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Setting of Farewell of Arms - Research Paper Example

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Setting of Weather in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms Hemingway’s narrative extends its meaning through the extensive use of metaphors of nature. Symbols of objects of nature like rivers, mountains, sea, snow and rain convey broader meanings in his novels…
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Setting of Farewell of Arms
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Download file to see previous pages The setting of weather in A Farewell to Arms has been manipulated by Hemingway through the symbols of dryness and cold, frost and rain. Different war conditions have been described through these meaningful metaphors. Weather and War At the start of the novel, the writer describes the situation as cool and calm as “there was not the feeling of storm coming” (3). But with the arrival of the rain, the country has become “wet and brown and dead with autumn” (4). This happens as the fight grows. Hence the change in the weather has also changed the situation of war. The impending dangers of death and annihilation have been emphasized through the deadness of the autumn. Now from the very beginning of the novel, the reader gets the impression that weather and war will go side by side. The calamities of war will be further aggravated through weather condition of rain and wetness. With rain came cholera which has claimed seven thousand lives. It is obvious from the description that the weather has proved more deadly than war, and its capacity of taking lives is even greater than the war itself. The agents of the weather like rain have been shown as the entities which are not in human control and their presence during war is “permanent”. Rain as an Omen of death Rain traditionally is used in a positive sense, and it symbolizes growth and fertility. But Hemingway has inverted the connotative meaning of this traditional symbol. In A Farewell to Arms the rain has been constantly portrayed as a symbol of death. It portends Catherine’s death. Catherine is afraid of rain, and she asks Henry to come out of the rain. Hence, the use of rain in war setting is ironic. It forebodes death and destruction. “The treatment of bad weather as a portentous mood-setter is a good indication of Gothic literature” (Shoomp Editorial Team 60). Hemingway also has manipulated this technique. The weather has been related to the war and human moods. Catherine Berkley is so afraid of rain that she thinks that the rain would part them from each other. She gets assurance from Henry that rain would not mitigate his love for him. She asks, "And the rain won't make any difference?" "No." When Henry reassures her that the rain would have no effect on their love, she says, "That's good. Because I'm afraid of the rain" (134). When asked by Henry why she is afraid of rain, she is not able to explain the cause of her fears. She tells Henry, "I don't know, darling. I've always been afraid of the rain." But at the insistence of Henry she blurts out: "All right. I'm afraid of the rain because sometimes. I see me dead in it." "No." "And sometimes I see you dead in it." (135). Rama (2007) observes the following in this connection: There appears some association in Hemingway’s mind between “Cat in the rain” and Catherine of A Farewell to Arms (called Cat by Henry). Cathrine sometimes sees herself and Henry dead in the rain. Hemingway uses rain as an important symbol first time in “Cat in the Rain” and, later, as a major symbol in A Farewell to Arms (59). Hemingway has also used the symbol and setting of snow and frost in his story. The same metaphor has been used differently in various situations. Hemingway again has betrayed the traditional symbolical connotations of this metaphor. At first, the snow is the symbol of inertia. No development is made during snow time. Henry remarks, “looking out of the window of the bawdy house, the house of officers, where I sat with a friend and two ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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