Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms 1

"I believe we should get the war over," I said. "It would not finish it if one side stopped fighting. It would only be worse if we stopped fighting.'
"It could not be worse," Passini said respectfully.
"There is nothing worse than war."
"Defeat is worse."
"I do not believe it," Passini said still respectfully.
"What is defeat? You go home."
More ...

A Farewell to Arms 2

The Italians were sure America would declare war on Austria too and they were very excited about any Americans coming down, even the Red Cross. They asked me if I thought President Wilson would declare war on Austria and I said it was only a matter of days. I did not know what we had against Austria but it seemed logical that they should declare war on her if they did on Germany.
More ...

A Farewell to Arms 3

"We won't talk about losing. There is enough talk about losing. What has been done this summer cannot have been done in vain." I did not say anything. I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain.
More ...

RETROSPECTIVES: Back to Overview >>

Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway (b. June 21, 1899 in Oak Parks, Illinois, d. July 2, 1961 in Ketchum, Idaho) volunteered as an ambulance driver with the American Red Cross during World War I. After serving a couple of months at the Italian front, he was seriously wounded and spent some time in a military hospital in Milan. His war-time experiences later inspired his 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms, promoted as “the best American novel to emerge out of World War I.”