American Studies Period 1
18 January 2013
A Farewell to Arms 12-Sentence Paragraph (Criticism 1)
The misery Ernest Hemingway endured through his life influenced his writing profoundly, allowing the reader to experience his emotions through his terse prose and declarative phrasing. In James Atlas’ The Atlantic, an assessment of Hemingway’s individual tragedies impact happenings in A Farewell to Arms dramatically. Hemingway’s marriage was falling apart when the woman he loved ditched him for someone else; the only way he could cope was through his work (Atlas). Hemingway fell in love with a nurse in Pamplona, who is Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms, and although the novel progresses to end unhappily, he was clearly smitten in love at first. “Miss Barkley was quite tall, wore what seemed to me to be a nurse’s uniform, was blonde, had a tawny skin, and gray eyes; she was very beautiful” (Hemingway 18). Hemingway also dwelled on the shallow enthusiasm of life, from going through four wives and celebrating glory and death in the same breath; he seemed indecisive through careless decisions and lifestyle (Atlas). The indecisiveness of Lieutenant Henry is a reflection of Hemingway himself; he was occupied with sentimental enthusiasm in simple joys, and indisposition is shown through his lack of interest and emotions in others. “He had written to his father that I was coming and they had made preparations, now I myself felt as badly as he did and could not understand why I had not gone” (13). Hemingway’s protagonists symbolized strength and never allowed the audience to feel sympathetic toward the exemplar, for Hemingway masked his own pain as well (Atlas). Lieutenant Henry drank often to cover feelings, and once Catherine died, he exemplified neutral emotions almost immediately; this proves his masculinity and power. “I stayed with Catherine until she died; she was unconscious all the time and it did not take her very long to die”...