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A Showcase of Hemingway

            With highly detailed descriptions of war, love and life in general, Ernest Hemingway leaves nothing to the reader's imagination in his classic novel A Farewell to Arms. The first chapter is written so well that "it deserves to be read again, and perhaps again, for among other things it illustrates the genesis and unity of the novel, showing how it's ending was in its beginning" (Oldsey 183). This famous excerpt reveals many important details about the book.
             [1] To the north we could look across a valley and see a forest of chestnut trees and behind it another mountain on this side of the river. [2] There was fighting for that mountain too, but it was not successful, and in the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain. [3] The wine yards were thin and bare-branched too, and all the country wet and brown and dead with autumn. [4] There were mists over the river and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed mud on the road and the troops were muddy and wet in their capes; their rifles were wet and under their capes the tow leather cartridge boxes on the front of the belts, gray leather boxes heavy with the packs of clips of thin, long 6.5 mm. [5] Cartridges bulged forward under the capes so that the men, passing on the road, marched as though they were six months gone with child (Hemingway 4).
             Well-known and well appreciated, the selection above is a reflection of the whole book; the passage reflects the book by using literary themes, symbolism, and foreshadowing.
             Filled with natural scenes and images, Hemingway uses thought-provoking themes throughout this selection. Autumn comes early this year and the transition from summer to autumn is a rapid one. During the fall, "the branches were bare and the trunk's black with rain". The transition from summer to autumn represents a more significant part of the novel.

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