Tag Archives: fear

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.

Who’s actually speaking?

“He felt small and weak. When would he be like the fellows in poetry and rhetoric? They had big voices and big boots and they studied trigonometry. That was very far away.”

Notes: Transition from childhood into adulthood. Stephen is desperately trying to escape the world he lives in, but is afraid. He hasn’t found his place in the world yet.  On a more general note, there are lots of religious references and imagery. Another thing I noticed about this novel is that there is very little to no dialogue present. They are mostly inner monologues or observations. The narrator appears to be subjective and simply state things from a third-person perspective (Stephen’s perspective as a child); however, there are instances where the narrator conveys his ideas/inklings of what’s to happen. There is a sense of omniscience present.

James Joyce, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Oxford World’s Classics, 2000