Frederic is involved in multiple struggles over the course of the novel. One of those deals with his love for Catherine. From the moment Frederic meets Catherine Barkley his physical lust for her is extremely potent. After he is transported to the hospital in Milan, that love and lust becomes insatiable. Every moment each can spare they spend together. However, when Catherine is delivering the baby, Frederic regrets sleeping with her constantly. He even goes so far as to call their midnight rendezvous a trap (320). He is upset with himself for causing her to endure all the pain and agony of childbirth. Torn between his enjoyment of having Catherine and his desire to protect her from harm, Fredric finds himself conflicted. Although he did love Catherine, loved her enough to desert the army, he did not realize the consequences of actually loving her.
During the retreat of the Italian Army, Frederic faces numerous struggles. One of the more memorable conflicts is when he faces capture from the battle police. When Frederic realizes that he will most likely be killed for abandoning his troops, runs for the docks and leaps into the river. “I could feel the current swirl me and I stayed under until I thought I could never come up.” He is shot at and almost drowns because of his heavy boots dragging him down. Frederic manages to cling to a piece of timber to keep his head above the swirling, churning waters of the river. Hypotherm...
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... cared about was getting her to himself in bed. In addition to sex, alcohol is also in the forefront of his mind. Frederic was highly addicted to alcohol and drank constantly, including as he was recovering from surgery. He drank so much that he gave himself the jaundice with his severe alcoholism. Dozens of empty bottles were found stashed under his bead and in his dresser. He cared more about feeling drunk and the numbness it brings rather than his health. Living in the here and now is a good way to escape reality, especially during wars. Prostitution and alcoholism provide a way out of all the fear and uncertainty that Frederic is plagued with. He dreams and wishes and drinks because he wants to live in a world where there is no war, no death, no pregnancy, and no fear.
Frederic, though not the initial code hero, displays the characteristics of a true hero.
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