heroarms Henry’s Personal Code in A Farewell to Arms
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Henry’s Personal Code in A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway is a story of Love, war and one Man’s pursuit of finding his own personal code in order to make a separate peace. Fredrick Henry is an American who serves as a lieutenant in the Italian army to a group of ambulance drivers. Hemingway portrays Frederick as a lost man searching for order and value in his life. Catherine Barkley is an English volunteer nurse who serves in Italy. She is considered very experienced when it comes to love and loss since she has already been confronted with the death of a loved one when her fiancé was killed earlier in the war. Their love affair must survive the obstacles of World War. The background of war-torn Italy adds to the tragedy of the love story. The war affects the emotions and values of each character. The love between Catherine and Frederick must outlast long separations, life-threatening wartime situations, and the uncertainty of each other's whereabouts or condition. This novel is a beautiful love story of two people who need each other in a period of upheaval.
At the start of the novel, Frederick is given a vacation to leave the war for a period of time in order to relax. He befriends a priest because he admires the fact that the priest lives his life by a set of values that give him an orderly lifestyle. He is told by the priest to go to Abruzzi, there in the mountains he can relax and forget about the worries of war. But Fredrick is hardheaded and listens to his friends and decides to go to Naples, there he drinks and travels from one house of prostitution to another and yet he is discontent because his life is very unsettled. This vacation was his free ticket out of the war but Fredrick does not realize nor understand how bad this war is. He decides to return due to his pride and patriotism.
A close friend of Fredrick, Rinaldi is also a Lt. In the army. Together they share stories and interests. Rinaldi is a strong man, one who understands what war is about. Through numerous attempts of lessons given to Fredrick, he still doesn’t understand. Rinaldi constantly calls Fredrick “baby” which is an accurate description of him. He is still a child and is not aware of the true meaning of war, love and life.