Ernest Hemmingway's A Farewell to Arms: The Code Hero

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, Character Pages: 1 (372 words) Published: August 29, 2013
A "code hero" is someone who acts on his own despite what the people around him say or do. Ernest Hemmingway, the author of the novel A Farewell to Arms, not only sees a code hero as someone who acts on his own, but who also acts in a very masculine manner. Lieutenant Frederic Henry, the main character in the novel, is considered to be a code hero. Through Frederic Henry's behavior, actions, and traits, he fits the description of a code hero.

Through Frederic Henry’s behavior one gets the impression that he is a man’s man. Throughout the novel he eats a lot and is constantly consuming some type of alcohol. Although heavily drinking, Frederic Henry shows no signs of being drunk. When Henry is injured he even chooses the surgeon, Dr. Valentini, who agrees to drink with him over a doctor who will not. Lieutenant Henry also spends a lot of time visiting the brothels. Most of his friends are also very masculine such as Rinaldi who is always drinking and also enjoys making visits to the brothels.

Frederic Henry was a man of action. He shows courage by being an American and being in the Italian Army during World War One. He does not show much emotion throughout A Farewell to Arms, doing so would be feminine-like. Henry often acts without thinking and considers the act itself more important than the idea of the act. He shows this when he deserts the Italian Army by diving into the river, he knows that this decision is better than doing nothing. If he were to have waited around and thought about it he might have been killed on the battlefield.

Code heroes are often given the title “restless man”. Hemmingway gives this trait to Frederic Henry when he waits up at night for Catherine to come into his room at the hospital. A restless man also usually sleeps during the day. When Henry comes back to Gorizia from his tour of Italy, Rinaldi says he wants to know about everything Henry experienced on his leave. Henry takes a nap during the day rather than staying up...
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