Share
Go down
Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-05-16
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:21 am
Answer to question number four:
It's very well-written, sarcastic, acrid, humorous and striking literature.
The ants symbolizes two things, to my knowledge, there could be more. Firstly, the nature of ants, small, ignorable to the point which are almost invisible, grouped and many, resembles the soldier in the army. Each had a name, an identity, and a story to tell, just like what an ant has, perhaps. They were dragged into this war, which almost went with saying, which in turn undermines their morale and resolution to fight, but like an ant, who was born into the group, this 'sacred duty' of collectiveness without ever finding out what it actually meant. Still they poured their hearts and guts out, literally. So many had died, like the ants in the fire, due to bad decisions and decisions that shouldn't have been made in the first place. They retreated like when flesh touches the fire. In this process, despair and devastation and hatred built up, and no one ever got the point. They'd hope for a Messiah, a rescue from all these hell that they are forced to go through, but actually has so little power or stance even to pray for salvation. They just tried and died. They hoped and died.
The second symbol is Henry himself, apart from his experience of being a soldier on the Italian front, but for being a fighter and eventually a homeless failure in his battle called his life. He signed up for war with no clear purposes, just like an ant being brought to duty. He was injured badly, taken good care of, robbed of the only love a his life both temporarily and eternally. He had suffered no less but no more than anyone else in this game of pawns that we call the 'world war'. How pathetic it is to think that the ant made such an effort, heading for the direction deemed right, got burnt and torn, and had to dragged its broken body all the way back pass all the gore, only towards the ultimate stop which is just how nature does all of us, death. All the efforts, the hopes and the dreams had been in vain, which just in turn steams all the life out of him. He's dead. He lives on. He lives on with a dead soul, a soul which had to bear the tremendous tragedy of Catherine and their unborn baby's death, his hideous scars and even more terrifying psychological trauma. He'd save himself by during water the inferno fire, but what's the point. Let's just get the next sip of whiskey and try to get on with life.

P.S. please do review all the other responses i've admitted on earlier assignments, I'm terribly sorry for the delay, and i know they are very last-minute, but i did took the effort and read the book carefully and answered genuinely, in the hope that it could make up for my absence. Thank you!


Last edited by paysonzhang on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:45 am; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:22 am
Both are sad stories. But they are so true.
In this novel, Henry from the beginning, according to different people’s statements about this war, had a broad picture of what was really going on out there, on the battlefield. Nothing matters, no one matters. When we are watching two stories, we are talking about Henry and others, Me and ants. It seems that as long as the whole community did not disappear, sacrificing a few do not even matter. Except Henry and some friends, all the other soldiers are suffering. They are nothing but individuals; they are everything but one of the community. Each one counts. Ironically, in both stories, no one cares about a single individual. What we are witnessing is a massacre, hundreds of casualties, then we start to appeal to peace; what we are seeing is that all the ants are dying, they are hopeless, then we decided to take the next action.
In some way, the ants represent those soldiers. Their warm home Italy were suddenly in war without asking for permission. Without knowing what is going on, they are trying to survive in the extreme situations. No one tells them what to do, when you are in the fire, you are lost. There is no light to tell you which way to go, all you know is the fire, is killing everyone, everything you love, and is coming after you. When I read to the end, the author pour the water into the fire. I laugh bitterly, great help. Water and fire, but how can a cup of water save ants from the huge fire? Just like when Henry trying to escape from this war, how can escaping from this nightmare saves him from the cruelty of life? Death of his wife and his child is waiting for him. Life is harsh, we are all those ants in a way.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:43 am
JaminCheng wrote:I choose to answer the last question.

When I first read this passage in the novel, I felt pretty strange. Cause this kind of words seldom appeared in the whole book which discusses about something seemed to be out of the story plot and it is quite not the style of Hemingway. Of course, the iceberg theory, those strange words always implies and alludes something bigger and more grandiose.

Henry here acts like an administrator, standing aside, watching the scene and doing nothing even pouring the water onto the burning ants. The brutality and heartlessness were not created from nothing, but the brutality itself, the war. Every single ant in the crowd represents one individual involved in the war. They are always busy moving here from there, crawling around for the opportunity of living. “Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire.” Just like the words said by the soldiers mentioned before in the book, people don’t know the reason why they are fighting and what they are fighting for, the war is totally absurd. People are just doing those things in the group and died before they figure out something really matters and meaningful. Sometime, after they have experienced the cruelty, they would find that they are no longer familiar with what they deserved to enjoy. They were paralyzed. And they have no power to do something different. They are crippled, not only physically but mentally. So pathetic. Cause every single individual’s destiny is controlled by someone high up in the state, and normal people do not have any chances to reach that.

