Ernest Hemingway in his novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ reflects the power of earthly love and its journey to heavenly love under the impact of religion which is fated to a tragic end in the form of separation from the lover. The novel is about the love story of Frederic Henry, ‘an American in the Italian army’ (Hemingway 22), and a British nun, Catherine Barkley during the First World War.
The story centers round the theme of love but it is also evident that religion serves to play a greater role in the lives of the characters and shapes their ideas about love and thus leaves a notable impact on the formation of theme and moving of the plot. In the beginning religion’s role is minimal and it is seen as negative and conservative, ‘All thinking men are atheists’ (Hemingway 08). Frederic’s views about love are influenced by his talks with the priest and also with Count Griffin. His ideas of love are conformed into a fine mold of devotion and dedication as he gets to know that in true love the lover must serve the beloved with sincerity and purity as a priest serves God to whom he showers all his love and praise. Henry further gets to know through Count that loves for a woman is a sacred feeling that is part of the religion. He comes to the stage where they become inseparable in love, ‘there isn’t any me, I’m you.
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