."
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