The Hemingway Bibliography
 

Title

Marriage as Cultural Change: Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms

Document Type

Essay

Citation

Vickery, John B. “Marriage as Cultural Change: Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.” In The Prose Elegy: An Exploration of Modern American and British Fiction, 85-105. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009.

Annotation

Reading both novels as modern elegies for marriage, Vickery maintains that Isabel’s marriage in Portrait (1881) is based on legal, religious, and moral obligations, whereas Catherine and Frederic’s marriage is one of mutual emotional ecstasy. Vickery examines the elegiac tone found in both relationships, locating it in Isabel’s self-sacrifice and in the abrupt ending of Catherine and Frederic’s happiness caused by Catherine’s death. Discusses time and how past events shadow the present, concluding that the elegiac tone of A Farewell to Arms is created through the “superimposition of one past upon another the past in which Catherine is alive and with him and the more recent past in which she is dead and eternally separated from him except in memory.”

Published in

The Prose Elegy: An Exploration of Modern American and British Fiction

Date

2009

Pages

85-105

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