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Free Essays Escape From Reality In A Farewell To Arms

818 words - 4 pages

Escape from Reality in A Farewell to Arms


In Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Fredric Henry gets involved with Catherine Barkley to escape the insanity of war. Frederic loves Catherine. Catherine loves Frederic. The extreme situation of war and fate allowed both of them to be thrown together and fall in love. This love for one another was an escape into another world for Frederic. It provided him emotionally with a private place, where he could go to separate and evade the horrible realities of war occurring in and around him. Under any other normal circumstances this love probably would have never happened, but the pitcher had the curve ball in for Frederic from the ...view middle of the document...

He is very much part of this war whether he likes it or not.


At this point, he seems to go a little crazy himself and gets scared. He needs a way to escape immediately and ends up separating himself again through love. Frederic had not been prepared for the stress and pressure of the reality he had faultily deluded himself from. So in order to escape, he resolves to desert the army completely and reunite with Catherine. At least when he is with Catherine he is in another place literally and symbolically (in Switzerland in her tent of hair). This is now an obsession with Frederic because he can totally separate himself from war through her love. He realizes he has got nothing but this love to hold on to. Whether it is delusional, symbolic, or literal-it is not war.


Even when she is about to give birth (the ultimate consummation of their love for one another), he become nervous. Not only is the baby a product of their love for one another, but it will forever connect him to the reality of his present situation even when war is over. Here neither of them can handle this. Catherine shows this physically through her death and the child's death. Frederic shows this through his odd behavior, such as being afraid of numbers over...

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