Ernest Hemmingway’s “ A Farewell To Arms” is classic display of literature. The way he develops his characters is ingenious. In the beginning of the story I did not like the way it was going. As I read deeper into the book, “A Farewell To Arms” I discovered the complexity of the characters themselves. I discovered that Frederic Henry was a rather complex character as well. When you are finally given the full picture of Frederic Henry, you realize that he can be described in several different ways. First, Frederic Henry is a round and very dynamic character. You also realize that because Mr. Henry’s mannerisms are so easily recognizable, he is a stock character as well. The point of view in the story is written in first person. The first person point of view is that of Frederic Henry. The stories underlying theme is identity. Throughout the whole story Frederic Henry is revealing himself to the audience and discovering himself at the same time. A secondary theme in the story is that Catherine, Frederic’s love interest, is slightly crazy. Throughout the story, I was intrigued by the things that Frederic Henry revealed to the audience. While reading the story it was as if you were right there with Frederic, going through the same things he did, and knowing every intimate detail. The aspects that Frederic Henry display are the aspects of a well developed character and a true war hero.
The first aspect I would like to touch on is that Frederic Henry is a well-rounded character. As the story progresses we learn more and more about the character Frederic Henry. Though it may seem like a small point, a good example of how we learn more about Frederic as the story progresses is the fact that he is nameless in the first four chapters. Throughout the first four chapters, Frederic Henry is referred to as “lieutenant” by his peers and “baby” by his girlfriend. Its not until chapter five that he is referred to as “Mr. Henry”. Then we learn his full name, Frederic Henry, in chapter thirteen. Another example of Frederic Henry being a round character is that he is closely involved in just about every part of the story. Of course he would have to be involved in the majority of the story because it’s basically the confession of his life. The entire story we learn about Mr. Henry, and we watch him grow to become a good man. Even when Frederic is not...
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...ounded and dynamic character. The fact that Frederic Henry was a stock character made him easy to recognize and therefore made the story easier to follow. Though the story was told through a first person point of view Ernest Hemmingway kept the story interesting by telling it through a plural first person. The underlying theme of the story was identity. Frederic spent the whole story explaining who he was to the audience. The way Frederic told the story, he made it easy for the audience member to identify with him, therefore making it easier for the audience member to put themselves in his place. An interesting secondary theme is the theme that implies Catherine is crazy. Because of things Catherine says and does the crazy theme seems to fit her personality. Throughout the story there is plenty of evidence of all these things and these aspects made the story even better and much more fun to read.
Gellens, Jay. Twentieth Century Interpretations of A Farewell To Arms.Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1970.
Lewis, Robert. A Farewell To Arms (A War With Words). New York, 1992.
Monteiro, George. Critical Essays On: Ernest Hemmingway’s A Farewell To Arms.New York, 1994.
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