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A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms

by Ernest Hemingway

Courage Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

"The brave dies perhaps two thousand deaths if he’s intelligent." (21.92)

Catherine suggests that every act of bravery requires the sacrifice or death of something inside the brave person. She also connects bravery to intelligence, suggesting that it takes more than raw courage to be truly brave, that sometimes bravery means thinking in a brave way.

Quote #8

If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. (34.81)

"I’m not brave any more, darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me. I know it now." (41)

This is confusing, because what’s breaking Catherine is the process of childbirth. It’s not clear who the "they" is that she’s talking about. It’s possible that she’s talking about people in her past, of whom we, and possibly Frederic, know nothing about. "They" could also be Catherine’s personification of the abstract forces working against her.

Quote #9

"I feel like a criminal. I’ve deserted from the army." (34.114)

We don’t know if Frederic ever gets over this feeling. We can see that if he hadn’t deserted, he would probably be dead, but Frederic isn’t sure it was worth it. He possibly even thinks Catherine’s death is punishment for his "cowardly" act. Interestingly, he has sympathy for other "deserters," like the man who is on the run and afraid to seek medical attention for his hernia because he thinks they will send him back to the battlefield.

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