Notes on A Farewell to Arms Themes

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A Farewell to Arms Topic Tracking: Love and Sex

Love and Sex 1: When Catherine and Fred meet for the first time, it is not exactly love at first sight, but Fred finds her undeniably attractive. They have a language in common that separates them from most people around them. Catherine definitely catches Fred's attention.

Love and Sex 2: Catherine and Fred become an 'item' almost immediately following their second encounter. Fred's impulse is to kiss her in a very sexual way. Catherine slaps him and he sees this as an opening for him. It is. Once she has given in, Catherine is only interested in whether or not he will take care of her. In two meetings, they went from strangers to lovers.

Love and Sex 3: By their third encounter, Catherine and Fred are having sex, or are in some sort of sexual exchange. During this exchange, Catherine asks him if he loves her and he lies. Catherine is not so naive to believe his response, and after they have sex, she tells him this.

Love and Sex 4: After Fred has foolishly spent too much time drinking, making it impossible for him to see Catherine, he realizes how much he wants to see her. This may be mere sexual yearning, or it may be the beginning of something more serious.

Love and Sex 5: Fred's first thought at hearing of Catherine's arrival, is to make sure he is shaved and decent-looking. When she comes, he can't help but notice her beauty and strong sexuality. He admits that he is falling in love with her. She has completely relocated for him.

Love and Sex 6: Catherine works night shifts to be with Fred and is willing to have sex with him in the open hospital room. He wants to have sex almost all the time and she rarely denies him. She tells him she loves him and he does the same, lying when she asks if he has ever loved any other girls. Even though Fred is badly wounded and they are in a state of war, Fred and Catherine are happy together.

Love and Sex 7: As Fred's legs heal, they spend every night and more days together. Fred wants to get married, but Catherine is hesitant because of the Italian formalities. Their life, however, is little different from that of a married couple.

Love and Sex 8: Fred finds himself thinking about Catherine whenever they are apart, which isn't very often. The pair find that being together alone is more agreeable than being with anyone else in the world.

Love and Sex 9: Catherine's pregnancy is immediately a worry for Fred even though she does not wish to be a burden. Despite her insistence, Fred feels responsible and pledges to stay with her always.He offers marriage as a solution again, but Catherine won't have it.

Love and Sex 10: Before it is time for Fred to return to the front, he and Catherine have one last night together. He spends a lot of money on a hotel room and it makes her feel like a whore. They have sex and talk. Afterwards, she feels better and is in relatively good spirits when they part for an indefinite amount of time.

Love and Sex 11: Fred and Catherine are overjoyed at their reunion. Although they do want to have sex, their feelings of love overwhelm desire and lust. Fred knows that he loves her without any doubts now, and Catherine is happy to be back with him. She does not question his appearance when he comes, but she cherishes his presence.

Love and Sex 12: Fred is really displaying how much he loves Catherine. Simple things like watching her brush her hair, or kissing her neck, make him feel faint. Any worries about their relationship are assuaged by her presence.

Love and Sex 13: Catherine's love for Fred is so naive that she wishes she had the same STD he did so that she would be more like him. She wants to cut her hair to be more like him. She wishes that she had been with the same women so they could make fun of them together. Catherine has a love that makes her want to be one with Fred.

Love and Sex 14: Fred grows a beard to please Catherine. She is upset because her pregancy has made her large and unattractive. Fred thinks otherwise. Catherine doesn't want to get married until she is thin again. She still thinks that his love for her is only on a superficially sexual level. Thus, she must wait until she is 'beautiful' again.

Love and Sex 15: Fred and Catherine never tire of each other. They are always together; and no one else can penetrate their little world. They have learned to make one another happy and there seems to be nothing to detract from this. Catherine worries that Fred yearns for his other life, but he says he doesn't.

Love and Sex 16: Fred's interest in the baby wanes as Catherine's life becomes threatened. The last scene, where he tries to say goodbye to her, is heart-wrenching. He is alone in the dark room with her corpse. He leaves and is unable to do anything. This is where the story ends. Fred is disarmed by her death.

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