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Two Hemingway War Novels

This paper will compare and contrast two novels by Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. Both of these novels are based on the personal experiences of Hemingway which took place during and immediately after the First World War. During the First World War, Hemingway volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver for the Italian army. He was wounded during that time, and his experiences became the basis for the novel A Farewell to Arms. During the early 1920s, Hemingway went to Paris, where he befriended other American artists who were living as expatriates there. That experience became the foundation for his novel The Sun Also Rises. Thus, the setting for A Farewell to Arms is Europe during the First World War, and the setting for The Sun Also Rises is Europe during the years immediately following the war.

These settings have a strong impact on the values and attitudes which are presented by the characters in the two novels. In A Farewell to Arms, for example, the destruction and tragedy of the war have an effect on the way the various characters behave and interact with one another. In The Sun Also Rises, it is not the war itself but rather the aftermath of the war which has an influence on the way the characters act and think. Both novels are concerned in one way or another with feelings of loss. In A Farewell to Arms, this loss is directly attributable to the effects of the war. In The Sun Also Rises, however, the feeling of loss is expressed by the ethical values of the characters which mark them as members of the 1920s "lost generation." After the war, many young people were confused about the meaning of their lives and as a result they "lost touch with moral values" (McDowell 47). In A Farewell to Arms, the ravages of war result in a disintegration of values for the characters which is related to the imminent threat of loss which war brings about. In The Sun Also Rises, the social disorder f...

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Two Hemingway War Novels. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:54, June 24, 2019, from