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"Changing With Time" Essay

2789 words - 11 pages

"Changing With Time"Throughout their lives, people are forced to face obstacles and decisionsthat are presented with the passing of time. These impediments can later makeor break the person's life depending on how they prepare for them. By adjustingoneself to the situation and adapting with time, the person will succeed byreaching true happiness. However, by ignoring the situation at hand anddrawing oneself to the past, the person will fail to lead a pleasant self-fulfillinglife. The characters that are presented as either survivors or failures include:Catherine Barkley and Frederick Henry, from A Farewell to Arms by ErnestHemingway; Nicole and Dick Diver, of Tender is the Night by F. ScottFitzgerald; and Quentin, Caddy, Jason, and Miss Quentin from The Sound andthe Fury by William Faulkner. The characters either succeed by gaining freedomand independence or fail by not adapting with time and not accepting what timebrings.In A Farewell to Arms, Frederick Henry, an ambulance driver for theItalian Army, is a discontent man looking for substance and meaning in his life.He has no religion and has lost faith in all that he believes in. When Frederick isintroduced into the book, he is presented as an aimless young man whose lifewas meant for making adventures. He has nothing to live for and is unable todiscover any meaning in life. He jokes with his fellow officers, whores with localprostitutes, and drinks with everyone. It is evident that Frederick left America forItaly to begin a more thrilling and glamorous life, contrary to the ordinaryAmerican peacetime life. He is, however, very sympathetic and sensitive toothers. His sensitive and more sympathetic side is restricted by fear,embarrassment, and naiveté. An example is in chapter two when a few fellow12officers ridicule their priest. One of the majors say to Frederick, "'Priest everynight five against one.' Everyone at the table laughed. 'You understand? Priestevery night five against one.' He made a gesture and laughed loudly. The priestaccepted it as a joke." Although Frederick feels sympathy for the man, hedoesn't stop the major or the other officers, nor does he join their party.Because of how he chooses to live, an American living on the front serving as anItalian lieutenant, he is put in an awkward position. He chooses to be timidrather than courageous to save himself from humiliation. Frederick's purpose isto fit in and take one day at a time. To him, there is nothing to look forward to,it's all a question mark.Rinaldi, Frederick's friend and an ambulance driver, introduces Frederickto a certain Catherine Barkley, an English nurse. Frederick's first comment onCatherine is, "I thought she was very beautiful." It is evident that Frederick'sattraction for Catherine is purely physical at first. However, he becomes attachedto Catherine and realizes that he is in love with her, and her with him. Catherinemakes Frederick her "religion" and teaches him many things about life that willhelp him...

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