A Farewell to Arms - A Love Story | Novelguide
³I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her² (30). He willfully entered a relationship with Catherine, but did not have serious intentions . Thus this lack of knowledge and development leads to problems. Even after meeting Catherine Barkley the relationship they have is merely a game to him. Frederick and Catherine's relationship, though seemingly perfect, could never By telling her that he loves her, though he "did not love Catherine Barkley nor had Frederick is too late to stop the cascade of problems they are faced with later.
Hemingway portrays Frederick as a lost man searching for order and value in his life. Frederick disagrees with the war he is fighting. It is too chaotic and immoral for him to rationalize its cause. He fights anyway, because the army puts some form of discipline in his life. At the start of the novel, Frederick drinks and travels from one house of prostitution to another and yet he is discontent because his life is very unsettled.
He befriends a priest because he admires the fact that the priest lives his life by a set of values that give him an orderly lifestyle. Further into the novel, Frederick becomes involved with Catherine Barkley. He slowly falls in love with her and, in his love for her, he finds commitment. Their relationship brings some order and value to his life.
Compared to this new form of order in his life, Frederick sees the losing Italian army as total chaos and disorder where he had previously seen discipline and control. He can no longer remain a part of something that is so disorderly and so, he deserts the Italian army.
Frederick's desertion from the Italian army is the turning point of the novel. This is the significance of the title, A Farewell to Arms. When Frederick puts aside his involvement in the war, he realizes that Catherine is the order and value in his life and that he does not need anything else to give meaning to his life.
At the conclusion of this novel, Frederick realizes that he cannot base his life on another person or thing because, ultimately, they will leave or disappoint him.
He realizes that the order and values necessary to face the world must come from within himself. Catherine Barkley is an English volunteer nurse who serves in Italy. She is considered very experienced when it comes to love and loss since she has already been confronted with the death of a loved one when her fiance was killed earlier in the war.
The reader is not as well acquainted with Catherine's inner thoughts and feelings as we are with those of Frederick. The story is told through Frederick's eyes and the reader only meets Catherine through the dialogue between her and Frederick or through his personal interpretations of her actions.
Catherine already possesses the knowledge that her own life cannot be dependent on another. She learned this lesson through the death of her fiance. Her love for Frederick is what her life revolves around, yet she knows not to rely on him to be the order in her life. Had she been dependent on Frederick for the order in her life, she would not have been able to allow him to participate in the war for fear of losing her own stability with his death.
The theme that Hemingway emphasizes throughout the novel is the search for order in a chaotic world. Hemingway conveys this through Frederick's own personal search during the chaos of World War I. Frederick does engage in his own forms of sabotage, however, and is definitely somewhat at fault. At he and Catherine's first meeting, Frederick is not looking to fall in love with her, or anyone for that matter. Frederick is simply looking for a good time and "is just amusing himself" E.
A Farewell to Arms - A Love Story
He attempts to get his good time by obliging to Catherine's every request. By telling her that he loves her, though he "did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her" Hemingway 34he essentially ruins their relationship immediately by beginning it falsely.
Frederick Henry is also a bit at fault for sabotaging the relationship because of the reason why he tells Catherine Barkley that he loves her.
Frederick only wants sex from Catherine. He does not seem to care that she is confessing her heart to him. Frederick will do anything to pursue a sexual relationship with her because he feels that that sort of relationship is "better than going every evening to the house for officers where the girls climbed all over you" Hemingway This form of mistaken identity is what Catherine falls in love with, not the real Frederick Henry.
Frederick does eventually fall in love with Catherine, but because their relationship began under false pretenses, Frederick is too late to stop the cascade of problems they are faced with later. Because of this, Frederick is a part of the accidental sabotaging of his and Catherine's romance.
Frederick & Catherine: Star Crossed Lovers
Frederick Henry's role in the war also plays an important part of his accidental destroyance of his relationship with Catherine Barkley.
Though Frederick is a volunteer ambulance driver, as the war continues, he wants nothing more than to escape from the fighting and the real world. William Gross states that Frederick becomes "disillusioned with the war" and therefore says his "farewell to military arms" Gross 2. Though Frederick cannot officially leave the Italian army, he finds ways to mentally escape from it through Catherine.
Several times during the early stages of Frederick and Catherine's relationship, they talk about the war and what is happening on the front. Frederick is bothered by this topic of conversation and asks to change the subject. Frederick attempts to move in on Catherine to escape from the topic, and even though she smacks him across his face, she is able to free his mind from the harsh reminders of war. To place the blame entirely on Frederick Henry would be a mistake, because Catherine Barkley is also involved in inadverantly sabotaging their relationship.
At Frederick and Catherine's second meeting, Catherine suggests that the two of them have more than just a casual relationship. She implies through her speaking that they have a huge future ahead of them. Though Frederick figures comforting her and allowing her to believe that he is in for the long haul will ease her sorrows, she interprets his feeling as sincere, thus causing a rush of immature plans for a serious relationship.
On their third meeting, before she allows Frederick to make his moves, Catherine practically begs him to tell her that he loves her. This, too, signifies a premature vow of love in an almost nonexistant relationship.
Forcing Frederick to make a commitment to something he hardly knows anything about is a largely determinant factor in the destruction of Frederick and Catherine's relationship.
Catherine, too, uses Frederick to escape from the pressures of the real world, which in turn, causes her to sabotage the relationship. Catherine, however, does not yearn to free herself from the heinous war. She replaces her dead fiance, who was killed in the Somme, with Frederick.
At some points it seems that Catherine sincerely believes that Frederick is her fiance and speaks to him like he is.
When Frederick is out on post for three days, his return prompts Catherine's memories of her lost fiance. She asks him to say "I've come back to Catherine in the night" Hemingway This statement suggests that that is what Catherine's fiance would have told her when he returned from war, had he not been killed. Frederick does as he is told and her reply indicates that she has wandered into another world.
A world in which her ex-fiance has returned to love her once more. The dialogue between Catherine and Frederick causes Frederick to believe that she has replaced him with her old love.
When Frederick mentions that he would like to go elsewhere he notices that Catherine seemed to come "back from wherever she had been" Hemingway Catherine is still getting over her long dead fiance, and looks for any outlet to remove his image from her mind.
She sees Frederick as this opportunity and seizes is without any hesitation. It is because she is using Frederick that she is sabotaging their relationship. Frederick Henry is never allowed to see the real Catherine Barkley, which therefore, sabotages the relationship. Catherine wants nothing more than to please Frederick and attempts to be the perfect woman.
Several times throughout their relationship, Catherine tells Frederick that they are the same person. When the two of them are at the hospital waiting for the doctor to examine Frederick after he is wounded, Catherine tells him, "I'll do what you want and say what you want and then I'll be a great success, won't I" Hemingway ?