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Frederic Henry: Code Hero Essay

813 words - 3 pages

Frederic Henry is an ambulance driver in Italy during World War 1 in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Frederic lives in the here and now, and though he faces struggles, he always works toward a resolution. Taking the characteristics into consideration, Frederic is a perfect example of a Hemingway Code Hero.
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. Hypothermia is a real threat to him as he lacks the strength to pull himself from the freezing river after reaching the shore. This scenario illustrates the conflict of man vs. nature and man vs. man, which is important to the life of the code hero.
In addition to meeting struggles, Frederic Henry is a character that works tirelessly toward a resolution. During the Italian retreat, the ambulance cars get trapped on a muddy road about ten kilometers away from their destination. Even when the two sergeants are discovered to be traitors,...

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