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A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms


by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms Theme of Men and Masculinity

A Farewell to Arms shows men fulfilling what are often consider traditional male roles, or even stereotypes – they drink hard, fight hard, play hard, and commit heroic acts of bravery. However, as we get to know them better, their masculinity is revealed as subtle, complicated, and individual to each man. All in all, the men in this novel are human – they love, they suffer, they hurt, they hope, and, sometimes, they even break.

Questions About Men and Masculinity

  1. Does the novel challenge your ideas of masculinity? If so, how? If not, where does it present views similar to your own?
  2. Can we get information about the men in the novel through the dialogue and actions of the female characters? If so, what are some examples of this?
  3. Do you identity with any of the men in the novel. If so, which ones? If not, why do they seem alien to you?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Rinaldi is the novel’s most vivid male character; he completely steals the show from Frederic and is the novel’s hidden protagonist.

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