The Disputed Gender and Sexual Constructs during Wartime in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
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This essay argues the various gender constructions in A Farewell to Arms, which serve to challenge the sexual norms of the 1930's. In addition, this essay thoroughly analyzes Hemingway's possible intentions by crafting a character such as Catherine Barkley. It also underlines the various connections between the characters, in addition to the meanings of the underlying ambiguity in the connections between the characters. It analyzes the roles, which both Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley play in each other's lives, and the individual roles each character contributes to their relationship. Moreover, it analyzes the conventions of marriage in the context of the war, and how it pertains to the couple's relationship. This essay also dissects many of the homoerotic undertones present in the novel, mainly between Frederic Henry, Rinaldi and the priest, in addition to the homoerotic undertones between Catherine Barkley and Helen Ferguson. The novel's emphasis on the some of these unconventional relationships reveals that it seeks to invent new forms of unions that serve as possible modes of survival during the chaos of wartime, and perhaps Hemingway's own desire to overturn oppressive societal dictates regarding sexual expression.