Ettore Moretti: Character Analysis in A Farewell To Arms

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      Ettore Moretti is an Italian from San Francisco. He is in the Italian army. He is a very young man, he is only twenty-three years of age. He had lived all his life in San Francisco, having been brought up by an uncle there. He has come to Italy to visit his parents in Torino. During that period war had been declared and he had enlisted him.

A Hero and A Braggart
      Ettore has proved himself as quite a hero in the war. However, in spite of being a war-hero he cannot create a good impression on others because he keeps bragging about his exploits. He tells the company that he was wounded three times and for that he has been awarded there wound strips. But he would rather have the stripes than having the medals. And he brags that “I’d rather have them than medals. Believe me, boy, when you get there you’re got something. You only get one for a wound that puts you three months in the hospital. When asked where he has been wounded he says that he was wounded on the leg. But he can’t show the wound because he is wearing his puttees. He was wounded in his foot and he tells everybody that his foot was full of dead bone that even at that moment was stinking. Every morning he had to take dead bone pieces out of it and even then his foot did not lose its stink. And if anyone asked him what had hit him, Ettore Moretti would gladly answer “A hand grenade. One of those potato mashers. It just blew the whole side of my foot off.” He also brags that before the war got over he would rise to the rank of colonel. One of the fellows tells him that he is quite a militarist though he was a good boy. Ettore takes this as a compliment. He means to succeed in the war. He knows that he shall not be killed. And as he says so, he touched the stars on his collar and explains to the fellows that all army men touched their stare if anybody mentioned being killed.

A Bore to Others
      Moretti may be a War-Hero but as a person, he is a complete bore. Henry describes him as “a legitimate hero who bored everyone he met”. He is a bore because he can talk of nothing else but his war exploits, his stripes, medals, and his wounds. Catherine cannot stand his excessive bragging. She calls him “a dreadful, dreadful boy” saying that they are in England, also had war heroes but they are much quieter. They don’t talk as much and then she says “I won’t mind him if he wasn’t so conceited and didn’t bore me, and bore me, and bore me.” Ettore really bores others. When other officers indulge in drinks and enjoy themselves in brothels, he says he is different. He says “I don’t drink and I don’t run around. I am no boozer and where hound. I know what’s good for me.”

Source of Humour
      Like the other minor characters in the novel, Moretti has no significant part in the plot construction. But again like the others, the significance of his characters lies in the fact that he adds to the humour of the novel and as a satire on the so-called professional war-heroes he elicits the laughter intended.

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