a farewell to arms writing technique

409 Words2 Pages
Ernest Hemingway, in his famous novel A Farewell to Arms, exhibits his unique yet simplistic style of writing, for which he is known. In the chapter 32 passage of the book, he uses the signature technique to reveal the narrator's feelings of loneliness and helplessness as he feels that his decision to leave the army is irrevocable. Using words with negative connotations, such as “wet,” “cold,” “hungry,” “lonesome,” and “hard,” the author sets a tone of pessimism and defeat. Henry's description of himself and his surroundings creates a feeling of pathetic hopelessness. The narrative begins with long, flowing sentences but is contradicted by the simplicity and abruptness towards the end. The short, choppy sentences and style of writing Hemingway uses gives the impression of an end of a season of life and a kind of finality for Henry. Also, the author's use of second person “you” instead of the first person “I” used in the rest of the novel makes this passage most notable and distinct. This usage shows, once again, the narrator's detachment from himself by addressing himself in second person. Henry feels not only detached from himself but also from the world and his surroundings. He uses this detachment as a coping mechanism so that he does not have to feel the shame and desolation that comes from deserting his friends and fellow soldiers. Henry's casual discussion with himself about what the army might report as his cause of death hides his true feelings, as he also tells himself that he is not angry and no longer has any obligation to the army. The narrator lets himself be distracted by thinking about Catherine and comforting himself that he might get to see her soon, which becomes an excuse used to justify Henry's desertion. In this passage, Hemingway's style also differs from the rest of novel in that the writing lacks grammatical accuracy, coherent
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