The excerpt under analysis is taken from the novel “A Farewell to Arms” belonging to the pen of the outstanding American author, Ernest Hemingway, whose works had a profound influence on 20th-century fiction. Having won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, his numerous novels and short stories are undoubtedly considered classics of American literature.
What we value most in Hemingway’s works is his minimalistic style with the help of which he focused on surface elements without explicitly discussing the underlying themes, he called his method the Iceberg method.
Having eye-witnessed and experienced himself the terror, outrage as well as cynicism of several wars, he became a pioneer of “Lost Generation“ term which implied his disillusionment of the war and a sense of moral loss or aimlessness. The World War seemed to destroy for many people involved the idea that if you acted properly, great honour would be paid to you.
But so many good young men went to war and died, or returned damaged, both physically and mentally, that their faith in the moral guidelines that had given them hope before, were no longer valid… they were “Lost. ” The novel “A Farewell to Arms” is set during the Italian campaign of World War I.
The story gives a deep insight into the hopelessness of war and futility of searching for meaning in a wartime setting. The author dwells upon the idea that individual human relationships and needs should be valued rather than abstract ideas of patriotism or service. The extract is told by a first person narrator, it is mostly a dialogue and partially a narrative.
The dialogue is depicted between two opposed to each other characters – Henry who expresses the negative attitude towards war and sees no point in blindly putting his life at stake for the sake of the ruler`s wish, that coincides with the author`s position who strongly protests against the war as well and Gino, who is a patriot to the backbone. “”he was born one’’ He repeats it several times, thus endowing himself with the belief that the sacrifice and contribution he makes to the war is immense.
What is really striking in his words that there is no way back for him as he infinitely believes in the victory in any case. ‘’We won`t talk about losing. There is enough talk about losing. What has been done this summer cannot have been done in vain. ‘’ Moreover if compared the number of words said by Gino and Henry as well as their explicit and expressive implication, it singles out Gino`s strong and firm point of view and frank involvement into the war propaganda.
Meanwhile, Henry`s sentences are quite short, deprived of emotions and sound rather indifferent and even pragmatic what indicates his rather cynical attitude to it. I strongly believe that the effects that the horrors of war have on ordinary people are disastrous and no human death can be justified or regarded a matter of fact. The quote of John Steinbeck serves as a perfect evidence. ‘’All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal. ” Indeed, since ancient times a man strives for ruling the world at any cost. Hence, he invades numerous territories, destr.
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