Religion In A Farewell To Arms

Humanities: Representing War in the 20th Century
Religion in "A Farewell to Arms"
For hundreds of years, writers have used religion as a principle issue and point of discussion in their novels. Hawthorne expressed his views in The Scarlet Letter, Garcia Marquez did the same in One Hundred Years of Solitude and in other writings, and even Ernest Hemingway used his writing to develop his own ideas concerning the church. This is fully evident in his novel A Farewell to Arms. Even in a book in which the large majority of the characters profess their atheism, the ideas of the church materialize repeatedly as both characters and as topics of conversations. Religion is presented through ...

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relationship with Henry and that which he has with the other soldiers. Hemingway repeatedly emphasizes this in all sections of the book, even after Henry is injured, when he is completely isolated from the other soldiers. The first instance the reader sees of this is only six pages into the novel. Hemingway writes, "That night in the mess after the spaghetti course . . . the captain commenced picking on the priest" (6-7). Hemingway's diction is suggestive: "commenced" signifies not only that the soldiers began to pick on the priest, but that ridiculing the priest was their main activity prior to dinner as well as after. Almost the same scenario is portrayed only a few pages later: "the meal was finished, and the argument went on. We two stopped talking and the captain shouted, 'Priest not happy. Priest not happy without girls.'" (14). The soldiers' ridicule of the priest is again highlighted when Henry, bed-stricken with his injury, asks the priest "How is the mess?" (69). ...

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wants us never to attack. Don't you want us
never to attack?
'No. If there is a war I suppose we must attack.'
'Must attack. Shall attack!' (14)

Here the priest indirectly states his opposition to the war, which later may become common among the soldiers, but at this point is in direct contrast to the macho proclamation that the army "shall attack" (14). Again the differences between the priest and the soldiers are emphasized. Overall, the soldiers express a complete distrust of the church itself. At one point a soldier says, "The Pope wants the Austrians to win the war" (7). Another soldier says "[The book 'Black Pig'] is very valuable . . . it tells you about those ...

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Religion In A Farewell To Arms. (2006, March 21). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from
"Religion In A Farewell To Arms.", 21 Mar. 2006. Web. 28 Jan. 2021. <>
"Religion In A Farewell To Arms." March 21, 2006. Accessed January 28, 2021.
"Religion In A Farewell To Arms." March 21, 2006. Accessed January 28, 2021.
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Added: 3/21/2006 06:51:11 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2026
Pages: 8

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