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Hemingway

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A Farewell to Arms

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Title: A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Year: 1929

‘What do you think of the war really?’, I asked.
‘I think that it is stupid’

What is with Hemingway and his depressing endings?

The basic plot of the story is an American, Lieutenant Frederick Henry, fighting for the Italians against the Austrians in World War 1. It is a story of tragic fatalism where the entire novel foreshadows the events of its ultimate conclusion. The novel brings us through Fred’s pivotal events of his wartime experience. He becomes injured early on, finds love, recovers and eventually abandons the war altogether.

Overall I find Hemingway to be an enjoyable read. I find his prose clean and succinct. This book is probable his best.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Title: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Year: 1941

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man
is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a
Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor
of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans
death diminishes me, because I am in-
volved in Mankinde; And therefore
never send to know for
bell tolls; It
tolls for thee.

I really like this book. For the most part, it tells of the brutality of oppression and war. It also attacks the morality and actions of both sides of the war. I have a particular sympathy for the book, since I visited the Spanish Civil War exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. Hemingway was a journalist for the Americans, and spent some time in Spain during the war.

It tells of a soldier, Robert Jordan, who is fighting for the republic in the Spanish Civil War. It takes place over two days, and is filled with suspense, action, love, and politics.

Sometimes, Hemingway romanticizes the war and Jordan’s place in it. But most of the time the war and its perils are brutal and clear. I defiantly recommend anyone to read the book. Word of caution: it might be a little heavy for younger readers.

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