A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway Essay

A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway Essay

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A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway describes the life of a young American ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I, Lieutenant Frederic Henry. Henry doesn’t pay much attention to the war; instead he focuses on sex and alcohol. Spending many nights in the bawdy houses with his fellow officers left Frederic wanted something more exclusive. He finds this in Catherine Barkley. Catherine is a little hesitant at the start but as time passes she becomes more relaxed and available for Frederic. She becomes his sole object of affection. Hemingway continues the relationship between Frederic and Catherine as Frederic dominating Catherine. He often tells her what to do and she obeys it. Hemingway has Catherine be described as a crazy, widow that almost isn’t like a person at all. She confuses Frederic as being her dead fiancé and she shows little opinions or decisions. She follows Frederic’s wishes and at moments sparks a thought wondering if Catherine is actually a “real” person.
To begin with, Hemingway’s first illustration of Catherine is her being an independent, lost widow. Her fiancé died in the war right before they were to be married and she will never forget him or the heartache his death had laid on her. Frederic and Catherine meet and he finds her to be beautiful. Frederic wants a more personal “relationship” and Catherine appeared to be the perfect choice. He decides to make a move on Catherine, but is shot down immediately with a slap to the face, “I leaned forward in the dark to kiss her and there was a sharp stinging flash. She had slapped my face hard” (Hemingway 22). Hemingway gives the reader the impression that Catherine isn’t a weak, easy girl that any guy could have their way with. She is stron...


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...er support this idea, Catherine says, “There isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me” (Hemingway 99). Hemingway suggests an idea that Catherine is simply a character that is a figure of another character. Catherine is created by Frederic to fulfill his sexual fantasy.
To be concise, Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms shows a dominant male that takes advantage of a woman at a weak spot in her life and proceeds to fall in love with her. Frederic is a well-established character, while Catherine is established and complete; she has moments where it is questionable how real she is. Catherine could be seen as a part of Frederic’s imagination because she is his fantasy come true and her life is so reliant upon him. She claims to be the same person as Frederic at times, why would Hemingway add this? Is Catherine, at times, created from Frederic’s imagination?

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A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway Essay

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