A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

1041 Words5 Pages
Ernest Hemingway defined a hero as, “A man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.” It is blatantly apparent that Henry, the protagonist of A Farewell to Arms, did not exemplify any of these traits at all in the beginning of the novel. However, as the book progressed, Henry gradually learned how to be a “Hemingway Hero”, and he eventually progressed to the point where he completely embodied all that is expected of such. It is crucial to realize, however, that Henry did not become a textbook example of a Hemingway Hero overnight. It would have been absolutely impossible for Henry to become the man he was at the end of the novel…show more content…
What Henry experienced during this particular time significantly impacted him and helped him break away from the blueprint of the “average soldier”. Becoming a member of the army was of great benefit to Henry because it was the one thing that really pushed him over the edge and shattered the world as he knew it. The whole experience of the retreat was a crucial part of the book because it gave Henry the insight he needed to grow into a Hemingway Hero. Events like Aymo’s death and Bonello’s cowardice definitely influenced Henry, but bigger events like the killing of the sergeant was what really changed Henry the most. Henry’s encounter with the “battle police” was truly sobering as well. He found what they were doing to the officers disgusting and dishonorable, but after all that is what happens amid the chaos of a retreat. “I saw how their minds worked; if they had minds and if they worked. They were all young men and they were saving their country (Hemingway 224).” When Henry saw the darker side of the army, and just how wrong everything that was happening really was, he truly changed inside. After he finally did escape, he completely abandons the army forever, “Anger was washed away in the river along with any obligation (Hemingway 232).” It was at this moment Henry truly embodied a Hemingway Hero. Equally important in Henry’s development into a Hemingway Hero was his love for Catherine. Before Henry met Catherine he was extremely selfish. This was
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