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How Does Hemingway Portray a Sense of Immediacy in the Opening Chapters of the Novel?

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  669 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,584 Views

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Earnest Hemingway's ‘A Farewell to Arms' is a novel that explores the sense of immediacy caused by the threatening environment of war. The fragile and delicate nature of the war gives people the idea that they if they wish to experience or complete their endeavours that they must do it with haste as the war creates an indefinite time frame. Hemingway portrays this tone through the flowing style of his writing through the sense of time passing quickly and through the detachment illustrated through the characters.

Hemingway's use of flowing writing style portrays the continuity and fast pace of life due to the war's effects. Through this particular style Hemingway illustrates Henry's incessant thought patterns displaying his ‘streams of consciousness'. This consequently depicts the chaotic frame of mind that is caused due to the influence of his surroundings. An example of this is in chapter seven when Henry becomes completely immersed in his own reflections of home and how "it was a long time since (he) had written to the states and (he) knew (he) should write but (he) had let it go so long that it was almost impossible to write now". The stream of consciousness enables the reader to gain greater insight into Henry's mind and especially opinions. It is through this same passage that Henry openly reveals his negative view of war-"What was the matter with this war?" Hemingway's use of polysyndeton and the collaboration of static sentences and continuous switching between ideas also contribute to the text portraying this continuous change and the heightened speed of life. Mostly used as a contrast an example of these conflicting focused sentences is, "Now the fighting was in the next mountain beyond and was not a mile away. The town was very nice and our house was very fine", this shows the juxtaposition of the positive and negative environment.

The sense of time passing quickly is illustrated through the descriptions of the changing landscape and seasons. Hemingway uses the landscape to illustrate the frequent changes


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