Michelle den Hartog
January 4, 2013
Religious aspects of the novel A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway presents the nada and the nature of the universe. It also shows aspects of an anti-war novel. The protagonist of the book, Frederick Henry, betrays his love for nurse Catherine Barkley. This relationship represents Henry’s character as a typical Hemingway hero. He is an egoist and he is passive towards his wife Catherine. The character has recognized and accepted the reality of nada. Once you start comparing Henry’s behavior with reference to religion you can clearly see he is passive towards religion as well. Henry does understand the concept of religion, but he does not show much love for God. The novel portrays different aspects of religion during wartime.
Religion plays a significant role in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. The fact that there is a priest present in novel displays the importance of religion. The Italian priest is a close friend to Henry. However, the priest does not have such an excellent friendship with the other soldiers. Compared to the other soldiers, Henry shows great respect towards the priest. The other soldiers treat the priest like he’s a fool. ‘Priest not happy.’ Priest not happy without girls.’ ‘I am happy,’ said the priest. ‘Priest not happy. (Hemingway,13) It’s obvious that they don’t respect the priest and religion at all. More important, though, is for what he is ridiculed. An officer has pointed out in front of a group of soldiers the fact that the priest doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse with women. Nevertheless, the soldiers believe he is insane, because of the fact that he does not want to have sex and sticks to his faith. The priest takes the criticism as a joke and shows he is strong of his faith by not responding. The fact that he can take all kinds of filthy jokes without getting angry shows the strength of his faith and protect him...
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