A Farewell To Arms 2


Critics usually describe Hemingway's style as simple, spare,
and journalistic. These are all good words; they all apply.
Perhaps because of his training as a newspaperman, Hemingway
is a master of the declarative, subject-verb-object
sentence. His writing has been likened to a boxer's
punches--combinations of lefts and rights coming at us
without pause. Take the following passage:

We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it. The
last country to realize they were cooked would win the war.
We had another drink. Was I on somebody's staff? No. He was.
It was all balls.

The style gains power because it is so full of sensory
detail.

There was an inn in the ...

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his characters'--beliefs. The punchy, vivid
language has the immediacy of a news bulletin: these are
facts, Hemingway is telling us, and they can't be ignored.
And just as Frederic Henry comes to distrust abstractions
like "patriotism," so does Hemingway distrust them. Instead
he seeks the concrete, the tangible: "hot red wine with
spices, cold air that numbs your nose." A simple "good"
becomes higher praise than another writer's string of
decorative adjectives.

Though Hemingway is best known for the tough simplicity of
style seen in the first passage cited above, if we take a
close look at A Farewell to Arms, we will often find another
Hemingway at work--a writer who is aiming for certain
complex effects, who is experimenting with language, and who
is often self-consciously manipulating words. Some sentences
are clause-filled and eighty or more words long. Take for
example the description in Chapter 1 that begins, "There
were ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 11/4/2004 01:33:56 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 606
Pages: 3

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