The Response to War in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FItzgerald and A Farewell Arms by Ernest Hemingway

574 Words 3 Pages
Under little scrutiny, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms seem to have common themes, but beyond the surface, the two books are radically different. The Great Gatsby is a tale about an ambitious man, Jay Gatsby, his old girlfriend Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom Buchanan. Gatsby, after returning from war, becomes a bootlegger during Prohibition in an attempt to win back Daisy who is ironically unhappily married to Tom Buchanan. In contrast, A Farewell to Arms has a much less glamorous plot which focuses on Frederick Henry. Henry faces many obstacles due to his involvement in World War I. As a result of his hardship, he desserts his role in the army and attempts to escape the country with Catherine, his pregnant girlfriend. Fitzgerald’s writing style is much more descriptive and creative as compared to Hemingway’s bland and terse nature. Even with the similarities between the themes of war and the reactions of the novel’s characters to it, the two books have diverse characters, plots, settings, and styles.
In each novel, war is represented in a different way, much like the character’s interpretations of the events. Gatsby glorifies his war experience when retelling his tales to Nick: “‘I took two machine-gun detachments [into German lines]…when the infantry came up at last they found the insignia of three German divisions among the piles of the dead. I was promoted to be a major, and every Allied government gave me a…