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Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms

2. Motion, Fact and Emotion

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Hemingway's prose style, providing a close reading of the first chapter of the novel and getting to grips with Hemingway's 'Iceberg Theory' of prose style.


In this course, Professor Peter Messent explores Ernest Hemingway's 1929 novel, A Farewell to Arms. We begin in the first module by thinking about the way Hemingway reacts in his language to the sensationalism and empty sloganeering of Allied propaganda in the First World War. After that, in the second module, we explore Hemingway's prose style more generally, focusing in particular on his 'Iceberg Theory', which he outlined in another work – 'Death in the Afternoon' (1932). In the following two modules, we think about how Frederic Henry is represented in relation to the two central themes of the novel – first war and then love. And finally, in the fifth module, we think about what Frederic Henry might have learned by the end of the novel.


Peter Messent is Emeritus Professor of Modern American Literature at the University of Nottingham. His may work is in Mark Twain Studies, Ernest Hemingway Studies and Crime Fiction. His recent publications include The Crime Fiction Handbook (2012) and the award-winning Mark Twain and Male Friendship (2009).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Messent, P. (2018, August 15). Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms - Motion, Fact and Emotion [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Messent, P. "Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms – Motion, Fact and Emotion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,