Teaching A Farewell to Arms at the U.S. Air Force Academy
Discusses the challenges of teaching the novel’s untraditional thematic treatment of intimacy, war, and patriotism to conservative military cadets. Outlines their method for approaching the text through three distinct concepts of distance: geographical, chronological, and narrative. While the first two provide contextualization, the latter draws on the rhetorical theories of Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) to help students distinguish between author, narrator, and character. Concludes that this approach builds student research skills and empathy.