A Farewell To Arms By Ernest Hemingway Farewell To Arms By Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) Combining a depressing ending and austere realism with an idealistic, descriptive story is one of Hemingway's particulars of style. A subtle, emotional power permeates the story without the reader really being aware of Hemingway's hand in it. Gertrude Stein, the author's mentor, believed A Farewell to Arms was Hemingway's best novel. Certainly, it catapulted him into literary stardom. Through the character of Frederic, Hemingway eloquently argues against war. Frederic accepts what life hands him without murmuring, but argues the fatalist's philosophy: whether you were good or bad, ' they killed you in the end.' Moreover, Hemingway shows how World War 1, "the war to end all wars,' transformed many of those who fought in it into a generation of cynics.
Hemingway himself served in the Italian army as an ambulance driver and, like Frederic, was wounded in the legs. Thus, much of A Farewell to Arms' emotional energy was taken from his own experiences. The author portrays a sophisticated, intimate, caring relationship between Frederic and Catherine; a relationship entered into without the benefit of marriage. In the 1920 s this was unheard of.
The novel, in many other ways as well, helped break new social and literary frontiers, with its economical style and emotional understatement. And together with A Sun Also Rises, it established Hemingway as one of America's preeminent twentieth-century writers.