A Farewell to Arms

Hemingway Feminine Ideal 10th Grade

Ernest Hemingway is praised for his mastery of language and descriptions but his shortcomings are prevalent in his portrayal of female characters that are constantly defiled by his male ideals. In his novel A Farewell to Arms, his female characters are shown as subordinate objects who are helpless without a man by their side. The main female role, Catherine Barkley, is used as a major plot element for the development of the main character, yet, she is portrayed as a desperate and frail woman, making her a representation of sexist beliefs. Throughout the story her ultimate goal was to be in love with and be loved by Frederic Henry, the main protagonist. She sacrificed much of herself for the promise of being with him. However, Henry only saw her as an escape from his troubles and used her as a distraction to avoid his problems throughout the novel. In this way, Hemingway sought to create a picturesque relationship between a man and a women but in doing so he disregarded feminist ideology to create his own perfect woman. Hemingway’s masculine view of “the perfect woman,” shown through A Farewell to Arms by the weak and underdeveloped character Catherine Barkley, was a product of his failures with women in his life and his...

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