A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway is a thought provoking anti-war novel. Hemingway's powerful descriptions and direct realism almost moved me to tears by the end. He is an effective writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his work.
I appreciated his graphic nature in his descriptions. He didn't sugar coat the war. I often see pieces where war is sugar coated, and after a class reads the book, I hear people say "war is cool". Those people should read this book. War isn't cool, war is hell, and if a person has any common sense, they should know that, but to have it forced on you as you read makes you want to be a pacifist. Every person Frederick came across suffered, some more than others, but all suffered.
Hemingway addresses his personal philosophy in this novel; that life is a trap, so live it up while you can. I can see his point, and I do live that way to a point. I agree with him that do what suits you best at the moment because you won't have too many moments. That a person is trapped throughout life and it is unavoidable. Either death gets you, or something else on the way there gets you, then death. I can understand how he sees no use in religion; religion will not save a person from the "traps" of life. My personal beliefs about religion differ from Frederick's, but he is justified in his belief, and that means more than to just have blind faith.
In a way, Frederick's baby got lucky. He never had to go through any of the pain or heartache that is associated with life in general, not to mention wartime. I feel as though Frederick would be happier knowing that his son never had to worry about dying, which is sad cause his son never got the chance to be in love, which Frederick at least got. I believe that it is better to have loved and lost rather than to not have loved at all. Frederick found something better in life once he fell in love, and I believe he became a better person. He had something to live for other than death.
Overall, this novel strikes home with me. I think I may want to re-evaluate my stance on life, maybe I'm being too harsh. Whatever I decide, at least I'll know that I took the time to ask myself "What do I really believe and what is best for me?" Ernest Hemingway made me think with this book, and I hope that many others will be affected by the greatness of this story, even if all they get out of it is "War Is Hell."