The Hero in A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

995 Words 4 Pages
Ernest Hemingway defined a hero as, “A man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.” It is blatantly apparent that Henry, the protagonist of A Farewell to Arms, did not exemplify any of these traits at all in the beginning of the novel. However, as the book progressed, Henry gradually learned how to be a “Hemingway Hero”, and he eventually progressed to the point where he completely embodied all that is expected of such. It is crucial to realize, however, that Henry did not become a textbook example of a Hemingway Hero overnight. It would have been absolutely impossible for Henry to become the man he was at the end of the novel …show more content…
He had absolutely none of the attributes that would classify him as one. Henry was just a carbon copy of the average soldier. On his off time, he frequented the whorehouses and drunk himself to sleep. Sure he wasn’t a fan of the war, but who was? He was just as selfish as the next guy, and if he had personal values he definitely didn’t show them. Henry’s whole leave in the beginning of the book showed just how distant he was from being anything close to a Hemingway Hero. Granted, a Hemingway Hero isn’t perfect, and doesn’t live under strict morals, but parading through a foreign country sleeping next to a different woman every night is far from the controlled self discipline a Hemingway Hero is supposed to have. The only admirable quality Henry had in the very beginning was that he did not engage in taunting the priest. There is no question that Henry was not always the hero we saw him to be in the latter part of the book. The events that Henry experienced greatly aided him in progressing to the point where he could be called a Hemingway Hero. Henry’s path to “greatness” was a long and rough one, and although he wasn’t a true hero until the end of the book, he did exhibit some heroic qualities earlier in the novel. For example, when Henry was injured and bedridden, he took a chance and elected to have his operation performed immediately. Any other soldier would have been thrilled if he had

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