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成人高等教育

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天津外国语大学成人高等教育 英语(本科)毕业论文

论文题目

: (英文) The Destruction of Human Happiness 英文) by the War in A Farewell to Arms

论文题目

:论 永别了武器》 (中文) 论《永别了武器》中战争对人类幸福的 中文) : 毁灭

答 辩 成 绩: ____________________

姓 学

名: XX 号: 000000000

身 份 证 号: 000000000000000000 指 导 教 师: XXX 完 成 日 期: 2010 年 11 月 7 日

Contents

Abstract (in Chinese) ………………………………………………I Abstract (in English) ……………………………………………...II I. Introduction …………………………………………………...1 1.1. An introduction to the author ………………………....1 1.2. An introduction to the novel ………………………….2 II. A summary of the story ………………………………………3 2.1. The brief analysis of the major characters ……………3 2.1.1. Frederic Henry ………………………………...3 2.1.2. Catherine Barkley ……………………………..3 2.2. The development of the relationship between Henry and Catherine ....…………………………………4 III. The ruin of love and faith by the war ………………………5 3.1. The relationship between love and pain ……………..5 3.1.1. Separations between Henry and Catherine …...5 3.1.2. Causes leading to Catherine’s death ………….8 3.2. The grim reality of war ………………………………9 3.2.1. The change of Henry’s belief towards the war..9 3.2.2. The disastrous consequence of the First World War …………………………………………12

IV. Conclusion …………………………………………………14 Notes ……..………………………………………………………19 Bibliography ……..………………………………………………20

摘要

本论文集中分析了《永别了,武器》一书中的主要人物,弗 雷德里克·亨利和凯瑟琳·巴克莱。通过叙述他们彼此间关系的发 展以及分析战争对他们的爱情、信念的改变,着力表现出战争是 如何毁灭人类幸福生活的。 同时,为了更好地支持这一主题,本论文分成以下四部分进 行说明。第一部分是对作者以及这部小说的介绍。第二部分概述 了主要人物以及他们之间关系的发展。 第三部分重点分析了战争 是如何毁灭了人们的幸福。 第四部分是结论, 对全文进行了总结。

关键词: 关键词: 战争;爱;信念;毁灭

I

Abstract

This paper concentrates on an analysis of the main characters in the novel, Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley. Through describing the development of their relationship and analyzing the change of their love and faith in the war, this paper represents how the war destroyed the happy life of the human being. Meanwhile, in order to support this theme, this paper is divided into four parts. The first part gives an introduction to both the author and the novel. The second part summarizes the main characters and the development of their relationship. The third part analyzes how the war destroyed the people’s happiness in detail. The forth part is the conclusion, summing up the story.

Key words: war; love; faith; ruin

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I. Introduction 1.1. An introduction to the author Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Illinois, USA. Hemingway was the first son and the second child of his family. His father was a country doctor. Hemingway chose hunting fishing and camping in the woods and lakes as his hobbies like his father. These early experiences closely contacted with nature brought him enough passion for outdoor adventure and for living in the remote or isolated areas. During his school career, he was good at both academic and athletic aspects. He displayed particular talent in English classes in his high school. After high school, he decided to write for a newspaper rather than into a college. Although he worked there for only half year, he created his own writing style at that time. After Hemingway left his job, he joined the United States Army to see action in World War I. During the war, he really realized the ruthlessness and brutalities of war for the first time. As a witness, he ever experienced Spanish Civil War and World War II. According to his own real thoughts and feelings towards the war, he published many works against war. Meanwhile, his characters were always filled with firm will and fearless courage. The Old Man and the Sea, which is one of his most famous novels, eventually made him win the Nobel Prize in Literature 1954. Unfortunately,
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Hemingway suffered physical and psychological illness in his later years. On the morning of July 2, 1961, he committed suicide because of his manic depression. 1.2. An introduction to the novel During World War I, Hemingway joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. As an ambulance driver in the Italian Front, he once was wounded for delivering supplies to soldiers. He met and fell in love with an American nurse during his treatment in a hospital. But their relationship ended at his return to the United States and then the nurse involved with another man. This affair left an indelible mark in his heart. According to his real experience, he finished one of his most well-known novels, A Farewell to Arms. As an anti-war novel, Hemingway described a young man first, Frederic Henry. There were two threads around Henry running through the whole novel. One was the change of his attitude towards the war. Another one was the three separations of Henry and Barkley in the whole novel. Indeed, this novel also represented the change of Hemingway’s philosophy of life. The theme of this novel that Hemingway wanted to reflect was that it was impossible to ensure justice and peace in war. Instead, the universe was indifferent (sometimes even hostile) to man’s plight. Hemingway really wanted people realize that war was only a futile struggle of man against man.
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There were no winners in a war, and there was no reasoning behind the lives which are taken. A Farewell to Arms was a symbol of Hemingway’s heroism. His heroism was that men should realize what the truth was when men have to struggle with death injustice and evil of war.

