A Farewell to Arms

PAGES  3
WORDS  497

A Farewell to Arms

The Style and Tone of A Farewell to Arms "After
a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to
the hotel in the rain" (332). This last line of the novel gives an
understanding of Ernest Hemingway's style and tone. The
overall tone of the book is much different than that of The
Sun Also Rises. The characters in the book are propelled by
outside forces, in this case WWI, where the characters in
The Sun Also Rises seemed to have no direction.
Frederick's actions are determined by his position until he
deserts the army. Floating down the river with barely a hold
on a piece of wood his life, he abandons everything except
Catherine and lets the river take him to a new life that
becomes increasing difficult to understand. Nevertheless,
Hemingway's style and tone make A Farewell to Arms one
of the great American novels. Critics usually describe
Hemingway's style as simple, spare, and journalistic. These
are all good words they all apply. Perhaps because of his
training as a newspaperman, Hemingway is a master of the
declarative, subject-verb-object sentence. His writing has
been likened to a boxer's punches--combinations of lefts
and rights coming at us without pause. As illustrated on page
145 "She went down the hall. The porter carried the sack.
He knew what was in it," one can see that Hemingway's
style is to-the-point and easy to understand. The simplicity
and the sensory richness flow directly from Hemingway's
and his characters' beliefs. The punchy, vivid language has
the immediacy of a news ...