Blurred Morality in "A Farewell to Arms" and "Wasteland"

In: Novels

Submitted By NateConant21
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Blurred Morality in “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway and TS Eliot’s “Wasteland” Morality, as defined by Microsoft word, are principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. Mortality, or the state of being subject to death, is also something most people see as straight forward. These definitions and most people’s general knowledge would make it seem as all decisions are either right or wrong and all behavior is good or bad but both “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway and “Wasteland” by TS Eliot blur these defined lines. Ernest Hemingway uses a combination of detached prose, random changes from first to second person viewpoint and from the events taking place to keep the reader from questioning the morality of his actions. Henry’s relationship with Catherine is what initially causes his morality to be called into doubt. The loss of Catherine’s fiancé makes her desperate for some type of love again which leads to the first questionable moral act by Henry. After just their first few meetings Catherine asks, “You did say you loved me, didn’t you?” Henry replies “yes” but follows it by thinking “I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards.” (Hemingway, 30) Whether he was unsure of his true feelings or they changed rapidly is unknown but within just a few short chapters any free time he has while away from Catherine is spent thinking of her and how they will spend their time together after the war. Henry doesn’t mean to fall for Catherine but the impact of the war causes nearly every character to search for love in order to feel anything but the horror of war. Rinaldi’s love for every beautiful woman he meets is an added example of this desire for passion in a world that seems completely engulfed by…...

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