Thesis Prospectus

November 22nd, 2010

Hemingway’s novels The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms contain many characters whose outlook on life has been irreparably damaged by World War I.  This widespread tainting of optimism influenced a great deal of the Modernist literature and art.  My thesis will explore the ways Hemingway integrated this discontent into his novels textually and into the crafting of his characters’ behaviors and attitudes.  Hemingway’s intent reflects a microcosmic representation of how Americans, namely the expatriate contingent of Americans, felt and behaved as a result of the traumatic lasting effects of World War I.  The organization of this discussion will focus on three components.

The first will examine the overarching Modernist attitudes of the time and draw upon direct quotes from Hemingway from his letters and interviews.  Many Americans felt their own country betrayed them.  The materialization of this pain is presented in Hemingway’s novels through physical war wounds and also the loss of loved ones from the war.  The trademark discontent of the Modernist period often manifests itself in the discussion of morals during the late 1920’s and 1930’s.  Morality enters into the discussion because many of Hemingway’s characters either disconnect from a code of etiquette, or cling to one desperately as a way of coping with incessant pain.

The second will examine Hemingway’s crafting of his novel to find textual evidence of the envelopment of pain and discontent.  Hemingway’s signature style is concise prose with limited description.  He uses a great deal of dialogue to show interaction between characters without a great deal of the appearances or setting described.  There are a few cases during which Hemingway deviates from this emotionally disconnected voice.  One way he facilitated this digression to allow for sections of his novels to let their guard down is through a mental or physical escape.  Both The Sun also Rises and A Farewell to Arms contain a chapter during which the characters escape; in The Sun also Rises the men take a fishing trip in Burguete, and in A Farewell to Arms Catherine and Frederic escape the war by going to live in Austria.  Hemingway also uses a dream sequence in A Farewell to Arms when Frederic is recovering from his knee injury and is in a state of delirium to allow Frederic to muse about his love for Catherine in a way that is usually atypical of Hemingway.  Hemingway’s actual editing practices also show how crucial each and every word was in crafting his novels.

The third section of this research includes an analysis of the characters in these two Hemingway novels in regards to their sources of pain in addition to their individual coping mechanisms; this will establish the code of morals within each novel and discuss the characters’ adherence or rejection of said codes.  The etiquette of exchange is an applicable mode of analysis for these Hemingway characters.  Monetary exchange and sexual exchange seem to be two currencies demonstrative of morals according to Hemingway.  Jake’s wound renders him impotent and unable to fill his emotional need for love.  He also is very careful with his money, and with other people’s feelings.  Brett tries to assuage her pain by jumping from lover to lover.  She also has no qualms about accepting loans from friends, however as soon as she enters into a sexual relationship with a man she rejects monetary gifts as though to draw the line between lover and prostitute.  Catherine Barkley is afraid that Frederic sees her as a whore and also fears his rejection upon the discovery of her pregnancy.  I am still in the process of examining the monetary habits of Catherine and Frederic.

As of now I am more familiar and confident in my research about The Sun also Rises than I am about my research of A Farewell to Arms so I will need to continue my search for information to how this system of analysis explicates A Farewell to Arms.

Annotated Bibliography

November 21st, 2010

Annotated Bibliography

Anderson, Charles R. “Hemingway’s Other Style.” Modern Language Notes 76.5 (1961): 434-42. Jstor. Web. Sept. 2010.

Exposes a section of A Farewell to Arms during which Hemingway deviates from his trademark emotionless style and employs an affectionate tone during a dream sequence.  Anderson analyzes this section as a textual coping mechanism for the horrific war scenarios that Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley endure in the novel.

Devost, Nadine. “Hemingway’s Girls: Unnaming and Renaming Hemingway’s Female Characters.” The Hemingway Review 14.1 (1994): 46-59. MLA International Bibliography.  2009

Evaluates Hemingway’s habits of referring to his female characters specifically with “woman, wife, girl, etc.” at different points in their novels’ progressions to signify stages of their development or reputation.  Draws on evidence from Hemingway’s drafts where it is evident he struggled with and repeatedly changed his mind about these specific differences between calling a female character by name, “girl,” or “woman.”

