Using Love to Justify Sex in A Very Short Story Essay

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Using Love to Justify Sex in A Very Short Story

At first glance unusually normal, at second glance unusually striking, the title "A Very Short Story" reveals Hemingway's perception of a perhaps unforgotten war experience. Man went to war. He met woman. They spent many nights together. They considered marriage. He went home without her. She moved on. He moved on. The end. The story, the relation of events, is indeed short. This is not eternal spiritual love; instead, this is the animalistic, barbaric sexual act- sex and love for the sole purpose and convenience of sex itself. Then it is over.

The story begins on "ONE HOT evening in Padua" (Hemingway, 65), "hot" relating to passionate feelings, and "evening" as the perfect
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They were glad to let her." (65). Her relationship was such with the patient, and so allowed and approved, that she spent the night shift indeed, in his bed. Hemingway writes that, ridiculously enough, "After he got on crutches he used to take the temperatures so Luz would not have to get up from the bed." (65); he performed the nurse's medical duties, that her physical exertion might only be spent nightly in their erotic activities. This role switching is given two thumbs up by the other patients, who "all knew about it. They all liked Luz.", and our character, "As he walked back along the halls" after lessening the nurse's work load, "thought of Luz in his bed." (65), awaiting his return. Thus the author gives us two descriptions of episodes, both physical, neither emotional, of contact between the characters.

This is enough, of course, to qualify for marriage talk, as the soldier is soon leaving for the front. The erotic love affair, however, doesn't move much beyond mere talk, because, "they wanted to get married, but there was not enough time ... neither of them had birth certificates." (65). "They felt as though they were married", and, they acted as if they were married, "but they wanted every one to know about it, and to make it so they could not lose it." (65); it seemed a good idea, to secure a merely physical bond between two people with legal documentation.

The
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