A Farewell To Arms - Ernest Hemingway : structural analysis October 25, 1988
STRUCTURE: The general design of a work of art; the way in which its
parts are related to one another in the formation of the
List the ways the five books present parallels and contrasts, i.e.
the alternation between love and war (consider their
activities); the departures from Catherine; the movement of the
seasons; time (slow/fast).
by making statements that clearly contradict one another. These
are usually in different books and the scene brought up is easily
memorable. The contradictions represent changing ideas and
sentiments within the characters.
The changing seasons are indicative of time passing. They show how
the years flow; they also show (again) changing ideas and sentiments
within the characters. RAIN - whenever it is raining something is
or will go wrong. A symbol of bad things. Major offensives are also
ties to the seasons.
Time passes quickly when he is with Catherine and slowly when he is
war. There is more dialogue (rather than descriptions) with
Catherine; this moves the story along faster and so we get the
impression of time passing faster.
The alternation between love and war directly represent Frederic,
and his alternations between love and war. They also show up his
changing feelings for the war and all the ideas that are behind it.
leaving each other is always disastrous - the first time Frederic
is wounded; the second Catherine gets pregnant, and the third time she
The novel is similar to a Shakespearian play in that they both
relieve the tension generated by the action by humour. Also, each
book (act in Shakespeare) has its own high point.