II.A summary of the story 2.1. The brief analysis of the major characters 2.1.1. Frederic Henry Frederic Henry was an American ambulance driver and a lieutenant in the Italian Army. He was also one of the protagonists of this novel. The focus of the novel was about his steady love with Catherine Barkley and his continuous confusion towards the war. Henry was described initially as a friendly young man who found himself nothing to do with the war. But these feelings finally made him realize the hostile nature of the war when he fell in love with Catherine Barkley. Meanwhile, Hemingway characterized this role to represent his own philosophy and values in the specific period. 2.1.2. Catherine Barkley Catherine Barkley was an English nurse who served at the Italian front. She was another protagonist in this novel. Hemingway characterized primarily her beauty, courage and disregard for social
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convention. Catherine clearly knew what the nature of the war was. She understood that there were only death awaiting people. There was no dignity no glory and no justice in the war. Although she felt the danger around her, she still devoted her love totally to Henry. 2.2. The development of the relationship between Henry and Catherine Before their first meeting, Henry was an American ambulance driver in the Italian Front. He always believed that this was a war with justice and glory. Even if he knew that the fight at the front was very harsh, he still believed that the war would be ended soon. A few days later, when he met Catherine Barkley first time, he found himself attracted deeply by her. And then he often went to see her and their relationship had been advanced. Nevertheless, their relationship looked as if a love game at that moment. They just wanted to seek something interesting from one another. Catherine decided to end this false relationship immediately. Meanwhile, Henry had to return to the front. At the front, Henry’s legs were severely wounded. When he met Catherine again, he was waiting for an operation in a hospital. Henry confessed his love for Catherine again. They were being nearly together every day. Henry spent most of his days with Catherine. They enjoyed that time until Henry got a letter from the Army. He was ordered to return as soon as possible if
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he healed. Since Henry left Catherine again, he desired that the war could be ended soon and he could come back to meet Catherine at once. But he found that their troops were depressed by the continuous fight and they couldn’t even stop the march of Germans and Austrians. The worst thing for him was his attitude towards the war had been gradually changed. When he decided to avoid the war for his love and faith, he met Catherine at a hotel far from the front. In order not to be arrested by the Italian officers, they decided to leave Italy. When they arrived in Switzerland, they met a little difficulty. But they finally solved the entire problem before they started their own new lives. Everything would be fine. They really enjoyed the peaceful life in the small town. People around them were really kind and friendly. The only obstacle for them was Catherine’s pregnancy. In the hospital, Catherine was in labor for hours and she suffered pain bravely initially. Unfortunately, she had one hemorrhage later. Catherine passed away and their first baby died as well. “Alone, Henry walked through the rain to the hotel.”1

