Doubt in a Farewell to Arms by Hemingway

1862 Words8 Pages
There were nearly 10 million men dead of the 65 million men who fought in World War I (Harden). Frederic Henry is the driving code hero in A Farewell to Arms through the war as he shows much courage through the warzone, powers courageously through a struggle to validate himself, and acts in a realistic manner through his struggle with Catherine. Through his injuries from the blast, Frederic Henry shows that he is the main code hero as he exhibits courage by being eager to rush out of the hospital. After being hit by the blast, the doctor in the hospital inquire of Frederic, "'Do you want to keep your knee, young man?' 'No,' I said" (Hemingway 83). Through this quotation, Frederic shows courage, action, and the need to prove himself with…show more content…
While alone in his room and contemplating this new nurse he met, Frederic confesses, "This was better than going every evening to the house for officers where the girls climbed all over you and put your cap on backward as a sign of affection between their trips upstairs with brother officers. I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards. Like bridge you had to pretend you were playing for money or laying for some stakes. Nobody had mentioned what the stakes were. It was all right with me" (Hemingway 25). When the narrator states "This was a game," he shows that he is not with her for the emotional part, but because he needs to be with her to escape the place where his masculinity goes to die, with sexual women and officers with more to prove. Frederic shows a need to validate himself against his fellow soldiers and Catherine fills the role perfectly. While recuperating in the hospital, Rindali and Frederic argue, "'Be serious. You must have done something heroic either before or after. Remember carefully.' 'I did not.' 'Didn't you carry anybody on your back? Gordini says you carried several people on your back but the medical major at the first post declares it is impossible. He had a sign to the proposition for the
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