Djos, Matt “Alcoholism in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: A Wine and Roses Perspective on the Lost Generation.” The Hemingway Review 14.2 (1995): 64-78. MLA International Bibliography.

Surmises the Brett uses her alcohol and promiscuity to hide behind the fear of not understanding her own womanhood.  Uses publications from the organization Alcoholics Anonymous to contextualize “treatment” for the characters within the context of the novel’s events.

Donaldson, Scott. “The Averted Gaze in Hemingway’s Fiction.” The Sewanee Review 111.1 (2003): 123-51. 4 Nov 2010

Analyzes the pervasive lack of eye contact among the characters during romantically charged encounters and the silence between characters reminiscent of intense emotion in Hemingway’s novels.   Claims that the characters avoid eye contact when their love relationships cannot work, and do refrain from speaking when words cannot express the disappointment.

Donaldson, Scott. “Hemingway’s Morality of Compensation.” Fitzgerald & Hemingway: Works and Days. New York: Columbia UP, 2009. 291-308. Print.

Examines the correlations between monetary exchanges in relation the characters’ ethical decisions in The Sun Also Rises. This article considers each character’s moral composition and finds that it often parallels their behavior with finances, for example Brett dismisses men easily and has no qualms about accepting money from them.  However it also discusses how Brett refuses monetary gifts from men with whom she’s sexually intimate suggesting that she consciously avoids the prostitute stereotype.

Fetterly, Judith. “A Farewell to Arms: Hemingway’s “Resentful Cryptogram”” The Resisting Reader. Boston: University of Massachusetts, 1977. 46-71.

Approaches the character of Catherine Barkley from a feminist criticism perspective and suggests she dies because she is a female.  Suggests that love during the context of war, such as in A Farewell to Arms legitimizes violence towards women in the sense that women are mostly sought as sexual objects and not much more during wartime.

Fulton, Lorie Watkins. “Reading Around Jake’s Narration: Brett Ashley and “The Sun Also Rises.” Hemmingway Review 24.1 (Fall 2004): 61-80. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO.

Discusses Lady Brett Ashley and her promiscuity.  Fulton ultimately says that Brett needs a support system in her life and turns to men to find this.  She loves Jake but refuses to be with him, and he is the person who is able to fulfill her needs.  Considers how Jake feels about Brett by reading “between the lines” and analyzing their relationship through a close reading of the text.

Hart, Jeffrey. “The Sun Also Rises: A Reevaluation.” The Sewanee Review Fall 86.4 (1978): 557-62. Jstor. Web. Nov. 2010.

Evaluates the purpose of the novel and its moral center.  Claims a theme of betrayal throughout the novel and claims that the bullfighting is intended to offend the readers.  Through offending the reader with such a violent and crude festival there is a “stripping [of] the reader of his ordinary responses… and in doing so bringing him to a fresh encounter with various kinds of actuality” (559).

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner, 2003.

This is a primary source I will be focusing on.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Scribner, 2006.

This is a primary source I will be focusing on.

Hornstein, Gail A. “WWI’s ‘Shell-Shock’ Sufferers.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 10 Nov. 2006: a23. LexisNexis Academic. EasySearch.

This is a psychological and historically based article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and applies to the reading of Jake Barnes.  This helps the reader understand his emotional problems as they affect his personality and mental stability.

Nolan, Charles J., Jr. “A Little Bit Crazy’: Psychiatric Diagnoses of Three Hemingway Women Characters.” Hemingway Review 28.2: 105-120.

Examines Catherine from A Farewell to Arms, Brett from The Sun Also Rises, and Maria from For Whom the Bell Tolls in a medical light and diagnoses Catherine as emotionally unstable at the beginning of the novel.  Concludes she suffered a major depressive episode but recovers by the end of the novel.  Decides Brett is an alcoholic and displays the symptoms of having Borderline personality disorder.

