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A Farewell to Arms

by Ernest Hemingway

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A Farewell To Arms Who are the main characters in this novel?

The main characters in this novel are Lieutenant Frederic Henry, his lover Catherine Barkley, Lieutenant Rinaldi, Ettore Moretti and Piani.

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A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1929 and is set during World War I. Although some critics have argued that the work is autobiographical, resembling Hemingway's slightly earlier novel The Sun Also Rises, other critics caution against such a reading.

Lieutenant Frederic Henry, the protagonist

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protagonist of the novel, is a young American man who has volunteered to serve as a paramedic in the Italian army. He falls in love with the nurse Catherine Barkley.

Catherine Barkley is a British nurse with whom Frederic falls in love. She dies giving birth to his stillborn son at the end of the novel.

Lieutenant Rinaldi is an Italian surgeon and friend to Frederic who is cynical but entertaining.

Ettore Moretti and Piani are soldiers serving with the Italian army.

Helen Ferguson is a fellow nurse and friend to Catherine and disapproves of Catherine's relationship with Frederic.

Count Greffi is a wise and elderly Italian aristocrat with whom Frederic plays billiards.

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Catherine is one of the main characters. She is a nurse with some emotional issues and she is in love with Frederic Henry. She is strong and she is weak and it is Catherine that leads the narrating Henry to state:

“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

You can find more information at the Farewell to Arms page on eNotes.

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