According to Frederick Henry, ‘The world breaks everyone’. How is this view explored in A Farewell to Arms ?. The inevitability of mortality/death (‘dirty trick’) Pessimistic view of life – sees the world as trying to destroy, crush an individual Cruelty of life
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The inevitability of mortality/death(‘dirty trick’)
Pessimistic view of life – sees the world as trying to destroy, crush an individual
Cruelty of life
Characters are damaged/broken by their experiences, particularly war
EXAMPLES – Events/Quotes
“the dirty trick”
Carabinieri – paranoia, killing countrymen as traitors
“I cannot hope” – Priest. Breaks faith and spirituality
Conversation among soldiers “What’s defeat anyway? You get to go home”
Henry walks back to the hotel ‘in the rain’
Catherine’s death and the death of the unborn baby (tragic irony. Catherine able to survive so much and killed when trying to give life)
Still dies despite her separation from the war. “[The world] kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially” Personal strength
Catherine’s actions – aimed at helping others. Selfless and yet still killed
Bravery connected with survival. Need to consider the context (Histories, War considered to be the epitome of bravery and honour, Attitudes towards marriage – conservative society)
Catherine defies the expectations of society in regards to women. Strong enough to be independent
Unlike Henry, Catherine doesn’t fear death. Consoles Henry during her pregnancy
Catherine has experienced more grief and has more to lose by entering the relationship
Frederic is not fearful of anything therefore, her has no reason to be brave
Henry’s desertion of the army more about personal needs. Survival based
Henry doesn’t believe in his own bravery. Doesn’t want the recognition (medals)
Henry – doesn’t interact with other characters, a mute, paralysed arm which changes, a pushover – stands up to leave, obediently sits when directed to by others. Changes with his reaction to Nick. Outburst, stutter – uncertain about himself, lacking in confidence, gradually becomes more fluent
The light – darkness and light symbolic of character’s attitudes towards the patients
Doug’s tone (makes people uncomfortable, invades their personal space, inquisitive, makes inappropriate comments and asks personal and inappropriate questions
Roy’s sense of humour/sarcasm. Source of personal protection since he has been abandoned and rejected his whole life
Lewis interaction with patients – changes from uncertain and hesitant brief responses to more detailed and in depth conversations.
Zac – catatonic state made overt through stage directions
The dialogue of characters is demonstrative of their socio-economic standing. Lewis starts to take on the phrasing of patients.
Ironically the ‘insane’ patients offer clearer views on issues within society than the more ‘intellectually aware’ characters .
Challenges the stereotypical attitudes the public have towards madness – Lewis mistaken as a patient, Roy mistaken as a social worker, Lewis’ developing understanding of patients
Nowra questions the prevailing definition of madness given the histories if the patients
Anyone is susceptible to madness.