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Farewell To Arms Paper

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Hemmingway has a unique style of writing. It works on multiple levels. A person could read Farewell to Arms and enjoy it as a tragic love story. Hemmingway's concise writing style allows a literal interpretation. At the same time a reader could get involved with the various symbols that he has placed in the novel. In a way everything he has can be used as a symbol depending on a person's biases. This is what makes Hemmingway's writing even more unique. He can have what seems to be a straightforward sentence have multiple meanings. The transcendentalist and romantic writing styles leave ideas vague so the reader can reflect on his/her own thoughts. Hemmingway is pragmatic in the sense that his writing can be read literally, but also romantic if you read his work more in depth.

One symbol that Hemmingway seems to use constantly is night and the fear of darkness. Fredrick is afraid of the dark. What this seems to mean is that Fredrick is afraid to be in the unknown. This is the idea that males want to know what is around them. Fredrick is afraid of what he does not understand. This symbol is also seen in "A Way You'll Never Be" where Hemmingway's character Nick will not sleep without a light. When a person sleeps they are resting and it seems that Fredrick does not want to rest without "knowing". If Nick were to have the light he would be able to see what was going on. This would allow Nick to "know" what is happening. Thus it could be seen that the symbol of the unknown and how the male characters want to "know" what is happening. Another analysis of this could be that Fredrick is afraid of the malicious things around him. This is the superficiality of the male. Basically in this sense the male wants to live in his perfect little world and not worry about the complexities of life. This is the opposite of the fear of the "unknown" because in this sense the males do not want to know. Fredrick would then be scared of the evil around him. War is part of the "evil" around him because with war comes with real sadness. Frederick's fear of darkness is really fear of those evil elements and the sadness around him. Fredrick is afraid of the sad reality. He wants to live in the simple superficial world he is in. In this sense Nick's fear of sleeping in the dark has a different view. The idea here is that while Nick is scared of the evil around him as long as there is some good he can rest in peace. Basically this is saying that as long as there is something good to hold on to Nick would be OK. Another reflection of this idea is in "Hills like White Elephants" where the male keeps saying "perfectly simple". This is the concept of the male being cursory. He wants to be "simple" and live in a world where there is no evil to be seen. The male in "Hills like White Elephants" wanted to be simple and he wanted to live in a world with out evil.

Another interesting symbol in Farewell to Arms was the Priest. The Priest seems to reflect two different symbols in Hemmingway's novel. First of all the Priest is part of the Hemmingway code of discipline. The Priest is a very disciplined character. Fredrick looks up to the Priest because he is so disciplined. Discipline is an important part of the Hemmingway code of honor. Self-discipline and being in control of the situation are two extremely important aspects of the Hemmingway code of being a hero. Throughout the novel Fredrick seems to be able to control the situation. When he was wounded he ordered the doctor to heal him. He chose to leave the war and even after Catherine's death Fredrick still remains in control. The average person would most likely be shattered completely, but he said, "it was like saying good-by to a statue". The idea here is it is like saying good bye to something inanimate, something frozen in time. Fredrick was in control enough to move on in his own life. The Priest is also a symbol of Hemmingway's view on religion. The officer ridiculed the Priest. This is saying that men don't want God anymore. During the time of World War II faith was down by many people. This is because people could not understand that if there is a God why would these atrocities happen. This made people lose faith in religion and ridicule religious figures like the Priest. Hemmingway is stating that people are ridiculing God. Another idea of God, which is complex, is that God is everlasting.



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