III.The ruin of love and faith by the war 3.1. The relationship between love and pain 3.1.1. Separations between Henry and Catherine There are three separations running through this novel. Their
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first separation took place when Catherine realized that they were playing a love game and she decided to stop this relationship immediately. In that period, whether Henry or Catherine was, they actually did not find what they really want. They just hoped to find something interesting from each other. Their confusion and disappointment towards the war made them immerse in this love game. Although they attracted deeply by one another, they still fear of commitment for their future. Because they could imagine what tomorrow would be. At the same time, the fight at Italian front also required Henry to return the army at once. Therefore, Henry returned to his army and Catherine continued her work in the hospital. Their second separation took place after Henry’s recovery of his wound. During his treatment, Catherine spent so much time and energy to care for him. Meanwhile they affirmed the true love between them. This relationship made them change a lot in many ways. Especially for Henry, he gradually knew what true love was and could completely give his true love to Catherine. He became a responsible and a loyal person. But due to his duty to the army and even the fight, he was forced to return his troop. The cruelty and bloodlines of war made him cherish the days they were together. The front fight seemed harsh and soldiers of the troops were depressed by the continuous defeat. Therefore, they decided to leave their own
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role in this war and meet again in a place far from war. Their last separation took place at the end of this story. It definitely described Catherine’s death as a symbol of the ultimate separation. When they escaped to Switzerland, they still faced many problems. They even need to conflict with the shadow of war physically and psychologically. Though they ever had a period of happiness in the small town with those friendly people, they could not save themselves in their lives. They failed though they tried. Catherine proved that she would be a brave and outstanding mother. Unfortunately, she couldn’t save their first child and then she passed away because of her hemorrhage. The three separations took place in different period of this novel. But all of them were because of the war. As a soldier of the front army, Henry had to return to his troop once more. When he realized that the unique way made him out of the shadow of the war was with Catherine, he decided to leave his troop and be with his lover forever. As for Catherine, she found a good companion in his life and made the man change a lot than before. Thanks to her, Henry began to understand why the true love could save a man and why a man could devote himself for a woman he really loves. Although they strived and struggled with the fate for their future, they failed. From Italy to Switzerland, from the front to home, from
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their body to their heart, they could not even choose a peaceful life out of the war. War made them realize the cruelty of the fact and helplessness of people in the war. 3.1.2. Causes leading to Catherine’s death Catherine Barkley’s death was a tragedy. As a matter of fact, the reason of the tragedy could be divided into two parts. One was her personal causes. Another one was the social causes. Personally, Catherine was not only a brave but a rebellious woman. She was eager to pursue a liberal and easy life with Henry. Even they did something that let them in dilemma in their position of the society and all of her friends were against her decision, Catherine still firmly loved Henry and she would go anywhere he went. When she was pregnant, she decided to give birth to the baby. Because of her insistence, she quit her job and escaped to another country with Henry. In spite of the fact they had a great time, they still could not avoid the unfortunate consequence. As a woman who had open-minded and rebellious spirit towards conventional society values, Catherine should be considered as a heroine in this story. She finally passed away, though she always struggled with the outside surrounding for her true love. Socially, thousands of men were required to fight in the war. Men like Henry had to give up many valuable things. Catherine had to let his fiancé return to the front.
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Even if they chose to escape from the army, they still couldn’t find a safe place in the real world or their hearts. In the real world, despite worrying about the arresting from the Italian officers, Catherine and Henry had to choose those remote places to live. When Catherine had a baby and then she needed a better care condition, they couldn’t go to see doctors of big hospitals. Although they finally chose a small town in Switzerland as their arrival place, they still could not prepare enough for their first child. At that moment, the only thing they could do was to pray. In their hearts, actually they always could not find a proper way to forget the war and to avoid the shadow of the war. When Catherine saw the falling rain, she even forecasted their fate. Rain in Catherine’s heart represented dark despair and even death. She was afraid of seeing rain all the time. She always told Henry something about their ultimate fate in this war. As the rain fell in the roof, she saw it as the symbol of destruction of human being’s happiness. As for them, the present pleasure and happiness was temporary. To pursue a long and stable peaceful life in a war was an impossible thing. Therefore, the tragedy of Catherine’s death resulted from her personal philosophy and the current social background. 3.2. The grim reality of war 3.2.1. The change of Henry’s belief towards the war
