Tag Archives: a farewell to arms

ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S WORKS ARE CONSIDERED CLASSICS OF AMERICAN LITERATURE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, journalist and sportsman. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th Century fiction. Hemingway’s writings include themes of love, war, travel, wilderness and loss. Hemingway often wrote about Americans abroad. In most of his novels, the protagonist is abroad, bilingual and bicultural.  Hemingway published seven novels, six short story collections and three non-fiction works. Noted for the intense masculinity of his writing and his adventurous and widely publicized life, his succinct and lucid prose style exerted a powerful influence on American and British fiction in the 20th century.

Hemingway led an adventurous life. After high school, he was a reporter for a few months for the Kansas City Star before leaving for the Italian front to work as an ambulance driver in World War I. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel” A Farewell to Arms”(1929) 

In 1921 he moved to Paris. Whilst working in Paris as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, he was encouraged by other American writers, Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. He began there to see his non-journalistic work appear in print and the first important book –the collection of stories called “In Our Time” was published in New York City in 1925. It was earlier released in Paris in 1924. In Paris he fell under the influence of modernist writers and artists of the 1920’s and the Lost Generation expatriate community,

In 1926 he published “The Sun also rises” a novel with which he scored his first solid success. It is pessimistic but a sparkling book which deals with a group of aimless expatriates in France and Spain – members of the post war Lost Generation. Hemingway’s, other work, “The Torrents of Spring” is a parody of the American writer Sherwood Anderson’s book” Dark Laughter” which also appeared in 1926.   

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), Hemingway made four trips there as a correspondent. The Fifth Column (1938) he wrote is set in a besieged Madrid. As in many of his books, the protagonist of the play is based on the author and the part he played in assisting the Republicans against General Franco’s forces.

The harvest of Hemingway’s considerable experience in Spain in war and peace, was the novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1940), a substantial and impressive work which some critics consider his finest novel, in preference to “A Farewell to Arms”. All his life, Hemingway was fascinated by war and in “A Farewell to Arms” he focused on its pointlessness and in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” he focuses on the comradeship it creates.

During the Second World War, Hemingway was present with the Allied troops as a journalist during the Normandy landings and the Liberation of Paris. He almost died in 1954 after plane crashes on successive days. The injuries left him in pain and ill health for much of the rest of his life,

In 1953, he received the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his “The Old Man and the Sea” (1952).This book also paved the way for his receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. “The Old Man and the Sea” is a short heroic novel about an Old Cuban fisherman who after an extended struggle, hooks and boats a giant marline only to have it eaten by voracious sharks during the long voyage home. We can trace some of its origins, to his stay at his estate in Cuba.  

Hemingway’s characters embody his own values and views on life. The main characters of “The Sun also Rises,” “A Farewell to Arms” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” are young men whose strength and self confidence co-exist with a sensitivity that leaves them deeply scarred by their war time experiences.

War for Hemingway was a potent symbol of the world, which he viewed as complex and filled with moral ambiguities and offering almost unavoidable pain, hurt and destruction. To survive in such a world and perhaps even emerge victorious, one must conduct oneself with honour, courage and dignity, seen as a set of principles known as the Hemingway code. He seems to think that to behave well in the lonely, losing battle of life is to show grace under pressure and constitutes in itself a kind of victory, a theme he clearly established in “The Old Man and the Sea”.

His position as a master of short fiction had been advanced with the story, ”Men without Women” (1927) and established with “ Winner Take Nothing”  in 1933. Among his finest stories are: “The Killer”, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, ”The Snows of Kilimanjaro. The novel “A Farewell to Arms” (1929) however overshadowed such works. In this novel reaching back to his experience as a young soldier in Italy, Hemingway developed a grim but lyrical novel of great power fusing love story with war story, based on his personal life.

Tragically, scarred by wars and his four marriages, in the end Hemingway committed suicide by killing himself with a shotgun.

Compiled by Janina Gomes

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA).

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

All of these books are available on any online stores.

BOOK CORNER: THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO by Ernest Hemingway

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

 

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Ernest Hemingway

(1899-1961)

    ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ is regarded as one of Hemingway’s greatest works, alongside, ‘The Sun Also Rises’ and ‘A Farewell to Arms.’ The short story was published in August 1936 in Esquire magazine. Ernest Hemingway is an American Novelist. In the ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro’ the theme is of regret, conflict, redemption, acceptance, introspection and finally death.

    This story opens with a few lines about Mount Kilimanjaro. That happens to be the highest mountain of Africa … around 4900 meters. It is also referred as the ‘House of God.’ There also lies a frozen carcass of a leopard near the summit. But no one knows why it is there at such an altitude.   

