Essay on A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway

Essay on A Farewell Of Arms By Ernest Hemingway

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In his novel A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway transfers his own emotional burdens of World War I to his characters. Although considered to be fiction, the plot and characters of Hemingway’s novel directly resembled his own life and experience, creating a parallel between the characters in the novel and his experiences. Hemingway used his characters to not only to express the dangers of war, but to cope and release tension from his traumatic experiences and express the contradictions within the human mind. Hemingway’s use of personal experiences in his novel represents Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory regarding Hemingway’s anxieties and the strength and dependency that his consciousness has over his unconsciousness.
Freud’s Psychoanalytical Theory of Personality states the Superego as being the part of personality that is most conscious, holds moral standards, develops senses of right and wrong and suppress any urges or desires that are considered unacceptable (McLeod). Hemingway relied mostly on his morals throughout his time in the war, suggesting his dependency on his Superego and the strength of his consciousness. Hemingway acted primarily based on his Superego and moral reasoning, even going as far as volunteering for the war on the Italian front and staying in battle despite an injury that gave him medical leave (Piep). Hemingway created the novel’s main character, Frederic Henry, to embody a large part of his moral standards regarding the war: both Americans volunteering on the Italian front, willingly working as ambulance drivers, and even returning to the war despite threats to their health (Prescott). Despite their similarities in moral standards, Hemingway and Henry are most similar in terms of their large depe...


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...hreatening. Hemingway’s inclusion of his own experiences in both his novel and his characters functioned to relieve stress and help him cope with his anxieties from the trauma he endured in World War I.
Hemingway’s dependence on his consciousness was portrayed throughout the novel through his characters and situations. The actions of his characters, specifically Frederic Henry, represented traumatic experiences that Hemingway experienced and served as a coping mechanism in allowing Hemingway to relieve stress. Hemingway’s biggest argument throughout the book relies on his emphasis of the importance and strength of acting based on conscious reasoning rather than immoral and impulsive judgement. Hemingway’s tactical use of personal experiences in the novel not only revealed the destruction caused by war, but exposed the strengths and dangers of a person’s own mind.

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