Hemingway’s Implied Crises and the Strength of a Soldier
Ernest Hemingway’s short story “A New Kind of War” is unusual because it has a double number of plot phases, except the exposition. This story is unusual for another reason as well, it contains two crises and both are implied crises. We, the readers, are given an endpoint in the rising action and the next paragraph is the recognition. What seems to be missing in the story is a crisis; however Hemingway injects implied crises in two points of this story. Between when the doctor says “He’s going to get well” and when Hemingway states “And it still isn’t you”, there is an implied crisis. There is no expression of his crisis thinking, only his thinking leading up to that point. This leaves the reader wondering what Hemingway is thinking at that point. At both crisis points Hemingway reverses his view of Raven. We don’t understand the crisis point fully until we can imaginatively verbalize what Hemingway is thinking. The first paragraph of Hemingway’s story draws a clear contrast between what is going on inside the hotel and what is going outside the hotel. What does he talk about? Hemingway talks about hearing rifle and machine gun fire, and mortars going off. But these things are happening seventeen blocks away while Hemingway is safe in his bed. He tells us “it’s a great thing to be in bed with your feet stretched out gradually warming the cold foot of the bed and not out there”. Hemingway is obviously relishing the comfort and safety the hotel provides, because it is in stark contrast to what is going on at the front line. (As we find out later in the exposition, Hemingway has been to the frontline, has slept with the soldiers, has seen the war up close, and therefore he knows exactly what is happening on the frontline.) Hemingway’s sense of comfort and safety is shaken by the blast of the mortar shell right outside the hotel. However his sense of physical safety is shattered when he goes...
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