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Word Count: 892
John Stubbs essay is an examination of the defense which he believes Henry and Catherine use to protect themselves from the discovery of their insignificance and powerlessnessin a world indifferent to their well being He asserts that role-playing by the two main characters and several others in the book is a way to escape the realization of human mortality which is unveiled by war Stubbs thinks that Hemingway utilized role-playing as a way to explore the strengths and weaknesses of his two characters Stubbs says that by placing Henrys ordered life in opposition to Catherines topsy-turvy one and then letting each one assume a role which will bring them closer together Hemingway shows the pairs inability to accept the hard gratuitous quality of lifeStubbs begins by showing other examples notably in In Our Time and The Sun Also Rises in which Hemingways characters revert to role-playing in order to escape or retreat from their lives The ability to create characters who play roles he says either to maintain self-esteem or to escape is one Hemingway exploits extraordinarily well in A Farewell to Arms and therefore it is his richest and most successful handling of human beings trying to come to terms with their vulnerability As far as Stubbs is concerned Hemingway is quite blatant in letting us know that role-playing is what is occurring He tells that the role-playing begins during Henry and Catherines third encounter when Catherine directly dictates what is spoken by Henry After this meeting the two become increasingly comfortable with their roles and easily adopt them whenever the other is nearby This is apparent also in that they can only successfully play their roles when they are in private and any disturbance causes the game to be disrupted The intrusion of the outside world in any form makes their role-playing impossible as evidenced at the race track in Milan where they must be alone The people surrounding them make Catherine feel
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