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Code Hero Frederic Henry In Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms

620 words - 2 pages

In Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, the code hero is the protagonist Lieutenant Frederic Henry. Frederic is no exception and presents with the common features of any Hemingway hero. He treats women as mere objects of sexual pleasure, religion and the afterlife as inconsequential, and defeat with a measure of grace and finesse incomparable. His love for Catherine Barkley is sexually motivated, the author consistently casts a level of skepticism on religion through Frederic and his interactions, and even while facing the death of his child and beloved Catherine, Frederic walks away evidently unfazed.
The relationship between Frederic and Catherine begins early on in A Farewell to Arms, setting the groundwork for the entirety of the novel. Catherine has just gotten out of a relationship because of the death of her fiancée when she is launched into one with Frederic. Frederic makes clear, “I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards.” These lines reflect the façade that is their relationship, one based on lust and the need to fill an open void. Even later in the novel, Frederick lies again to have sex with his already committed partner. When asked about whether he had ever slept with a prostitute, the exchange goes, “But you never did? Really? / No. / Not really. Tell me the truth. / ‘No,’ I lied.” He answers in a manner that he knows will appease her, much like the game he alluded to only about 70 or so pages ago. Only short thereafter he has sexual relations with her, and the reader is expected to believe that their love is true.
The idea of religion is repeatedly cast doubt upon by the characters in the novel and reflects on Frederic’s apatheistic views. In an exchange between Count...

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