Tag Archives: War

In Our Time

Krebs acquired the nausea in regard to experience that is the result of untruth or exaggeration, and when he occasionally met another man who had really been a soldier and they talked a few minutes in the dressing room at a dance he fell into the easy pose of the old soldier among other soldiers: that he had been badly, sickeningly frightened all the time. In this way he lost everything. (70)

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.

Notes: This passage shows the trouble Krebs has adjusting to life as a civilian. He doesn’t feel comfortable talking to other people about his experiences so he often lies and uses stories he has heard from others. The only time he seems to be at ease is when he is with other soldiers, showing that he is still in a war like mentality. Being with other soldiers give him a sense of acceptance and solidarity.

difficulties of war

They whack–whacked the white horse on the legs and he kneed himself up.  The picador twisted the stirrups straight and pulled and hauled up into the saddle.  The horse’s entrails hung down in a blue bunch and swung backward and forward as he began to canter, the monos whacking him on the back of his legs with the rods.  He cantered jerkily along the barrera.  He stopped stiff and one of the monos held his bridle and walked him forward.  The picador kicked in his spurs, leaned forward and shook his lance at the bull.  Blood pumped regularly from between the horse’s front legs.  He was nervously wobbly.  The bull could not make up his mind to charge.  (89)

Hemingway, Ernest.  In Our Time.  New York: Scribner, 2003.

Notes: fight of horse and bull as metaphor for war.  two different sides.  physical and emotional anguish one experiences in war.  spanish references.

A prayer

“Dear jesus please get me out. Christ please please please christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting killed I’ll do anything you say. I believe in you and I’ll tell everyone in the world that you are the only one that matters. Please please dear jesus” Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York; Simon and Schuster, 2003. pg 67.

When I started reading the Hemingway assignment, I thought his style was almost too simple, rather childlike. His sentences are short. There is little description. He uses what I feel are very basic and general words ~ such as “good,” and repeats himself. Yet he is able to evoke strong feelings and sensation from the reader with his style even though it seems so minimalist. In the above passage from chapter 7 the lack of commas and capitalization lend an urgency to the prayer and make the reader feel this desperate moment in a near death experience in war. The promise of devotion made to God when one is all alone and terrified is relateable. This prayer gives the soldier’s experience in the trench a realism, and the reader the sensation, that a description may not as strongly convey. Yet it seems so simple!