What is the authorial purpose in A Farewell to Arms?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of Hemingway's more constant themes is a disgust and even contempt for war and the way that it appeared to become a constant fixture of life, both in Europe and elsewhere in the world.  In the book he tries to bring out the pointless and stupid aspects of this particular war while also demonstrating the individual lives of people caught within it and the effects the war has on them personally.

In order to accomplish this, Hemingway presents the war in a more realistic fashion than many earlier and even contemporary authors.  The horror and tragedy of it are presented to the reader in the gruesome description of battle, of the men's wounds and of the honest descriptions of men in their most depraved and most noble states, both of which are brought to the forefront during war.