Szalay, Michael. “Inviolate Modernism: Hemingway, Stein, Tzara.”  Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History 56.4

Details Hemingway’s attitude towards writing, and his desire to produce something that is alive.  Explains that textual identity relies on every single word in a text, and changing any single world would alter the identity of the work.  Discusses Hemingway’s pattern of wounded characters and suggests he often writes about wounded characters so that their textual identities can transcend their human and bodily limitations and immortalize them in writing.

Traister, Bryce. “Academic Viagra: The Rise of American Masculinity Studies.” American Quarterly 52.2  (June 2000) 274-304. Project Muse.

This discussion reverses the typical “Feminist” reading centered on female reception and considers the canon of Hemingway’s writing in terms of how it affects the male critic.  It also explores the possibility of homoerotic readings of a few of Heminway’s characters.

Bibliographic Essay

November 15th, 2010

I apologize for how overdue this is.

Research about Hemingway in regards to the discontent of his characters seems to yield two general categories of analysis.  The first is a trend of examining Hemingway’s actual writing style and dissecting it to find trends within the crafting of his novels that speak to this theme of unhappiness caused by The Great War.  The second trend seems to be psychoanalytic analysis of Hemingway’s characters.  This route seems to include articles examining the characters’ alcohol intake, depression,  possible homosexuality, or just behavioral trends.  These two trends of thought both deviate from time-related trends.  Critics seemed to weigh in about both categories in various decades up to the present day.

Hemingway has been both lauded and criticized for his trademark style of writing succinctly, often without any flowery description.  His writing style can be at times stark.  This pattern, and also the deviations from it, have been examined by many critics.  The critic whose scholarly voice I explored last time, Henderson, chose to pick out an atypical segment of A Farewell to Arms and discuss why Hemingway wrote differently during a dream sequence.  The dream sequence is an escape for Frederic Henry to think about Catherine and temporarily pretend the war did not exist.  Another critic, Devost, examined Hemingway’s earlier drafts of The Sun Also Rises to find evidence of Hemingway’s painstaking editing.  She found that he vacillated on the exact pronouns he used to name female characters because he wanted to convey specified hints about each one.  Similar textual evidence has been debated regarding the fishing trip in The Sun Also Rises as a separately crafted chapter for Jake to escape his frustrations about his masculinity by fishing with only his male friends.

In The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, the characters display repeated examples of depression and also various coping mechanisms coupled with tactics of mentally escaping the situations which case them unhappiness. Critic Charles Nolan actually applies psychiatric testing brackets to Catherine Barkley and diagnoses her with severe clinical depression early in A Farewell to Arms after he fiance dies in combat.  Another critic examines the use of alcohol as an escape mechanism in The Sun Also Rises and similarly diagnoses the characters by applying a medical or psychological test to them.  Deviating a bit from medical testing, the more subtle behavior of Hemingway’s characters is also discussed, including pervasive lack of eye contact by the characters as a manifestation of the itemization of Hemingway’s female characters by the male characters.  Jake Barnes’ s masculinity and sexuality are also debated by the critics.  The theory that Jake is gay is a newer debate, but the novel has always caused critics to debate Jake’s threatened masculinity due to his war-wounded genitals.

This research has shifted my overwhelming question slightly because, through reading my past posts, I realized my direction was still a bit vague within the overarching theme.  At this point in my research the question seems to shift to asking how the characters manifest their discontent and then how they cope with their unhappiness.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Devost, Nadine. “Hemingway’s Girls: Unnaming and Renaming Hemingway’s Female Characters.” The Hemingway Review 14.1 (1994): 46-59. 

Djos, Matt “Alcoholism in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: A Wine and Roses Perspective on the Lost Generation.” The Hemingway Review 14.2 (1995): 64-78. 

