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Reality and Fantasy of Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms - Research Paper Example

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The story is set in the context of World War I where the two protagonists, namely the voluntary English nurse, Catherine Barkley and the…
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Reality and Fantasy of Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
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"Reality and Fantasy of Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms"

Download file to see previous pages While some have concluded her character as an embodiment of an adolescent male fantasy” (Hatten, 76; Lockridge, 170), others have used her recovery to make a case for her realistic character. Catherine had just opted to give her services in the war as a volunteer 8 years after her engagement with her fiance, who was also fighting in the war. However, amidst the World War II, her fiance dies and gradually Catherine gets involved in a romantic relationship with Fredric. Although Catherine presents a very submissive and self-abnegating character, I want to explore her character to argue for its realism.
For decades, Catherine’s character has been a complex and problematic one, drawing diverse set of interpretations by various scholars. Catherine is looked upon as a character far from reality and a figure essentially inspired by male fantasy of an ideal lover. Both Catherine and Frederic present a commonality in their evaluation of the Italians as they both feel negative of them. Catherine and Frederic meet in Italy where Frederic is serving as a volunteer ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy while Catherine is a volunteer Red Cross nurse. At several instances, Frederic hints at his lack of motivation for entering the Italian army, saying that he was a “fool” (Hemingway, 109) thereby implying a false sense of drive for soldering (Mandel, 61). On another occasion, Catherine tells Frederic how she only joined the services and moved to Italy out of support for her late fiance but later, as the story progresses, her motivation to help the wounded men is evident out of her humanitarian motivations. Catherine presents a very strong character of a woman who working for the soldiers in a world order which is chaotic. A World War is going on and Catherine is serving in Italy although her initial motivations for coming are not present ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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