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A Farewell to Arms: Masculinity

Analyzing the theme of masculinity

Gabriela Rivera

on 14 September 2015

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Transcript of A Farewell to Arms: Masculinity

When Henry sets aside all masculine tendencies he opens himself up to more possibilities through Catherine.
Prior to meeting Catherine, Frederic was misogynistic in ways. He lacked the ability to empathize or feel.
Men would frequently participate in activities with prostitutes leading to deaths caused by sexually transmitted diseases. (Ex. Rinaldi)
Over time, Frederic learned to see women for more than seeking pleasure. He gained a respect for females, one which was lacking in his Pre-Catherine life.
Frederic learned to love with Catherine's aid.
By breaking all male barriers, Frederic is capable of connecting with his brothers in arms through a platonic relationship.
He and Rinaldi are able to grow a bond so strong not even war could break it.
Frederic and the Priest are originally questioned by Rinaldi but are also able to connect on a more tender level.
A Farewell to Arms: Masculinity
Contention and Ideas:
Thesis statement:
"During the occurrence of war, men are socially forced to compete to prove their masculinity in manners that may avert potential opportunities."
Topic Analysis:
Self interested
More logical
Emotionally detached
Drive for money and power
Less apologetic
Self sufficient
Less merciful
Initiates war
Demeaning of Women
Key Events and Quotes:
Stepping out of what conformity the male stereotype is supposed to comply with, brings the freedom to individuality.

Frederic can choose to move and travel to where ever he pleases and often does so towards the end of the novel.
Nearing the end of the work, Henry begins to grow his beard out- Catherine prefers it this way.
As quickly as possible, Frederic rids himself of his uniform and badge signifying his ranking in the military. It was burdening and caused him stress in many situations. This allowed him to escape undetected until later on when his absence was noted.
No longer prioritizing masculinity, Frederic is able to make decisions without the judgment of others.
Runs from the war after and relocates.
Proposes to get married with Catherine. This signifies his commitment to her and leaving behind his past affairs.
Rows across a wide sea to escape arrest for abandoning the military. The dutiful action would have been to willingly return to war, instead he ran, appearing to be cowardly but acting on his feelings.
"Tell me, baby, when you lie her all the time in the hot weather don't you get excited?" Page 56

"Sometimes I think you and he (the priest) are a little that way." Page 57

"They (my legs) are full of trench-mortar fragments, old screws and bed springs and things." Page 74

"You're such a silly boy." She kissed me." Page 89

"Lying on the floor of the flat-car, with the guns beside me under the canvas, I was wet, cold and very hungry." Page 199

"I tried not to think and to be perfectly calm." Page 281
By: Gabriela Rivera
Maura Solis
Kailani Barreras
English II Honors B8
By: Ernest Hemingway
Rindaldi believed that masculinity is attained through sexuality, and he expressed this many times through out the novel. Reflecting off of this, it could be the reason why he died from syphilis.

Fredrick's behavior towards the priest is something Rinaldi loves to tease him about. Since he does not tease the priest like his other brothers in arms do, and is more amiable that what is to be expected of a mutual male friendship his sexual orientation is questioned.

Frederic nonchalantly reveals the brutal consequences of being in war but manages to hint at a sex reference by including bed springs.

Although we do get small hints on it, Fredric's actual age is never mentioned in the book; but he is frequently called "boy". It may be a literal reference to his age.

This comment subtly shows us how men have limits as well. Throughout the story, Frederic is shown doing extraordinary achievements, so this change of pace reminds us that he's human like everyone else.

In this book, it was known that to be masculine you had to be calm and collected while showing emotions was thought to be feminine. Here, Frederic is telling himself to be calm because he thinks that's the way men are supposed to be. In reality, this quote shows that men and women aren't all that different than what we think.
Key Events and Quotes Explained:
Full transcript