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When war slowly displayed its cruelty and indifference to Henry, his attitude towards war started to change gradually. As a young solider from America, he was inexperienced and unaware what the real war was. He initially thought that war would be ended soon. He even considered that nobody would be hurt in war. Even if his duty was to assist those wounded people and victims, he still believed that war would win by victory until he saw his solider die and experience thousands dead. In the war period, that was only a small number compared with the total tolls. At that moment, Henry for the first time doubted what they were fighting for. Meanwhile, Henry began to realize that there was no winner in a war. Maybe the consequence of war was only death. The fight would continue. It was impossible to stop a war because of his confusion or disappointment. But Henry gradually realized what the real beautiful thing was in his life. That was to be with Catherine. Their love could help him forget anything about war. In the meantime, Henry also clearly understood that people who would not make war were at the mercy of people who would make war.2 He was sick enough of this war, though he still accomplished his duty in the army. Henry hoped to keep a distance from the war rather than escaping from the war until he was nearly killed as a spy. When he found the soldiers were depressed by the continuously defeat and the loss of their belief
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towards the war, he felt that the fight was so stupid and people leading this war were so hypocritical. However, when he was nearly killed by an Italian officer, he decided to leave the fight and throw off the arms from his hands. He finally left his army and laid down his arms, which represents that he abandoned his responsibilities and obligation as well. From then on, Henry’s attitude towards the war had completely changed. Henry believed that the war won’t end soon but continuing. Although he escaped to another country far from the front fight, he was always considered as a hero in this novel. Because he always looked for what the truth was. Maybe the truth was opposite from his initial belief, he always insisted on exploring from the beginning to the end. Besides, Henry also heard some different thoughts of war from his friends and Catherine. He found that many people’s fate had changed by the war. Many people lost their families, friends and even their lives. Henry hated the war but he could do nothing. The only thing he could do was to leave from the war. In the war period, Henry as a soldier was in a dilemma. The purpose he joined the army was to end the fight earlier. Conversely, the fight was continuing because of involvement of more young people like Henry. Nobody would be a winner, and the world would become more indifferent and colder. The cruel and brutal violence
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had destroyed all the beautiful things. War brought us only the disaster rather than peace and happiness. 3.2.2. The disastrous consequence of the First World War The First World War lasted for four years and three months. It began on August 4, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. It involved sixty countries and took ten million lives, cost about 35,000 million pound. After the First World War, there was little political stability in Europe. In Eastern Europe, it gave birth to some new countries such as Poland Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Finland. In central Europe, the Germans always longed for revising the treaty of the Versailles settlement because of the huge indemnity and the threat of France towards its land. In southern Europe, the Italians also dissatisfied with the result of the Versailles settlement. Actually, there were only two countries which wanted to preserve this treaty. Therefore, these complicated objective elements among different countries also lead to the Second World War. The First World War left a huge burden on many European countries especially France and Britain. They owned billions of dollars to the United States. The most serious problem for those countries that joined the war was that they had to rehabilitate devastated areas and paid much money for those wounded people
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and the relatives of those dead people. Meanwhile, a huge number of foreign and domestic debts put the government under the extraordinary pressure. However, the current International situation was that most of the European countries tried to become economically self-sufficient and keep out the products of other countries. Therefore, many former powerful countries like Britain and France began to depress after the war. At the same time, the punishment on Germany was somewhat excessive. Germany loose its land to France and German economy fell apart. More countries wanted to ask for much more indemnity from Germany. It also leads to the rise of Nazis in Germany. In Germany, the unemployment and inflation had been out of control. German people started to believe that only the Nazi could help them get jobs and rebuild the nation. War for many innocent people was a disaster. Their peaceful lives were broke up. In order to not being attacked, many countries established massive military with the advanced weapons. With the development of the modern industry and technology, a growing number of tanks and planes were widely used in the front. Although many countries ever suffered a lot in a war, they still prepared enough military force for the next war. Besides, more common people were forced to fight in the front. Many of them died for their
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own countries. Their belief toward the war never changed. Even if they sacrificed their lives, they still believed that their sacrifice could exchange the future peace. However, an increasing number of people died in the Second World War because of the greed and ambition of human beings. Because of greed, German was forced to pay a huge amount of their GDP to France and Britain; Because of ambition, France ultimately occupied German colonies and part of its land; Because of grievance, Hitler took advantage of his people to seek revenge against Allies. These elements were the chief reasons to ignite World War II.