This passage expressed that people are tiny, depressed and helpless, just like the ants on the log. There is no way to rescue themselves. It concludes the former story and alludes something bad will happen, they will “finally fell off into the fire”, into the chaos which full of people’s desires, conflicts, cruelty and ultimately the death Very Happy
Hi Jamin, it's really great to read your understanding towards the last question.
When I saw the smiling emoji at the end of your response, I felt conflict and panic since the words before the emoji are so depressed, but I could also know about your attitude toward the tragedy. It's really helpless to have the realization that human beings are too weak to protect themselves, and had no way to remain kindness in such extreme war condition. I really agree with your understanding of the relationship of people and ants, they both have no idea about what they are fighting for, what they had was just the fear to death and loss. We both treat the things in the passage as a kind of symbolism and obtain similar understandings. I feel very glad to see your response.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Peter's reply to Sean

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:23 am
Sean Xie wrote:I chose the fourth question.
The ants, like soldiers, rushed to the fire without hesitation: the fire of the enemy, like moths flinging directly to the fire, so many of them died and wounded, the corpses were everywhere on the battlefields. Realizing that something was wrong, the soldiers finally turned their backs and tried to get a chance to live. Another sudden fire also burned most of them——the ants, as well as the soldiers. A small number of ants escaped, but they were also confused and did not know where to go. They are like the priest. In the war, only he remained conscious from beginning to end. He hated the war and knew what the actual war was. But still he couldn't see “it”. What is “it”? Is it the significance of everything? Is it the useless power of religion when it face the war? No matter what “it" is, the priests feel suffocated by all these things. He is the most sober and most confused. The cup of water that can be thrown to the camp fire can be said to be a compromise of evil and natural goodness, and it can also be said that he just does not care about it. Whether being the Messiah of ants is meaningless to Henry, they should be as simple as pouring a glass of water if they are to die. He has nothing to do with death. Before this metaphor, he had been thinking that Catherine was going to die, and no she wouldn’t die. He was crazy, from his deep inner heart, from the moment he began his cursing of his child. He saw too many people die in the battlefield, so awful, just like watching the ants pounce on the fire, and then slowly became dark. Easily, people are gone. He imagined all the situation will have, he is mad, but his persona suppressed his appearance very well. He still behave as before. His madness is a kind of silent collapse.
The role of this strange metaphor is nothing more than the merging of all previous emotions, whether on the battlefield or in the later hard times, into such a seemingly absurd actions. Venting, silent bursts of emotions are here. This indifferent emotion implies a certain kind of certainty—death. Therefore in the end, he still used his feelingless language , to narrate the curtain call of sorrowful tragedy.
Hi !It's really glad for me to read your thoughts on the last question. Your answer inspired me a lot. I haven't ever thought of the escaping ants symbolizing the priest. And I thought you did a perfect job on linking this passage with the topic of death.However, I think there is still one thing I don't agree on. The water should not be considered as a compromise. It's more like an arbitrary action which led to a disaster so I think this symbolizes the brutality of the god(fate) or the cruelness of the nobles who make propaganda and send people to the battle fields(death). Maybe we need to have further discussions on it. All in all, you excellently expressed your ideas to us.
Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-06-10
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:32 am
Question 3

The destruction in human nature that brought by the war was the main reason for Henry’s disillusionment with the war.
As one of the victims in the battlefield, Henry saw the mortar took away his companions’ lives and cut his knee in half with his own eyes. He almost went to heaven and withstand unbearable pain both physically and psychologically. The experience of escaping from the death acquainted himself with the harm caused by the war.

However, when the two engineering sergeants disobeyed Henry’s order and tried to flee, Henry took out his pistol and shot on them immediately. He even chased the one who survived and took a few more shots on him. In addition, after Henry has got his car out, it seemed like nothing has happened. The war has changed his first choice when dealing with problems into violence. Under the situation of war, people became irrational. The fear to death, the pain of wound, the friendship with companion, all of these would be replaced by the moment of anger which were released by weapon. So violence would inevitably become one of the easiest way to deal with the pressure and nervousness that has been accumulated in their mind for a long time since the war began.
When all of the stress have been released, soldiers would get into the next stage, and that is indifference. There would be no feeling while violence is happening. They would be neither excited nor guilty when killing capture. For example, there is a description in the novel when the soldiers were questioning and executing officials, they have no facial expressions. When the previous capture was going to be shot, the next one has been questioned already. They died one after another without a stop. Lives seemed to be so tiny and valueless in the war.
All the negative impact on human nature made Henry realized that war could easily alter an angel to a demon. And that revealed the terror of war and the theme of antiwar.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-10
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:36 am
I choose the second question.
The word “picturesque” is often used to describe the natural scenery ant it means beautiful, charming and attractive. And in this book, Hemingway nearly uses a whole paragraph to describe the Italian front as a “picturesque” scenery. The reason why Hemingway uses such many words to describe the scenery of the battle front is thought-provoking. From my perspective, it mainly functions as a way to contrast the situation before the war and after the war.
Before the war, Hemingway describes the places as “the plain was rich with crops; there were many orchards of fruit trees and beyond the plain the mountains were brown and bare”. From the words, we can easily see that this place is actually a very attractive place. However, after the war begins, all these things change in a flash. It changes so suddenly that everyone has no time to realize the true situation. The original beautiful land are flooded with blood and guns. Pains and deaths become the symbol of this land. All the splendid things become the memory left in the people’s mind. And when the story has developed to such a degree, the reason why Hemingway uses such a long paragraph to describe the landscape of the front is somehow obvious. By doing this, he successfully leaves readers a very deep impression, about the dramatic change about the scenery before the war and after the war. As a result, readers are more inclined to realize the negative impacts brought by the war. It is also easier to arouse from the readers a sentiment of antipathy and hatred to the war.
Besides, the tremendous difference of the scenery in the same place, before and after the war also reveals a kind of attribute of the nature. It is the vulnerability of the nature. Such a beautiful scenery, just because of a war, is gone forever and is replaced by the barren ground and acrid flavor. This kind of change reminds us of how big damage we can cause to the nature. And we should thus utilize our power in a more reasonable way, instead of starting a war recklessly.
Ultimately, what I find out is that the beautiful landscape may not always bring people a sense of beauty. Instead, it may hurts people more when it is destroyed by others, just because of its previous beauty.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:51 am
I choose the last question.

