An American who volunteers for the Italian ambulance corps before the United States joins the war. Various Italian characters also refer to him as "Tenente" (Lieutenant) or "Federico" (Frederic). Henry is a classic Hemingway hero… (read full character analysis)
A skilled surgeon, ladies' man, and Henry's best friend in the Italian Army. His boastful rambunctious banter provides a counterpoint to Henry's reserved stoicism.
An English nurse's aide and close friend to Catherine. As Catherine and Henry's love affair becomes more consuming, Helen becomes concerned for her friend's emotional well-being. Though she is confident and competent, Helen is also lonely.
A military clergyman from a peasant community in northern Italy. He endures endless jibes from the soldiers about his celibacy, but with good humor. He and Henry have several conversations about manhood, religion, and values.
Another officer serving in the town of Gorizia, he delights in taunting the priest, who he thinks is pathetic for not sleeping with women.
A 94-year-old former diplomat, he is a father figure to Henry. He beats Henry at billiards and engages him in a philosophical conversation about love and war.
A capable, boisterous doctor who operates on Henry's leg, providing a contrast with the timid trio of doctors who wanted to wait six months before operating.
A decorated Italian-American war hero whom Henry finds tedious.
The American Soldier
A fellow American serving in the Italian army who purposely tries to magnify the severity of a hernia he has in order to get out of combat.
Gordini, Passini, Manera, and Gavuzzi
Ambulance drivers under Henry's command.
An overly anxious nurse at the hospital in Milan where Henry is taken to recuperate from his injury.
A young nurse at the hospital in Milan who is fond of Henry.
Miss Van Campen
The head nurse of the hospital. She and Henry dislike each other.
An underling at the hospital. He works for tips.
Hired by the Porter to shave Henry, he nearly ends up cutting Henry's throat because he thinks Henry is an Austrian.
A young American soldier who has injured himself while trying to remove the cap of a trench mortar shell to keep as a souvenir.
A shady fixer of horse races in Milan.
A patriotic Italian youth.
A bloodthirsty ambulance driver who finishes off a man that Henry has shot, and then jokes about it.
An ambulance driver who is killed by friendly fire from the panicked Italian rear guard during a disastrous retreat.
Another ambulance driver.
Given a lift by Bonello during the Italian retreat, they refuse to help when the vehicles become stuck. Henry and Bonello shoot one of them.
A dignified officer who is executed by military police, in front of Henry, for some imagined treachery or cowardice during the retreat.
A man who serves Henry wine and then offers to let Henry, clearly a fugitive at that time, hide in his house.
An American opera singer, Simmons helps Henry after Henry deserts from the Italian army.
The bartender at the hotel in Stresa where Henry is reunited with Catherine. He helps Henry and Catherine escape the military police.
Mr. and Mrs. Guttingen
The kind proprietors of the chalet where Henry and Catherine live in Switzerland.