Reflective Essay Assignment on A Farewell to Arms

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Reflective Essay Assignment on A Farewell to Arms

In a Farewell to Arms by Frederic Henry’s perspective and attitude about war change drastically in this story by Hemingway. How and why does Henry’s change happen? Write a reflective essay in which you explain Henry’s shift in thinking about war and connect this to a personal experience where you underwent a significant change of perspective, how and why this change happened, and how this benefited your life.

A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms’s reflection, which takes place on Fredric Henry’s train to Milan, demonstrates how the war has affected his psychological instability via the struggle with love. In other words, the war has made him fearful, and he is constantly plagued by nervous thoughts.

Ernest Hemingway based a substantial portion of A Farewell to Arms on his own life experiences. The protagonist of the novel, Frederic Henry, goes through a lot of the same things that Hemingway did.

Some of these encounters are precisely the same, while others are more dissimilar, and certain circumstances result in totally different situations. The battle and the sense of having to flee for one’s life cannot be avoided. The conflict is no longer physical; instead, it is a constant struggle to avoid madness.

As the conflict intensifies, the narrative has a chaotic tone in which Frederic Henry’s mental state gradually emerges through Catherine Barley, his girlfriend.

The narrator adopts a candid and honest tone by narrating his trip through the conflict in absolute honesty, showing that he is unconcerned with how he is seen. While this chapter demonstrates Henry’s need for Catherine’s love and his need for mental escape, it also demonstrates that Henry will always be at odds with himself.

For the rest of his life, Henry will continue to worry about leaving and joining the war. The train he rides to Milan is a metaphor for how he will eventually deal with posttraumatic stress disorder and the effects of having seen such graphic combat footage.


In his book “A Farewell to Arms,” Ernest Hemingway chronicles the life of Frederic Henry, a World War I soldier who has fundamentally altered his perspective on the conflict.

Henry’s viewpoint has changed as a result of the loss of his best friend, the brutality of trench fighting, and his growing disenchantment with the pointlessness and expense of war. Henry and his fellow troops benefit from his new outlook.

Henry can maintain morale and work more efficiently in the trenches if he views war as a necessary evil. He also helps his fellow troops retain a more realistic perspective on the struggle by demonstrating to them that combat is not as wonderful and noble as they formerly believed.

The fact that Frederic Henry fought in the terrible and gruesome battles of the Italian campaign of World War I as an Italian army lieutenant is one of the primary causes of this transformation.

Henry consequently lost faith in the idea of war as a whole and saw it as nothing more than an ugly and terrible pointless exercise. This shift in his perspective on war has a significant impact on how he feels and behaves throughout the entire novel. Henry’s contacts with Paul are when his attitude change is most obvious.


Hemingway’s writing style is one of the aspects of the book that really caught my attention. He speaks in plain, uncomplicated terms, and his sentences are frequently succinct and direct. This writing approach gives the book a sense of clarity and immediacy as if the reader could see the events as they happened.

Moreover, Hemingway employs repetition in both his speech and his descriptions, which gives the book a rhythm and highlights its themes. The senselessness of war is one of the book’s major themes. Hemingway depicts the war as a vicious, senseless fight that obliterates the lives of everyone involved.

Frederick’s wartime experiences—including his observation of his fellow soldiers’ terrible deaths—make this argument clear. The story also depicts the psychological toll that combat has on troops, as seen by Frederick’s growing cynicism and despair as the conflict goes on.

Love, and how it may bring solace and purpose in the face of tragedy and upheaval, is another crucial topic of the book.

Both Frederick and Catherine find comfort in their connection in the midst of a crazy world. Hemingway also illustrates the brittleness of love and the catastrophic effects that loss may have on an individual.

Ultimately, A Farewell to Arms is a strong and touching book that provides a thoughtful reflection on the nature of humanity. Hemingway’s concise and straightforward writing style, together with his profound understanding of the nature of war and love, make it a timeless masterpiece that still has readers today in its grip.