    There we come across Helen and Harry. Harry is a writer dying of gangrene. Helen is accompanying him in this safari in Africa. They both are stranded in the camp, because a bearing of their truck’s engine has seized. Harry’s condition makes him extremely irritable. He starts mumbling about his impending death in an unemotional manner but in a sarcastic tone that upsets Helen. He quarrels with her over trivial things like. Whether he should have a whiskey with soda, to whether she should read to him. Helen of course is concerned about his welfare. But the growing frustration of Harry makes him talk to her in an irksome manner.

    Harry starts to ruminate about his vast and varied, life’s experiences. He in fact feels he was unable to climax his potential as a writer because he chose to make a living by marrying a wealthy woman. In the story there are certain italicized portions in the form of text that are scattered all throughout the story. Where, Hemmingway narrates certain experiences of Harry in a stream-of-conscious style. Harry’s initial memories consist of travelling around Europe following a battle, hiding a deserter in a cottage, hunting and skiing in the mountains, playing cards during a blizzard, and even hearing about a bombing-run on a train packed with Austrian officers.

    In spite of deep agony, Harry falls asleep and wakes up in the evening when he finds Helen returning from a shooting expedition. He ponders, on how she is considerate and good to him. And that she should not be blamed for the degradation of his talent as a writer. Helen, he recollects is a rich widow who lost her husband and a child. Thereafter, she was bored by a series of lovers. So, she finally acquired Harry because she wanted someone whom she could respect along with her own self. She loves Harry quite dearly as a writer, as a man, as a companion and as a proud possession. On the contrary Harry makes it clear that he does not love her. He then recalls how he contracted gangrene two weeks ago. They had been trying to take a picture of a waterbuck when Harry scratched his right knee on a thorn. He did not apply iodine right away so the wound got infected. And because all other antiseptics ran out. He used a weak carbolic solution that paralysed the minute blood vessels, because of which the leg developed gangrene.

    Helen returns to drink cocktails with Harry. They make up their quarrel. Thereafter Harry’s second memory sequence begins. He recollects how he once patronized prostitutes in Constantinople … to kill his loneliness. Pining for the very first woman he fell in love with. With whom he quarrelled in Paris and broke up. Harry also had a fight with a British soldier over an Armenian prostitute and he left Constantinople for Anatolia. Where, after escaping from a group of Turkish soldiers he had seen things that he could never have dreamt of and later he saw much worse. Then Harry recalls upon his return to Paris. Where, his then-wife enquires about a letter that was actually from Harry’s first love. A reply to the letter he had written to the woman sometime back that was mailed to New York, asking to write to his office in Paris while he was in Constantinople.

    Helen and Harry eat dinner and then Harry has another reminiscence. This time how his grandfather’s log house burned down one day. He then relates how he fished in the Black Forest. And how he lived in a menial quarter in Paris and felt a kind of kinship with his poor neighbours. Thereafter, he goes on to remember a ranch boy whom he turned into sheriff after the boy protected Harry’s horse feed by shooting and killing a thief.

    Harry ponders: ‘That was one story he could have written. He knew some twenty good stories from there. But he had never written one. But then, ‘why?’ He questioned himself. Then he once again felt he’d prefer to be in a different company rather than with Helen … as rich were dull. Next his thought drifted to beating the fear of death and the limits of being able to bear the pain. He recollects an officer named Williamson who was hit by a bomb and to whom Harry subsequently fed his morphine tablets. Harry considers he needn’t worry about his pain in his current condition.

    As Harry lies in his cot thinking about the happenings. He feels an overwhelming presence of death. And he associates it with the hyena that has been spotted running around the periphery of the campsite. He is unable to speak. Helen, thinking that Harry has fallen asleep has him placed inside the tent for the night. Harry dreams that it is morning and that a man called Compton has come with a plane to rescue him. He is put in the plane that has space only for him and the pilot. He watched the landscape go by, beneath him. Suddenly, he sees the snow covered top of Mount Kilimanjaro. He gets a feeling that is where he is bound for. Helen wakes up in the middle of the night to a strange cry of a hyena and finds Harry unresponsive on his cot. He had actually died.

    COMMENTS

    What is interesting about the story is its tone. Initially it starts with a regretful timbre, but in the final passage when he is flying over Kilimanjaro, Harry appears somewhat hopeful and calm.

    Hemmingway uses animals in the story as foreshadowing devices to highlight to the reader about Harry’s impending death. You can find this in the frozen carcass of the leopard, the vultures flying over the campsite sensing death and finally the sighting of the hyena.

    It is while Harry is waiting to die. Hemmingway, through flashbacks, gives readers some insight into Harry’s life. The flashback also highlights how Harry wasted his life by not writing about incidents that occurred in his own life.

    Each flashback has a theme such as … loss, loneliness and escapism, destruction and happiness, misguided loyalty and finally—there is as assumption that he is flying to heaven when the plane comes to pick him up.

   I would give the story nine out of ten.

      ***

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****