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Hemingway’s View Of Women Is A Source Of Constant Controversy,

1018 words - 5 pages

Hemingway?s view of women is a source of constant controversy, and Catherine Barkley is at the center of debate. The novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway depicts Catherine Barkley as an unfair portrayal of a woman. Her constant nurturing of Henry, and selfless undertaking of the burden of pregnancy is indicative of a misogynist gone awry. Hemingway?s hatred towards women leads him to portray women as being dependant, obsessed, and naïve?serving as slaves to their men in every aspect.After the death of her previous husband, Catherine Barkley was left a life of perpetual loneliness. Upon meeting Henry, Catherine quickly became overly dependant on him to fill the emptiness in her ...view middle of the document...

Hemingway makes Catherine out to be this helpless woman who would simply fall apart without the presence of her man in her everyday life.There comes a point in the novel when Catherine begins to exceed her role in her constant nurturing of Henry during his illness. Dialogue between the two provides evidence that Catherine serves more so as a slave rather than that of a concerned lover. After questioning Henry of his former loves, Catherine replies, ?I?ll say just what you wish and I?ll do what you wish and then you will never want any girls, will you? I?ll do what you want and say what you want and then I?ll be a great success, won?t I?? (105). Catherine then asks, ?What would you like me to do now that you?re all ready?? and Henry replies ?Come to the bed again? and Catherine answers, ?All right. I?ll come. There isn?t any me any more. Just what you what want?(105-106). This passage unambiguously demonstrates Hemingway?s view of women. Hemingway?s hatred towards women leads him to depict Catherine as having no purpose other than to serve as a slave to Henry, both personally and sexually. Catherine is stupid and naïve enough to accept her role in this position and to acknowledge that she does not possess a mind of her own.After discovering that she is pregnant, Catherine?s selfless ways are evident to the point where she is hesitant in telling Henry out of fear that the pregnancy will be nothing but a nuisance to him. In her obsession with Henry, she is more worried about how Henry feels about the baby than she is about the health of herself and the baby combined. Catherine declares to Henry, ?But you mustn?t mind, darling. I?ll...

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