A Farewell to Arms Biblical Allusions

Allusions got more than deeper meanings as it is evidently shown in the novel A Farewell to Arms. A story whose plot is regenerated back in the war days is plotted and designed in artistic style embedded with great biblical allusions such as:

  • Love
  • Faith
  • Death

Why Allusions?

Food for thought. The art of allusions in writing is specifically embraced by writers to enable the communication between the writer and the reader to stay hidden. In other words, allusions are indirect communications embedded within a story for the readers to analyze and digest the deeper themes of the contexts.

Well said and explained but that aside. Let us look at the study case of the core characters in A Farewell to Arms: Henry, Catherine, and the Priests, and see the biblical allusions depictions.


Death comes to us all according to genesis right? Yes. The war between Italy and Austrians consumed many lives and more spillage of blood during the battles. Henry woke up near a dead soldier after receiving serious injuries and he began to fathom the natural law of selection why he remains alive while that soldier dead. But who is in charge of nature? if I may ask.

The death of Catherine is God’s awakening sign to Henry. The loss of life of his love Catherine has made Henry accept the outcome of nature. What is beyond his control. The signal is a clear allusion of surrendering to God’s decision because He is the one who gives the life and takes it away…alpha and omega remember?

Loss of Faith

The priest is a symbol of faith. The priest keeps on reminding Henry about God’s love and protection. The kind of spiritual investment demanded from human souls to put on Him is what drives our sins and suffering away. However, Henry tries to put faith

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