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In a Farewell to Arms Do We Have Living People Rather Than Characters? Discuss

Autor:   •  October 31, 2011  •  Essay  •  583 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,352 Views

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In A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway has created living people rather than characters. He has done this through his style of writing. Hemingway has given his characters both good and bad attributes to make them more believable. He has written in first person which gives the reader a limited yet realistic view on other characters. Strong character development throughout the novel allows the reader to form a better connection and see them as living people.

In Hemingway’s novel, he doesn’t present the reader with the obvious choices of the heroes and villains. Instead they are presented with characters which hold both good and poor qualities. Catherine Barkley for example, she is seen as the heroine of the novel who changed Henry, however she isn’t represented as the perfect character, she has her flaws such as willing to please Henry to whatever extent “I’m a good girl again” “I’m certainly yours”. With this balance the reader is more likely to think of Catherine as any other young women, with flaws, rather than a fictional heroine character.

Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms in first person which gives the reader an insight to a character’s mind. This creates verisimilitude, where the novel or characters would feel more real to the reader. The novel is from Henry’s perspective so the reader would feel a stronger connection with him, the reader is able to see a deeper, internal, or unspoken thoughts of Henry, “I did not care of what I was getting into” “I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her, this was a game.” Hemingway has also fit the narrative first person voice with Henry’s personality, withheld, reserved and comes across like he is removed from all the events. As the reader reads Henry’s thoughts they are also able to witness him maturing throughout the novel which allows readers to see the development on the poor side of the attributes of characters.

Throughout the novel


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