The Power Of Courage: An Analysis Of A Farewell To Arms

In my research essay, I will argue that Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms is a valuable literary work because it demonstrates the power of courage in the main protagonist, Frederick, as he fights for the Italian army. Often times, overcoming fear and horror can hinder one’s ability to display courage; however, Hemingway uses Frederick’s character to show how, with the power of courage, anyone can overcome challenging difficulties in life. I will begin my essay by examining how Frederick displayed courage by freely joining the Italian army as an ambulance driver. Although Frederick did not approve of the war, he was not going to sit around and listen to his fellow Americans die, and so, he joined the Italian Army as an ambulance driver.

Moreover, his decision to fight for another country displays his passion to fight and serve in the war. Frederick’s bravery in a time of war like this is second to none, and it portrays an almost stoic attitude. Second, I will explain how Frederick displayed courage through his relationship with Catherine. All soldiers understand the dangers of becoming emotionally attached to someone in war. Anyone can be killed at an instant, and so for most, the idea of new found love in wartime is a distraction. However, for Frederick, it was a driving factor in his ability to make it through the war alive. Frederick showed his bravery by opening his arms to a new woman in his life even though he understood, and it was heavily foreshadowed, that Catherine would die. The story of Frederick and Catherine allowed Hemingway to show readers the true, almost blinding power of love and how that affects courage.

Lastly, I will examine Frederick’s courageous abilities when he is with his fellow soldiers. There are multiple occasions throughout the novel where Frederick acts selflessly to help the soldiers fighting on his side. For example, he displayed bravery when trying to get food for the trench soldiers. Moreover, he also displayed bravery when rapidly swimming from an onslaught of foreign fire after his friend was shot. Overall, there were multiple times where Frederick was forced to employ his courageous abilities throughout the novel. This allowed him to grow as a character and filled him with the confidence to start a relationship with Catherine.

10 October 2020
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