You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms

3. Frederic Henry and the Arms of War

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the representation of war in A Farewell to Arms, focusing in particular on the Modernist concepts of the loss of the grand narrative, fragments and fragmentation, subjective experience vs. objective reality, and the related themes of alienation, irrelevance, powerlessness and passivity.


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 - Frederic Henry and the Arms of War [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Messent, P. "Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms – Frederic Henry and the Arms of War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

Get instant access to over 6,700 lectures