War And Death In Ernest Hemmingway's In Our Time

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Ernest Hemmingway’s, “In Our Time” is an oxymoronic approach to the constant presence of death and insanity contained within the topic of war and near death experiences. Not long after, “the turn of the century” the world through the use of the alliance system became consumed by the outbreak of the war in Europe. Officially dubbed as, “The War to end all wars”, participants marched obediently off to what they perceived to be a just and short war. In Hemmingway’s literary composition “In Our Time”, death, which often accompanies war, was a prominent topic. However, one could argue that war’s connection to death is not merely limited to death alone. It also has a strong connection to mental instability, which can present death through suicide…show more content…
The consequences of war are many and vary greatly, both intended and unintended, and affect all within range. The effects of war are both physical and psychological. The physical effects are usually obvious, but the psychological effects lay hidden, deeply submerged within the psyche of the individual. Also, physical effects such as the loss of limbs can intensify the psychological effects. Hemmingway addresses this issue by allowing the character Nick, to proclaim himself, to be crazy. Animals used during the war for the purpose of war, especially the early wars, such as WWI, were usually categorized as expendable. They were viewed more as an instrument of war and a beast of burden than an animal needing human interaction and care. Many had the idea that an animal dead was better than a man dead and an animal was there to serve a purpose, but when no longer needed, death served as an appropriate…show more content…
He seems preoccupied with the topic, which could have a direct connection to his experiences during World War I as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross. Hemmingway’s views at the inception of The Great War were delusional and are revealed in his writing, “Men at War” where he proclaimed, "When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you. . . . Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you. After being severely wounded two weeks before my nineteenth birthday I had a bad time until I figured out that nothing could happen to me that had not happened to all men before me. Whatever I had to do men had always done. If they had done it then I could do it too and the best thing was not to worry about it." He also wrote of his war experiences in, “A Farewell to Arms”, which highlighted the experiences of a fictional ambulance driver who was serving in the Italian Army Corp. At times, Hemingway seems to attempt to blur the lines between life and death with moments of mental instability. Insanity is in a sense, a sort of limbo between the two worlds. He creates oxymoronic scenes that occur near or at signs of life, which constantly leave the reader hoping for the best, but assuming the

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