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Significance of Chapter One of a Farewell to Arms by Ernest hemingway

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1. 1.nature-rain is a symbol of death, etc. 2. 2.mechanical, detached narrative 3. 3.maybe that's because the narrator has suffered too much pain. 4. Hemingway's writing style 5. The pregnant thing 6. "only 7,000 died"-how death has become common, narrator is unemotional in saying so 7. we know nothing about henry 8. dominant tone of irony and understatement-reaches it peak at the end of the chapter where rain+cholera result in casualties 9. narrator is stationary and seems to be standing on the sidelines. Although we don't know it yet, this is the tone for the rest of the book, as henry will always remain in the periphery of the conflict (ambulance driver)-literally & philosophically 10. Finally, we get a sense from this chapter of the narrator's attitude toward the unpleasant and difficult, the painful and even tragic. Regarding the cholera outbreak, he tells us that "in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army." Only seven thousand! Like all of Hemingway's heroes, the narrator of A Farewell to Arms is a stoic, understating rather than exaggerating, and grimly accepting what he cannot change. ...read more.


The vineyards were thin and bare-branched too and all the country wet and brown and dead with autumn"; implying once again that rain heralds decay and extinction. Also while the narrator describes in great detail the trucks that go by carrying arms and ammunition, the soldiers that march on, the mules, and even the motor cars carrying such high ranking officials as the King himself which pass him by; we begin to notice that he seems to be on the sidelines of the action, both figuratively and literally. Though we do not know much about the narrator as yet, we begin to get a sense that he is not totally drawn into the war, but appears to be on the periphery of it, a silent observer. This sets the tone of the extent of his involvement in the war for much of the remainder of the book. When speaking of the soldiers marching by, the narrator remarks that the troops are burdened by their guns and ammunition, and seem to be marching "as though they were six months gone with child." ...read more.


Perhaps, he has given up. Though Hemingway uses simple and easy to understand language, he has an extremely distinct and original style of writing, which takes some getting used to for a first time Hemingway reader. One notices the frequent use of abrupt, declarative sentences that are largely descriptive and informative. On the other hand, also to be seen are long, seemingly endless sentences, which are really a number of clauses held together by conjunctions. The prevailing tone for most of the first chapter is one of dryness and sarcasm. This reaches its climax at the close of the chapter, where the narrator, in reference to the outbreak of the cholera epidemic, reports that "in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army". The casual yet somewhat cynical manner in which he talks of death is a very stoic approach. Like most of Hemingway's heroes, the narrator seems impassive and undisturbed by the death that surrounds him, taking it in his stride and accepting it as something which he cannot amend. 1. 13. A Farewell to Arms 15/08/08 10:03 PM Essay 15/08/08 10:03 PM 15/08/08 10:03 PM ...read more.

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