A Farewell to Arms

Superstition Versus Religion and Its Parallels to Love as Seen Through the Relationship Between Catherine and Frederic in A Farewell To Arms

The romance between Frederic and Catherine in A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway parallels humanity's struggle between superstition and religion. Their relationship starts merely as a façade based on physical attraction, but quickly grows into a deeper love. At its commencement, Frederic and Catherine feel the need for something substantial to cling to in the rapidly changing world around them. They assume that they are in love, much as people in any society cling to their superstitions in times of great difficulty, not truly grasping the fundamentals of the religion on which those superstitions are based.

According to Reverend John Nicola, a renowned authority on Catholicism and an adjunct professor of theology at Yale University, superstition "ignores the findings of science, seeing empirical reality as shallow and meaningless; it focuses on unseen spiritual realities," and interjects "irrational fears and senseless preconceived notions." On the other hand, religion "incorporates spiritual dimensions of reality through theological and philosophical considerations." A superstitious person uses a ritual or symbol that denotes an aspect of his religion as an integral piece of worship, when in...

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