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Paper Topic:

To what extent are the characters in A Farewell to Arms By Hemingway in control of their lives and to what extent are they controlled by outside sources? (Fred, Catherine, Rinaldi)

Farewell to Arms A Farewell to Arms A struggle between individuality and conformity to one 's country religion , or even a cause forms a main theme in Hemingway 's "A Farewell to Arms " The three main characters of the novel : Frederick Henry , his lover , Catherine , and his Italian friend -- a surgeon named Rinaldi each face the conflict of self-interest opposite self-sacrifice and each of the three characters finds their lives disrupted and the course of events out of their control at various times . When the characters face events or obstacles that

seem to show them that their lives (and deaths ) are out of their control , they rebel in various ways

The most obvious instances of events which are out of the characters control : the battle in which Frederick Henry is injured , Catherine 's miscarriage , Rinaldi 's crises of spiritual and political faith form a theme in the novel : that which suggests that the major events of one 's life are often ambiguous and uncontrollable . Although Frederick Henry makes a conscious choice to join the Italian army and enter the war , he is not in control of his ultimate s on the battlefield or the potentiality theat he will become wounded . Frederick Henry 's friend Rinaldi , becomes so overworked in Frederick Henry 's absence that he begins to drink too much , his hands shake , and he is reduced to only being able to operate and drink . Both men 's lives have been stripped away from them by a war that is out of their control

Similarly , although Frederick Henry makes a conscious choice to meet Catherine and a conscious choice to attempt to seduce her , his subsequent feelings for her and longing to be with her even if it means deserting the army , are not factors he controls , but factors which control him . In the later scenes of the novel , the sense of being at the mercy of fate or nature is symbolically shown by the scene when Frederick Henry and Catherine attempt to cross the lake in a rowboat using an umbrella as an impromptu sail "The wind was full in it and I felt the boat suck forward while I held as hard as I could o the two edges . It pulled hard . The boat was moving fast " In this scene , the characters ' will to escape is shown to be in (momentary ) harmony with fate or with Nature . But only a few moments later "The umbrella strained and pulled and I felt us driving along with it . I braced my feet and held back on it , then suddenly , it buckled I felt a rib snap on my forehead this bit of foreshadowing indicates the previously described conflict between individual will and fate or nature -- and foreshadows Catherine 's death at the novel 's close (Hemingway

Like Frederick Henry , Catherine is caught in a conflict between her desire to serve the United Kingdom , her country , and a desire to be free to be in love with Frederick Henry...

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