The Hemingway Bibliography
 

Title

The Origin of Mercy in A Farwell to Arms: A Speculation

Author

Steve Paul

Document Type

Article

Citation

Paul, Steve. “The Origin of Mercy in A Farwell to Arms: A Speculation.” Hemingway Review 39, no. 2 (Spring 2020): 86-90.

Annotation

A Farwell to Arms begins in dust and ends in rain. In between, Hemingway always places his characters against the backdrop of weather and often deeply within it. Notably, signal moments occur frequently in the rain. One possible source for Hemingway’s emphasis on the power and meaning of rain comes from Shakespeare. It is Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech in “The Merchant of Venice”: it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.” This paper locates that source in a physical place: a hospital in Kansas City, where Hemingway, the young newspaper reporter, encountered the key quotation every time he entered.

Published in

Hemingway Review

Volume

39

Issue

2

Date

Spring 2020

Pages

86-90

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