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A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Character Analysis

In the novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway shows Frederick Henrys progression into a code hero. Frederick Henry achieved many code hero characteristics by the end of the novel with the help of Catherine, a code hero herself. All the characteristics seem to follow the path of a person with masculine characteristics who is continuously striving to live his/her life to the fullest. Throughout the novel, Frederick Henry’s behavior matures into ones of a code hero. In the start of the novel, Frederick Henry immersed himself into the sensual pleasures that surrounded him.

Henry had drunk much wine, and had aimlessly wondered from woman to woman in Book one of the novel. He had no self-control to contain himself from the brothels during this time. He drank heavily on a regular basis, yet he was never a sloppy drunk, and could hold his liquor very well. Henry enjoys the food he ate, the love he made, and the wine he drank whenever he felt the desire to, as a code hero often does. He could not learn to control himself until he had developed a relationship with Catherine. By receiving the support and confidence from her, he was able to change.

Henry finally disciplined himself near the end of his stay at the Ospidale Maggoire. Henry had always had trouble sleeping as many of the code heroes do in a Hemingway novel. Henry could not sleep during the night because the night was a representation of death to him. Death to Henry was the end of all things because he did not believe in any sort of after life. If he did not asleep, he could avoid having to deal with this immense fear. As their relationship develops, Henry was often accompanied by Catherine during the nights at the Ospidale Maggoire. Henry once said to Catherine, who was already an established code hero,

There was almost no difference in the night except that is was an even better time. (pg. 138) Henry sleeps all day long, in order to stay up all night. Unfortunately, Catherine eventually had to go back to working during the day, instead of working the night shift, and stopped spending her nights with him. Henry is left to stay up alone all night. He shows a great change of character when he does not ask Catherine to come stay with him, thus controlling his desires to be with her physically. From this point of the book, Henry shows he is able to discipline himself.

Although Henry did not believe in the institution of marriage, he was extremely loyal and committed to Catherine. When he is first introduced to Catherine, he discovers a capacity for love that he had deep with in himself. This begins the process of development when he transfers his love and loyalty to Catherine, and deserts the Italian Army. Although most men in this time period would marry a woman if they got her pregnant, Henry did not marry Catherine when he found out she was pregnant. He was not a traditional man, but he was defiantly a loyal one.

Henry never once talked about his beliefs or feelings throughout the novel. He does not talk about his hatred for the Carabinieri or his feelings when he was cheerful or downhearted. He showed no signs of remorse for deserting the Italian army. In the end of the novel, Henry is faced with his love’s death. Henry told God, Dont let her die. Oh, God, please dont let her die. Ill do anything you want if you dont let her die. Please, please, please, God, dont let her die. (pg. 330) the moment before he entered the door where Catherine finally passed away due to a hemorrhage.

He asked God to save his greatest love after taking his child, and does not receive an answer. Hemingways code hero, Frederick Henry, evolutionizes into a man whom the reader could identify with and understand. Henry unknowingly becomes a code hero, and a better person with the help of Catherine. Henry becomes a code hero in the end due to the help of many incidents. . He concludes that death is the end, and when it gets you, there is no where to go. Henry never becomes a true code hero until the end when he accepts death as the end of existence.

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