Donaldson, Scott. “The Averted Gaze in Hemingway’s Fiction.” The Sewanee Review 111.1 (2003): 123-51.

Fetterly, Judith. “A Farewell to Arms: Hemingway’s “Resentful Cryptogram”” The Resisting Reader. Boston: University of Massachusetts, 1977. 46-71.

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner, 2003.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Scribner, 2006.

Henderson, Charles R. “Hemingway’s Other Style.” The Johns Hopkins University Press 76.5 (1961): 434-42.

Nolan, Charles J., Jr. “A Little Bit Crazy’: Psychiatric Diagnoses of Three Hemingway Women Characters.” Hemingway Review 28.2: 105-120.

Strychacz, Thomas. “Dramatizations of Manhood in Hemingway’s In Our Time and The Sun Also Rises.” American Literature (1989)69.2: 245-260.

Szalay, Michael. “Inviolate Modernism: Hemingway, Stein, Tzara.”  Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History 56.4

Belated Critical Voice Assignment

November 1st, 2010

I am a week behind, so this is last week’s assignment 4.  I will catch up with assignment 5 by tonight.

Henderson, Charles R. “Hemingway’s Other Style.” The Johns Hopkins University Press 76.5 (1961): 434-42. Print.

In the article, “Hemingway’s Other Style,” Anderson makes the claim that there is a segment in the middle of A Farewell to Arms during which Hemingway jumps out of his characteristic succinct and emotionally detached voice during a dream sequence.  This dream sequence occurs during Henry’s recovery from his knee injury during which he is in a morphine induced trance.  Henderson analyzes this section of the novel as the pivot between the first half of the novel, deemed the war half, and the second half of the novel, deemed the love story half.  We first hear Henderson’s unique critical identity in the introductory paragraph.  He says,

“Undue admiration for this, as if simplicity were somehow superior to complexity in literature, has tended to make critics neglect his other style.  Further, these lyric passages are   so submerged beneath the tough exterior that many readers have overlooked them altogether” (434).

He acknowledges that other critics reject what he has found, and points out that many readers overlook it as well.  He does this again after he cites an allusion to an anonymous Sixteenth-century lyric poem entitled, “The Lover in Winter Plaineth for the Spring,” as he states,

“With this clue, which has passed unnoticed by previous critics, the complex significance of the paragraph begins to unfold” (437).

There he is praising himself for being the first critic (in his opinion) to find this allusion since he believes this poetic reference sheds light on Hemingway’s narrative style.  Finally in the last paragraph of the article his voice pokes through the analytic prose as he says,

“It would be imprudent to draw sweeping conclusions from the interpretation of a single passage in one novel but it might be provocative of further close readings to suggest them” (440).

There Henderson seems to be admitting that it is a rather microcosmic example of a stylistic shift and should not be taken as a truth for the entire novel.

Question Assignment

October 18th, 2010

My questions are centered around the social discontent of the expatriates as it is manifested in Hemingway’s characters.  I’ve been vacillating about which of his works to focus on.  One of my questions is, “how do Hemingway’s characters fill their voids of unhappiness and pain with love relationships,” but if I choose to pursue this question then I will need to focus on Hemingway’s full-length novels, most likely The Sun Also Rises or A Farewell to Arms.

A similar question that I am interested in developing pertains to the contradictory way Hemingway creates his female characters.  In question form it would be, “why are some of Hemingway’s female characters portrayed as influential women with the ability to help the men they love, but at the same time marginalized as weak or subject to the mans’ choices?”  For example Jig in the short story Hills Like White Elephants is deciding whether or not to abort the baby she’s expecting with her boyfriend.  He is advocating that she should have the abortion.  Jig is represented as an empowered woman with the ability to determine her own future, but at the same time the story seems to imply that she’s at the mercy of her boyfriend and what he thinks of the situation.  Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms finds herself in a similar situation.  She has a sexual relationship with Frederic and they enjoy each others clandestine company until she gets pregnant.  She suddenly is afraid that Frederic will leave her or love her less.  Lady Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises is both chastised for her promiscuous behavior and lauded for being an empowered woman by critics.  However the tone of the novel seems to side with the fact that Jake Barnes would be happy if Brett settled down with him, and it is selfish of her not to do that.  I want to explore why these women seem to be in the shadow of their men and why their actions and decisions seem to be considered in regards to how it affects the men in their lives.

