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A Farewell to Arms

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A Farewell To Arms

Ernest Hemmingway's " A Farewell To Arms" is a 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 involved in the seen, he is still involved in many aspects of the scene. As other characters converse we still learn more about Frederic Henry and his relationship with each character.

The second aspect of Frederic Henry as a character that I would like to display is the fact that he is a very dynamic character. Throughout the entire story Frederic Henry grows and changes. In the beginning Frederic is part of a group of soldiers. But as the story progresses and he and Catherine fall more into love Frederic begins to isolate he and Catherine from the group. Instead of saying "we" in accordance to his group of friends he uses "we" to represent him and Catherine. Aside from isolating himself from his group of friends Frederic Henry changes from a rather self-centered person to a caring person. Instead of planning for his future and living to fulfill his needs he begins involving Catherine in the picture as well. Not only does he change in respect to Catherine but he changes in respect to other characters as well. Mr. Henry begins to look out for others needs, particularly in the battles he is involved with. A great example of this is when Frederic gets injured badly he insists that the other soldiers be treated first.(Lewis, 46) There are countless other times when Frederic tries to help other soldiers, showing complete selflessness, but unfortunately fails. Though he failed to save Catherine, he showed major change from the way he was at the beginning of the story when he did all he could to save her. As the story progresses Frederic grows more and more familiar to the audience and his personality becomes more audience friendly.

The third aspect of Frederic Henry's character is that he is a stock character. A stock character is a character that is easily identifiable by the way they behave. Frederic Henry is very easy to identify. First off he almost always speaks in the plural form. For example, when he buys himself a gun he turns to Catherine and says, " now we are fully armed", as if she too is armed.(Monteiro, 71) Another characteristic that Frederic Henry has, is that he is always trying to help other people. Throughout the entire story there are examples of he and his men out on the battlefield, and Frederic coming to someone's aid. Since this behavior takes place so many times you automatically know that it is Frederic Henry who is coming to the rescue. The event that is most memorable is when Frederic and his men are captured and Frederic manages to help all his men escape. Upon the escape Frederic rows he and his crew for over twenty miles to safety, in Switzerland.(Gellens, 45)

The point of view in "A Farewell To Arms", is a first person point of view. The interesting thing is that even though it's a first person point of view, it's a first person point of view that is expressed in a plural sense. All threw the story Frederic Henry uses the phrase "we" to refer to himself and his group of friends. Another interesting thing is that later into the story Frederic's usage of the word "we" changes from referring to his group of friends to his relationship with Catherine. The story is also a confession in a way. It's a confession because as he tells the story he admits to his



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