Code Hero Frederic Henry in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms Essay

In Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, the code hero is the protagonist Lieutenant Frederic Henry. Frederic is no exception and presents with the common features of any Hemingway hero. He treats women as mere objects of sexual pleasure, religion and the afterlife as inconsequential, and defeat with a measure of grace and finesse incomparable. His love for Catherine Barkley is sexually motivated, the author consistently casts a level of skepticism on religion through Frederic and his interactions, and even while facing the death of his child and beloved Catherine, Frederic walks away evidently unfazed.

The relationship between Frederic and Catherine begins early on in A Farewell to Arms, setting the groundwork for the entirety of the novel. Catherine has just gotten out of a relationship because of the death of her fiancée when she is launched into one with Frederic. Frederic makes clear, “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.” These lines reflect the façade that is their …

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