Here we come to a very interesting figure of the book. Count appears only once in the book that is why it could seem like we don’t know a lot about his character. But it was not to be! Hemingway was such a master that somehow opened his character for us fully. Moreover, this old ninety-four-year-old man is described as a full prototype of an ideal masculine. Of course from the point of the author’s view.
The count is rich and often plays billiards with Henry at the hotel in Stresa. Count Greffi does not believe in the war, and Henry values his other mature opinions. Moreover, Henry couldn’t understand why such a smart and mature person can’t believe in war, if even Henry, who was there, told it to him.
Count lives life to the fullest and thinks for himself. To be honest, there is nothing bad in such a desire. Why should you live in thoughts to be good for someone? Why can’t you be good for yourself? This is what a Count represents too. Though the count dismisses the label “wise,” Henry clearly values his thoughts and sees him as a sort of father figure. So, yes, a book has a lot of parental figures, maybe the author wanted to show us what an important thing is a family.
He’s a friend of Frederic’s that is why he once said: "He was living to be one hundred years old." Some critics claim that this means that Greffi lived to be a hundred years old and that this proves that Frederic is narrating the novel at least six years after the events. We don’t quite buy this. If Frederic wanted to say "lived," he would say "lived." "Living to be" means trying to stay alive, we think. How about you?
Count Greffi in the Essays