A Farewell to Arms

Hemingway's Feminine Ideal 10th Grade

Ernest Hemingway was a brilliant author but he failed to portray women characters because of 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 point for the story but she is portrayed as a desperate and frail woman, making her an antifeminist figure. 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 saw her as the perfect 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 feminine views to create his own perfect woman. Hemingway’s masculine view of an ideal women is shown in A Farewell to Arms by his weak and underdeveloped character Catherine Barkley.

Catherine’s portrayal is heavily based on Hemingway’s masculine ideals because his negative female influences inspired him to create a woman who expressed his ideals. He was known to have many wives and,...

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