Frederic Henry: Code Hero

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A Hemingway Code Hero is a trait that almost every main character of Ernest Hemingway’s novels possesses. According to Hemingway, a Code Hero is a man (or woman) who lives correctly and demonstrates respect for honor and courage during a chaotic and stressful world. There is a particular pattern to how a Code Hero conducts his or her life on a day to day basis. In the novel A Farewell to Arms, Frederic Henry is the Code Hero because fate is a determining role in his life’s events, he lives in the here and now, and he shows grace under pressure.

The first and most accurate trait that Frederic Henry exemplifies is that fate plays a determining role in his life events. Fate rules almost every single major event in the novel. Frederic’s
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He does not imagine life after death, so he seeks all rewards while he is alive. He does what he wants and does not consider the results of his actions. He has no remorse for abandoning the Italian army; just pleasure because he can finally be with his Catherine. He makes all of his decisions based on what would make him happy or suit him best in that particular instance. When he jumps into the river to escape the Italian soldiers he does not think of the consequences of being caught. Henry just thinks of his escape. This is also the case with his and Catherine’s journey to Switzerland, because Henry only thinks of getting away with his pregnant lover. Catherine drives most of his reckless behavior, because nothing else matters to him. Without Catherine, Henry is nothing. “Always I wanted to see Catherine,” he says in chapter nineteen. With no fear of death, Frederic Henry is free to act on impulse as much as he wishes. He can drink himself into jaundice, he can frequently attend brothels, or he can flee the country with the love of his life. Frederic Henry lives in the here and now and lives his life to the fullest.

The final trait of the Hemingway Code Hero that Frederic Henry owns is his grace under pressure; he is fearful but not afraid to die. This is shown multiple times throughout A Farewell to Arms, whenever he is faced with death. First,
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