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Existential themes in Hemingway's 'A Farewell to Arms'

Existentialist Themes in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms

The philosophy of Existentialism demands much from its students; it requires one to view their life as a series of decisions and consequential repercussions in a world of alienation and meaninglessness, death being the only certainty. The great American author Ernest Hemingway also makes similar demands of his readers. He strips away the frills of descriptive writing, leaving only the bare bones of the story, often with no traces of hope or humanity. He leaves it up to the reader to draw conclusions about the lives of the characters and the mood of the situation. Both stylistically and thematically, major themes of Existentialism such as absurdity, existence preceding essence, and alienation can be traced in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.
To begin, Existentialism can be found in Hemingway’s writing style. First, however, it is necessary to understand a basic, underlying theme of Existentialism;...

Posted by: Jason Pinsky

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