Hemingway?s view of women is a source of constant controversy, and Catherine Barkley is at the center of debate. The novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway depicts Catherine Barkley as an unfair portrayal of a woman. Her constant nurturing of Henry, and selfless undertaking of the burden of pregnancy is indicative of a misogynist gone awry. Hemingway?s hatred towards women leads him to portray women as being dependant, obsessed, and naïve?serving as slaves to their men in every aspect.
After the death of her previous husband, Catherine Barkley was left a life of perpetual loneliness. Upon meeting Henry, Catherine quickly became overly dependant on him to fill the emptiness in her life. Days after meeting him she asks him if he loves her. Catherine knows quite well that it is nearly impossible for this to be true in such a short amount of time, but when Henry tells her he loves her, she becomes overwhelmed with happiness. Catherine is aware that Henry is lying to her, but because she is so dependant on him, she pretends that what he says is valid.
Subsequent to Henry?s injuries after a mortar shell was detonated, Catherine takes it upon herself to constantly nurture Henry, catering to his every need. Not only did Catherine transfer from her previous medical post to the one in Milan where she could be close to Henry and personally assist to each of his requests, but she also switched from the day shift to night-duty where she could aid to all of his sexual desires. Much to Catherine?s dismay, she is unable to work both shifts because she does not want the other nurses on duty to outfit Henry. She says, ?I don?t. I don?t want anyone else to touch you. I?m silly. I get furious if they touch you? (103). Through these incidents, Catherine is portrayed as being overly dependent on Henry, worried that something frightful would occur if they were to be separated for any amount of time. Hemingway makes Catherine out to be this helpless woman who would simply...
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