The Character Of Cathrine Essay

1075 words - 4 pages

Fayoum universityFaculty of ArtsEnglish departmentPre-masterThe Character of Catherine Barkley in "A Farewell to Arms"Prepared by:Manal KamalTo:Professor. Manal AnwarManal KamalDr / Manal Anwar11 May 2014The Character of Catherine Barkley in "A Farewell to Arms"Catherine Barkley is a static character in the novel; that is, she does not undergo any major transformation over the course of A Farewell to Arms. Apparently she has done her growing and changing before the story began. Hemingway can therefore "use" Catherine as a foil to Henry and an index of his maturation. She is like a constant in a scientific experiment.An English nurse in Italy, she bears the spiritual scars of having lost her fiancé in the Battle of the Somme. When she meets Henry, she is ready to throw herself into a new relationship in order to escape the loss of the old one, enlisting Henry to pretend that they are deeply in love almost as soon as they meet. Emotionally damaged, she can never bring herself to marry Henry, but wants to be with him in an idealized union apart from the rest of the world. Through the constant understatements and deprecating humor in her dialogue, even at moments of extreme danger such as the labor that goes wrong, she reveals herself to be a stoic match for Henry, the female side of the Hemingway hero, who does much and says little.When she falls in love with Henry, she gives herself freely to him. Although they both want to be married, she decides the ceremony would not be a proper one while she is pregnant; she feels they are already married. Catherine seems neither a deep thinker nor a very complex person, but she enjoys life, especially good food, drink, and love. She has a premonition that she will die in the rain; the premonition is tragically fulfilled at the hospital in Lausanne.When Henry is playing childish games telling her he loves her when he doesn't, for instance and playing childish games. Catherine not only resists Henry's advances; she reveals that she knows he has been playing a game. Apparently she has been playing one too: "You don't have to pretend you love me," she tells Henry. "You see I'm not mad . . . " Here Catherine proves wiser than she at first appeared - wiser in the ways of the world so far than the easily deceived Henry. Indeed, the latter may be attracted to Catherine precisely because of her aura of hard-earned maturity.Catherine rejects organized faith. She lives by a definite, unshakeable value system, and what she values is love. During one of the many nights they spend together in Milan, the couple discusses marriage, which Henry wants but Catherine resists for practical reasons. It would necessitate their separation, she explains - more worldly than he, despite his battlefield experience. She reminds him and us of her having been formally engaged to the soldier who died. Then Catherine tells Henry that she has no religion. She quickly corrects this statement, however, explaining...

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