The Difference Between Reality and Fantasy

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One of the major themes of A Farewell to Arms was the difference between reality and fantasy. Henry and Catherine’s relationship is what helped develop this theme. Henry never believed in love, he always said that he would never experience it. Well, until Catherine came along into his life. Still though, that was never real love. Catherine always craved for that feeling of love and she had it with her fiancé. He was in the war and she became a nurse thinking that he would get a little hurt so that she could always take care of him and it’d be so romantic. She liked making up little fantasies in her head about love. “I remember having a silly idea he might come to the hospital where I was. With a sabre cut, I suppose, and a bandage around his head. Or shot through the shoulder. Something picturesque”, was the fantasy that she played in her head. This one though, all burned down. He got blown up and she never got her fantasy. This is where Henry came in and automatically she fell in “love.” At first he thought that she was crazy and lied to her about loving her too. “I knew 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,” is what Henry thinks about when he and Catherine started getting close. She knew he was lying but still, it was something. She didn’t have to feel alone and unloved anymore, “You don’t have to pretend you love me. That’s over for the evening… Please let’s not lie when we don’t have to.” Their relationship was all filled with and based on lies, no honesty whatsoever. Neither one of them truly loved the other, it was all make believe, all a part of her own fantasy world. It was all just a game to them, they pretend to love each other and each one gets what they want. She doesn’t feel alone and Henry gets to enjoy her. This is why they didn’t care. They didn’t mind all the lies because they were happy. Catherine just wanted to feel “loved” and Henry...
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