Farewell to Arms Hemingway Hero Portrayal

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, Death, Human Pages: 3 (1261 words) Published: May 30, 2013
Ernest Hemingway illustrates in his book, Farewell to Arms, the character of Frederick Henry; an ambulance driver, who is put to the ultimate test during the madness and atrocity of WWI. His experiences at the front pose a challenge only a Hemingway hero can affront successfully. As the epitome of a code hero, Frederick is a man of action,self-discipline, and one who maintains grace under pressure but lacks certain characteristics a person should possess. Throughout the book, Hemingway expresses a variety of themes which include death, traditional values, and courage. Death, the assailant of darkness who is feared and rejected, all meanwhile being present in everyday life. Lieutenant Frederick Henry is risking his life constantly and as a result it becomes normal for him to get used to death, yet still fear it. Although he knows he's afraid he does not want to admit it or show it in front of the others. "I sat beside him, undid my tunic and tried to rip the tail of my shirt" (55). He was attempting to save his friend Massini, because his legs had been crushed by debris after an explosion. He kept trying until he became hurt and then realized Massini was dead. At this point he called to be taken off the battlefield, because he knew he was of no help and instead became a liability. He may have been scared of going into battle but he knew what he was getting himself into when he signed on with the Italian army. When he saw his leg he became scared and that was part of the reason he called to be taken off the battlefield. It is normal for humans to feel overwhelmed and scared but it takes a hero to withstand that fear and continue to try to save others. Frederick wanted to help the other three ambulance drivers, but he was not able to do so because of his injury. At one point he left the men he was supposed to command because of the fear he was experiencing, and at the same time he knew he would die if he was caught but that did not stop him. He left with Catherine...
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