Thesis Topic

October 4th, 2010

Formulating a thesis topic has been a but difficult, but it seems that I’ve finally at least gotten a direction.  I’ve always been drawn to the expatriate authors of Modernist literature.  My undergraduate thesis dealt with feminist discussion of Catherine Barkley from A Farewell to Arms and Brett Ashley from The Sun Also Rises. I aim to continue working on literature from that era.

A common motif in Hemingway’s writing is unhappiness and restlessness in the wake of the first World War.  Many of his characters across various works face voids in their lives caused by the trauma of war, and they try to find happiness despite their war-changed experiences.  Gender discussion is also one of the most prevalently debated topics in regards to Hemingway’s characters.  Many of his works contain marginalized women or an emasculated man.

The discontent of his characters coupled with love relationships causes an interesting mix of problems.  Two of Hemingway’s short stories, Hills Like White Elephants, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place discuss love and relationships in relation to their ability to heal wounds of discontentness and unhappiness.  This connection is also relevant in narrator, Jake Barnes, of The Sun Also Rises. The wound he received to his genitals renders him impotent and incapable of being with the woman he loves which would make him much happier and fill the void in his life.  As of now this is a vague topic, but I will expand this bibliography over the next few days and zero in on a more defined argument.

Blackmore, David. “In New York it’d mean I was a…”: Masculinity Anxiety and Period Discourses of Sexuality in The Sun Also Rises.” Hemmingway Review 18.1 (Fall 1998): 49-67 MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO.

Discussed how Jake’s wound removes his masculinity also discusses whether Jake has a homosexual bond with the other men during their all-male fishing trip.

Devost, Nadine. “Hemingway’s Girls: Unnaming and Renaming Hemingway’s Female Characters.” The Hemingway Review 14.1 (1994): 46-59. MLA International Bibliography.

Explores the significance of different narrative nuances in Heminway’s writing in relation to how that marginalizes the female characters in his writing.

Djos, Matt “Alcoholism in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: A Wine and Roses Perspective on the Lost Generation.” The Hemingway Review 14.2 (1995): 64-78. MLA International Bibliography.

Analyzes the alcohol consumption in Hemingway’s novel and considers how it is both abused and used as a  medication in by Brett, Jake, and the other characters in the novel.

Fulton, Lorie Watkins. “Reading Around Jake’s Narration: Brett Ashley and “The Sun Also Rises.” Hemmingway Review 24.1 (Fall 2004): 61-80. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO.

Discusses Lady Brett Ashley and her promiscuity.  Fulton ultimately says that Brett needs a support system in her life and turns to men to find this.  She loves Jake but refuses to be with him, and he is the person who is able to fulfill her needs.

Hornstein, Gail A. “WWI’s ‘Shell-Shock’ Sufferers.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 10 Nov. 2006: a23. LexisNexis Academic. EasySearch.

This is a psychological and historically based article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and applies to the reading of Jake Barnes.

Traister, Bryce. “Academic Viagra: The Rise of American Masculinity Studies.” American Quarterly 52.2  (June 2000) 274-304. Project Muse.

This discussion reverses the typical “Feminist” reading centered on female reception and considers the canon of Hemingway’s writing in terms of how it affects the male critic.  It also explores the possibility of homoerotic readings of a few of Heminway’s characters.

Journal of Early American Literature

September 20th, 2010

The journal of Early American Literature focuses on criticism and discussion of works of literature from 1830 or earlier.  The cover page of the journal sometimes features a poem or pamphlet cover from one of the works dealt with in that particular edition.  An examination of the Fall issues from 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009 as well as the Fall issues from 1993 and 1996.

