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Explain what makes the central character of A Farewell to Arms dynamic?

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keekee28 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM via web

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Explain what makes the central character of A Farewell to Arms dynamic?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM (Answer #1)

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The central character in Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is Lt. Frederic Henry.  At the beginning of the novel, Henry is quite shallow and does not appear to care very deeply about anything.  He questions the war, his role in the war, and ultimately, his purpose in life.  Early in the novel when he chats with the priest, Henry reveals that he does not believe in God.  However, as the novel continues, he ends up meeting and falling in love with nurse Catherine Barkley, and his relationship with her changes him--arguably for the better.  Dynamic characters are ones that evolve, develop, and grow from their experiences, and this is what happens to Henry after he meets Catherine.  When the couple finds out that Catherine is pregnant, Henry knows that he must get them all to a safer place, so he organizes a way for them to row to another country.  Henry takes great risks that he likely would never have taken before.  These acts are some of the things that make Lt. Henry a dynamic character.

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