Farewell To Arms And Meaning Of Love

January 2, 2019 General Studies

In A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway illustrates in a simple and pure stylethe development of the relationship between a young American ambulance driverand an English nurse during World War I in Italy. This love-story is marked, asJohn A. Sanford describes in The Invisible Partners, by identification andprojection of the opposite sex. In the following I will give an insight of therelationship between Lieutenant Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley of AFarewell to Arms related to the Jungian approach of animus and anima, mentionedin The Invisible Partners. Furthermore, I will discuss the aspect of power inthis relationship and examine the strengths and weaknesses of this connectionand the two characters regarding their dependency to each other. Finally, I willexamine the value of ?love’ in this relation and explain, on a personalnote, the impact of this story. From the very beginning on, the reader learnsthat Frederick Henry feels detached from life and is on a quest foridentification. This gets clear in, for example, Chapter II when he givesinsight into his feelings about being with women. “Clear cold and dry” ishis view of experiences he had and the identification with his masculinity isall he has. In addition, he is an American, fighting in a war for anothercountry. Isolated from his family and compatriots, he is searching forprotection from the discovery of insignificance in a world indifferent to hiswell being. The reader gets the feeling that Frederick is emotionally exhaustedand has no place to go ? until he gets to know Catherine Barkley. CatherineBarkley seems a little weird at the beginning. More and more we learn about hertragedy and leave the feeling behind that she is “crazy”. In fact, we learnthat she just totally identifies with her feminine nature and she even developsto a devotional person who has cast aside conventional social values and livesto her own account. Together, Lieutenant Henry and Catharine Barkley, find a wayto escape the realization of human morality and build up a casting of roles tocomplement one another. Related to Sanford’s The Invisible Partners we canconclude that he finds in her his positive anima and she in him her positiveanimus. They carry a projected psychic image from the other and seem to be toeach other the source of their happiness. Both become increasingly comfortablewith what they are and what they have found in each other and adopt their new?roles’ easily, whenever the other is nearby. They create their own, privateworld and declare themselves even as a married couple, projecting their positiveimages onto each other at the same time, as though Catherine’s animus andFrederick’s anima have fallen in love: an unconscious attraction. The personwho carries a projected psychic image from another person does have power overthat person, for as long as a part of our psyche is perceived in someone elsethat other person has power over us. But who has power over whom in the case ofCatherine and Frederick? In my opinion, both have a certain power. Bothrecognize the relationship as a useful device for satisfying particularemotional needs. Playing their ?roles’ had originally different reasons buteventually they move to play it as a team. He plays his role to regain the senseof order he has lost and she plays her role to find order at all. Not commonorder, but her own way of dealing with life. Together they live in an idealizedworld, fully falling into it when rowing across the lake, on their way toSwitzerland. The power hereby is the fact that it is impossible for them to playtheir roles when they are apart and, therefore, become ultimately dependent uponeach other’s company. The weakness of this relationship gets obvious throughCatherine’s self-destructive behavior. She feels completed only through him,as though it was through him that she found herself. With sentences like”…there isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me”Catherine makes clear how insignificant she feels about herself and that shesees herself only complete through him. Moreover, she makes him”bigger-than-life” and is content with him making decisions and her lovingfor him. Notwithstanding, she misses the creativity within herself, havingdisplaced it onto a man. The strength of this relationship lies, on the otherhand, in their intimacy. Both know what to except from each other and both


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