The Fall 1969 edition featured four articles of various critical perspectives and six book reviews.  The cover art is a pamphlet cover entitled “Directions for a candidate of the ministry,” dated 1726.  This is an attractive choice to include pieces like this as the inside cover page art because it brings to life the subject matter of one of the article’s subject matter.

The inside cover art in the Fall 1979 edition of the journal is a poem entitled A Fart. The editor, Everett Emerson, from the previous decade, is still overseeing the journal’s progress.  This edition includes seven assorted critical pieces and seven book reviews which demonstrate the journal’s growth and success from the end of the 1960s to the end of 1979.

John Cotton’s sermon, The Church’s Resurrection, opens the Fall 1989 edition of Early American Literature.  This includes four critical articles and four journal reviews which is interesting because it might perhaps signify a decline in scholarly submissions worthy of publication.  At this time the editorship changed from Everett Emerson to Philip F. Gura.  In his editorial note he introduces a new feature of the journal called, “The Round Table,” in which readers can submit comments on scholarly writings shared in the previous journal.  Mainly he just acknowledges the switch in editorship and clarifies that he will still highly value the advice of the previous editor, Everett Emerson.  Towards the end of this journal, there is an article by a previous article’s author asking for a retraction since he received correspondence that one of his sources was incorrect making his article invalid.  This was an interesting component because it was the first presence of a retraction in this examination of the journal.

One of the articles featured in the aforementioned Fall 1989 issue is, “Colonial Poets and the Magazine Trade 1741-1775,” by Pattie Cowell.  It discusses the importance of the magazine industry for the spread of poetry.  The success of magazines during this time had much to do with young and passionate people who took on leadership roles in the magazine industry.  Despite financial difficulties and the physical obstacle of a young and at time unreliable postal service, poetry distributed through magazines helped to bolster a sense of national pride as a shift emerged from British poetry to home-grown American poetry.

A switch is present upon the examination of the Fall 1993 issue with the loss of the cover page’s use of pamphlet or artwork.  This is just a stylistic choice by the editor, but it is the loss of an attractive element.  This issue shows no drastic increase or decrease in the number of submissions.  It is peculiar to note that this issue credits various contributors but does not disclose who the editor is.  Therefore the assumption is that it is still Philip Gura.

The Fall 1996 issue verifies that the editor is still Philip Gura.  “The Round Table” concept is employed in this issue in the form of one scholar criticizing another’s article from the previous issue and disagreeing with some aspects of the critical work.

In the Fall 1999 edition of the journal, David Shields assumes the editorship and included a prospectus outlining his intentions for Early American Literature during his time as editor.  He said that the submission of articles about literature written before 1830 has risen, and he seems excited to start his time as editor, but feels it is important to keep the staff that had been working on the journal before he was hired.  It includes discussion of pieces written in North America and the West Indies, as well as criticisms of work from other cultures written about America.

In the Fall 2009 issue, the editorship switches to Sandra M. Gustafson.  Project Muse would not allow access beyond the title page, and so further examination was not possible.  The table of contents suddenly has four articles centered on Feminist criticism which was not the case in the previous decades I examined.  This is a notable shift from previous issues where feminist criticism never appeared in the table of contents.  Perhaps this shows a critical trend, or perhaps this can be attributed to the new editor.  The journals’ previous subject matter was an assortment of political, stylistic, reception, and other criticisms of works of literature and poetry.  This sudden shift to heavy feminist criticism is blaringly noticeable.  Evidence seems to show that feminist criticism had not been included in the past but is now a hot topic for consideration and discussion.

The shift towards feminist criticism is curious because this journal’s foundation is literature and poetry that was written earlier than 1830.  The discussion of this literature has changed according to modern critical trends and the issues scholars currently wish to discuss although the literature in question has been silently resting for 180 years.

Danielle Mooney

September 13th, 2010

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