The Theme Of Love In Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms

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Love is the one thing that can bring people together. All around the world, people find love in other people, material objects, or religion. In A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, two Americans stationed in France, Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley, find love in eachother during World War 1. Their relationship is tested time and time again by the war, but their love for eachother is what motivates them to survive. At first, Frederic and Catherine’s relationship is based on physical attraction, but they quickly fall in love throughout the story. Some people would argue that Frederic and Catherine were never in love, they just felt the need to be in love. Their relationship is based on their desire to find meaning in a war that they…show more content…
Immediately they were attracted to one another, and from there their relationship progressed into something bigger than they could ever imagine. In the beginning, their relationship was based purely out of physical attraction. Catherine was engaged but when her fiancee died, she experienced the true horrors of the war. Frederic has never been in a meaningful relationship which is why he doesn’t understand why this has taken such an impact on her. In their second meeting, Catherine asks Frederic whether or not he will be good to her, and he thinks to himself, “What the hell” (23). This is just the beginning of their relationship, and Catherine is already developing it into something much more meaningful without Frederic realizing it. Catherine is trying to protect herself from being hurt again and she’s not fooled by his answers, but she accepts them because she knows that the risk is worth it. She believes that she can change his lifestyle and make him into a loyal man like her fiancee once was. Frederic, on the other hand, isn’t ready to commit and thinks that Catherine is crazy, but he’s attracted to her and will say anything he can to sleep with her. Frederic is naive and initially doesn’t want to fall in love as he admits, “I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was like a game of bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards” (26). Frederic is willing to say whatever it takes because he doesn’t expect things to work out. He’s so used to sleeping around with other women and saying things that he doesn’t really mean that he thinks he can do the same with Catherine. This quote foreshadows what their relationship is going to develop into, because it displays how innocent he is to the truth. Throughout the novel Frederic grows more mature and begins to understand what it means to really love someone. Their physical attraction towards each

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