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- A Farewell to Arms | Summary, Characters, Themes, & Facts | meribattdispbatt.gq.
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Why would he not just start the fantasy with him and Catherine in the room and why mention all these other people and details? Perhaps the sexual element of his fantasy included more than just Catherine. In A Farewell to Arms , Henry is wounded.
The Destruction Caused by War in A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
It also appears that Henry is penetrated by Catherine when she has to get him ready for surgery, presumably by giving him an enema, although the enema itself is never directly mentioned. In spite of the homosexual references, there are many examples of the socially accepted, traditional male role in the book, although adhering to these roles does not always prove to be beneficial. First and probably most often mentioned in the book, is the fact that most men in the novel, at least the manly ones, are heavy drinkers.
He is one of the three doctors whose incompetence Henry remarks upon Hemingway This is in direct juxtaposition to Dr. I will have ten drinks. Where are they? The implication is clear that the incompetent, delicate, and nondrinking house doctor is unmanly, and the competent, boisterous, and presumably virile surgeon, Dr. Valentini, is very manly, so that it logically follows that he is an enthusiastic drinker. Secondly, Henry repeatedly exhibits stoicism. He sustains a very serious injury to his leg, yet never panics or complains.
He even insists that other men be treated by the doctors before he is Hemingway He is a good leader, and his men look up to him and rely on him to tell them what to do. Lastly, he is sexually experienced with women, something that is seen as reinforcing masculinity. In the beginning of the story, it is evident that he has visited the town prostitutes, and later on, he confesses to Catherine that he has been with a lot of women Hemingway All of these things reinforce the typical and expected male role, but not necessarily the continuance of those roles.
The heavy drinking certainly does not serve most of the men well, as Henry ends up getting jaundice and Rinaldi drinks so much his hands begin to shake—not a good thing for someone whose occupation is that of a surgeon. Lastly, womanizing has its downfalls, as evidenced by Rinaldi who might have syphilis. For example, Henry carries a gun around. He practices and becomes quite skilled with it.
What could be more masculine? Yet he is uncomfortable.
Perhaps Henry is aware of these effects of modern warfare and that is why the gun does not reinforce his own sense of secure masculinity. Henry is also an ambulance driver, a service similar to that of the Red Cross. This was not seen as a masculine endeavor. His role within the war effort and his uneasiness with the gun are not traditionally thought of as masculine traits, yet, in many ways, the character of Frederic Henry is one of the most masculine characters within the book.
Although Henry starts out as a man who only wants sex as opposed to love, it is not long before he desires a deeper connection. Additionally, while there is a definite message in many parts of the book that manly men drink alcohol, the character of Ettore is in direct opposition to both the heavy drinking and womanizing male images of masculinity. Then again, the image of the brave warrior is not always upheld within the book because there are many instances where men are not brave and it is in no way held against them.
When Henry is sent into the field, he sees a crew that is scared, and later he talks about seeing the wounded come in and mentions how scared they are, as well Hemingway 51, He even goes to the extent of helping a man purposely injure himself so as to get out of fighting in the war Hemingway These men are not portrayed as unmanly, just merely caught in an undesirable situation and doing the best they can to cope. While initially he flees to save his own life, he could have reported back in at a different location once he got away.
A farewell to arms essay - Smart Tips to Have Your Term Paper Written
However, he does not do that; he portrays a complex personality that encompasses the act of desertion while still maintaining a male mode of behavior in which his masculinity is in no way reduced. The text within any book is, of course, open to the subjective interpretation of the reader, and some might refute, for example, that the interpretation of the exchanges between Rinaldi and Henry are homosexual in nature.
At first glance, it might seem that way. Rinaldi is the first to meet Catherine Barkley and essentially procures her for Frederic Henry, who then successfully courts and beds her.
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Additionally, one could argue that the relationship seems to be homosexual from the point of view of an American due to the fact that many European cultures, including Italian, are traditionally more demonstrative than the culture of the United States. Indeed, if one were to look at these things one at a time, the case for homosociality would seem to be rather strong.
Given this evidence, it is clear that homosexuality is a definite and intentional subtext within the book. In conclusion, the exploration of the boundaries of conventions regarding sex and gender are distinct themes within A Farewell to Arms. The overall topics of the book are love and war, and just below the surface are an assortment of questions and observations about the nature of these two things, especially as they relate to masculinity.
The novel not only tells a narrative about war, but shows the reader how modern warfare can dispossess a man of his masculinity rather than reinforce it. The book tells the story of a man and woman who profess their love for one another, but also provides glimpses into the affectionate and possibly sexually charged relationships between men.
As the war continued at the end of the novel, there was no place for a happy ending with Frederick and Catherine. Fight or die.
Although Ferguson was speaking skeptically about the chance of Frederick and Catherine remaining happily in love and ever getting married, she did predict a tragic outcome that somewhat ironically is exactly what happens to Catherine. Just before Frederick left to go back to the front, he and Catherine went to a hotel together. During a quite time in the hotel room Frederick recited from a poem by Marvell:.