IV.Conclusion In summary, the theme of the story could be divided into five parts. The first one was war and love. About the war, in the novel, Hemingway did not give us a direct reason that Henry was involved in the war. But Henry began to believe that war would not end by the victory.3 He realized that the army was corrupted, the officers were incompetent and the soldiers were depressed. Henry got confused and deeply lost in a dilemma of his action and mind. He tried to drink and was involved in love affairs to escape the reality. Although Henry disliked the war, he had not lost his loyalty to the army and
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still carried out his task. When he was mistaken to face the treat of death, Henry decided to betray his duty as a soldier. At the end, Henry awaked to the harsh reality and realized the war was cruel and brutal. About the love, this novel reflected a romantic story in the specific period. Actually, Henry did not fall in love with Catherine at his first sight. However, when he was badly wounded at the front, he was sent to a hospital that Catherine had been posted. Henry’s loneliness and emptiness had been taken away by Catherine’s care. With the development of the plot, love between Henry and Catherine played a very important role in Henry’s life. When he began to doubt whether this war was necessary or not, he still believed that there were some beautiful staff in this world such as love. Therefore, Henry was lost in the despair when Catherine passed away. In fact, when Henry decided to escape to Switzerland with Catherine, it meant that he made his farewell to war. Unfortunately, Catherine’s death sent him to his farewell to love in the end. The second one was reality and fantasy. Throughout the story, the author showed us how harsh the reality was in a war. Even in terms of the war, the author still told us that the glory and the honor would disappear from each soldier’s heart. Because the war had destroyed human being’s belief. Meanwhile, many characters created escapist fantasies to bear the suffering of the war. Especially
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for Catherine, she tried to recover from losing his fiancé by making a love affair with Henry. Catherine pretended that she and Henry were deeply in love to escape the pain of her fiancé’s death in a battle. But she found that she made a mistake and decided to stop their relationship immediately. Besides, many characters in this story had similar illusion. Henry’s fellow officers celebrated America’s entry into the war. However, the hospital they celebrated was just cleared out to make room for casualties.4 When Henry and Catherine retreated from the war to live in Switzerland, they still had to face the frustration of the reality until Catherine and their baby died. The third one was self and duty. No matter Henry or Catherine was, they both have the responsibilities and obligations at their positions. During the wartime, as Henry’s love to Catherine deepened, Henry began to see that the war was unjust and to consider more about his own situation and wanted to choose a proper way to live with Catherine. When Henry realized what future he would have and saw the Italians’ despair towards the victory, he finally threw off his duty and responsibilities. After he left his army, Henry’s chief and only concern was Catherine. Despite escaping the war, Henry and Catherine still had responsibilities to have the child and to look after each other. At the end of the story, they finally found more important in their relationship than in any other
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obligation. The forth one was Manhood, the typical spirit of Hemingway’s novel. Henry is a traditional Hemingway man. Because of similar personal experience, Henry was described as another Hemingway’s role. Actually, Henry’s attitude towards war was nearly same as Hemingway’s. They initially thought that the war they joined was just and fair. However, when they realized the truth was not like that, they refused to participate in the brutal and endless war again. Indeed, as a typical character of Hemingway. Henry also kept his own macho posture in this novel. When he was badly wounded at the front, he still insisted on accepting the surgery immediately. In spite of Henry was prohibited his drinking by the nurses, he couldn’t get rid of the addiction of drinking either. Therefore, he was accused of delaying to return to the army by the head nurse. Anyway, compared with those irresponsible and unconfident characters, Henry should be regarded as a hero in this novel. The fifth one was the faith. No matter the faith was from the religion or not, People in the story always struggle with the real world. Henry and Catherine had a belief that they would have a peaceful and comfortable life in the future days. And the other people had different believes in their hearts. Different believes lead
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to different results at the end of the story. Many soldiers died for the last victory at the front. They even initially believed they could change the situation of the war. However, they made their biggest effort for the war though they failed. Besides, many characters in the story had their own believes from the beginning to the end. As for Henry, he never followed the advice of his friends. He was not a conventional religious man. But he would like to believe that he should commit for the woman he really loved. He should devote everything of him to Catherine. Catherine’s love as his faith in the story helped him realize what the most important thing in his life was and what future he should pursue right now. Actually, war as a method only assisted those aggressive men to accomplish their ambition. But many innocent people would lose many valuable things in the war. People would lose their families, friend even lives. Meanwhile, human being’s dignity and compassion would be disappeared finally. War destroyed not only an area or a nation but also the civilization of the whole society. No matter what the individual happiness or the whole social stability was, war would always be the biggest threat to human being. Therefore, whenever we were, all of us should cherish what we already have and not forget how the precious life comes to today.

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Notes

1.

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, (New York: Easton Press, 1990), p.297.

2.

IBID.p.177. IBID.p.370. IBID.p.378.

3.

4.

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Bibliography

A Farewell to Arms, a Homework Online study guide: http://www.homework-online.com/afta/index.html Spark notes, A Farewell to Arms: Themes, Motifs, and Symbols: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/farewell/themes.html 董衡. 《海明威研究》. 中国社会科学出版社. 1980. 古尔灵等. 《文学批评方法手册》 外语教学与研究出版社. 2004. . 海明威. 《永别了,武器》. 中国致公出版社. 2003. 吴伟仁. 《美国文学史读》. 外语教学与研究出版社. 1990.

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