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The Subjects Of Love And War Shine In Hemingway’s Writing Style

2049 words - 9 pages

In the novel, A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway creates a moving and intense portrayal of love between Catherine Barkley and Frederic Henry, which is set mainly on the Italian Front during World War I. The novel was originally published in 1929, after Hemingway himself served as an ambulance driver for the Italian Red Cross. Due to this experience, Hemingway is able to show great detail and description when writing about the scenes of war on the Italian Front. Additionally, he draws on his experiences with a nurse and similarities can be seen in the events in his novel and in the events in his life leading up to the writing of A Farewell to Arms. While a select few of the initial ...view middle of the document...

Known for his short, simple sentences, Hemingway is criticized here as the authors of this article claim that his writing has deteriorated so much so that it is the “worst of any widely acclaimed writer.” (Chronicle and Comment 647). While mainly critical of Hemingway, the article does have a few positive words about Hemingway’s work. It does appreciate Hemingway’s portrayal of the retreat from Caporetto, the encampment scenes, and the presentation of minor characters. The article then goes on to classify Hemingway in five various ways, declaring some roles to be stronger than others. For his strengths, they believe him to be a great storyteller and a brilliant reporter of “adventurous callings and out-of-the-way characters.” (Chronicle and Comment 644) In their opinion, Hemingway is mediocre in his role as a reporter of the post-war period, and as a recorder of grand passions and they conclude that he is a poor artistic writer. Overall, this particular review believes that Hemingway possesses only a few strengths and that he has risen to fame too quickly, however they do believe that he will continue to improve and that his career, at that point, is only just beginning.
Similar negative attitudes towards the love story and violent war scenes can be seen in the newspaper article, “BOSTON POLICE BAR SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE: Superintendent Acts on Objections to Ernest Hemingway's Serial, "Farewell to Arms,” which was published in the New York Times in 1929. This article addresses the banning of Scribner’s Magazine in Boston after the publication of the first third of A Farewell To Arms. The banning of the book was attributed to complaints about the anti-war actions in the novel as well as the salacious depictions of the interactions between Frederic and Catherine. This echoes most of the early negative criticism of the novel. As a response to the banning of their magazine, representatives of Scribner’s magazine issued a statement defending their choice to publish the article. The claim that the novel is a moral tale, one that is “a fine and faithful love born, it is true, of physical desire.” (2) They go on to claim that Hemingway is one of the most refined modern writers and should be treated as such. The representatives of Scribner’s also add that the work is not anti-war propaganda and that they will continue to publish the last two thirds of Hemingway’s work in their magazine.
The Scribner’s high regard for Hemingway and the novel is a more readily found interpretation of this work, with many regarding it as one of the best works of Hemingway’s career. Additionally, great emphasis is put on the simple, linguistic style of Hemingway. In the article, “Purged of Dross” by Granville Hicks, Hemingway is painted as a master who takes the classic subjects of war and love and turns them into a tale of sophistication. Hicks claims that is mostly accomplished through Hemingway’s writing style. Hicks also suggests that Hemingway is...

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