I have heard a Question. What will you do when you see an army of ants staying on your own bed. Well almost everyone 's answer is that I feel disgusted at first, and then I try my best to kill all of them. Ants are a kind of really little creature to human beings. I won't mind if I kill them.The writer described a scene that the ants was put to death and Henry just watched and at last even helped them to die with a little cup of water. The scene seems horrifying to the ants but normal for us.

This paragraph seems to be completely isolated from the main story, but actually this is the recap also the thought of Henry and the writer.

We can consider this paragraph as a metaphor. The ant can represent those soldiers. Well the fire is the battlefield also means death. And Henry is Both like the God and also the governor who designed the war. The story can be interpreted like that at first the governor started the war, just like Henry put those ants into fire. And then the soldiers get interested in that and gain the passion from the country. However the time they get on the battlefield, the time they saw death coming by, they struggled back and get back to the end of the wood. However, there is actually no way back but the infinite fire. Some died and other survived. The process repeated and there are wars and death every where during the people's struggle as more and more ants fell into the fire. Finally the governor considered the soldiers useless or tried to reach a piece of agreement. They abandoned their soldiers as Henry steamed the ants. However Henry did this for a cup of whiskey. Those governors did this for their own profit leaving their man dead in the war. That is the story as well as World War I. I considered this as the writer Hemingway's satire on the government and the war. When there comes a war, there is actually no innocent man, or it can be understood in this way that everyone is actually innocent. The fire of the war took countless numbers of lives of those innocent people. Is that fair?

The author use the animal ant to show when facing the war and the government how weak we actually are. be can be even ignored. As the question I asked in the first paragraph, how weak the ants are when facing human beings. Those soldiers cannot even decide or their sister will be caught, or they will be killed for a very naive reason. They've got no human rights and no freedom. Is that ridiculous? Or is it just the Fate of them. Here, Hemingway clearly shows his attitude toward the war. He hate the war because it is meaningless and selfish. The war broke out for only a few people's profit and cost hundreds of thousands people's lives.

For those human beings put into the war, they knew nothing as the ants had no idea about what controlled their lives. “Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire.” That's the end of someone's life and I can feel the sympathy of the writer as well as the sadness.

Henry at this time grew more mature after seeing the dead baby, experiencing all these suffers. That is really the right time for him consider this story also to express his full understanding to the war. Also telling us the sad ending of the story in some way.

Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:07 am
SunnyShao wrote:I choose to answer the last question.
This passage seemed to have no connection with the whole story, but its meanings and the realistic portray of the scene attracted me so much so that I tried to figure out the mystery in it.
Ants are a kind of tiny creature to human beings, and the description of this horrible scene about the burning of ants is in detail, it included a log, the fire, ants, a cup of water, and Henry himself. The author described the whole process that the ants made every effort trying to avoid their death and their failure at last carefully, also Henry’s thoughts and actions of being an observer to the whole tragedy.
From my perspective, all of those stuffs mentioned before in the passage have the symbolism for each of them. The ants symbolize human, they are both tiny and weak to the nature. The log means the homeland of Italy, since the ants were stayed on it from the beginning that Henry found the log. They were connected with each other peacefully before the disaster took place, and also during the disaster, just like the soldiers living in Italy before the war but also attending the war happening on their homeland. The fire would act as the war which brought out the death, the loss and the desperation. The cup of water seemed to be a mystery, but combined with the ending of the whole story, it would be the thing that happened to deepen the destruction and no matter what is in there, the ants or human, none of them could avoid from being destroyed. And Henry, the observer outside the scene of the ants, facilitated the whole tragedy. It was him who put the log with ants into the fire and watched it burning and causing death, then adding a cup of water in there, intensifying the whole killing process.
Being at the state of Henry, treat him as a normal one in real life, he became so cold-blood and selfish that even though he got the ability to prevent the ants from meeting death, he didn’t do it. The bloody war contributed to his characteristics, being a man without sympathy and kindness, just because he got used to death, killing, and there was no way to protect others in a self-insecurity condition, he needed to get his own profit.
Being at the state of ants, they had no idea about what controlled their lives, just like human beings. “Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire.” The ants don’t know what they are fighting for, maybe they just want to stay alive, and the soldiers, don’t know what to fight for either, being scared of the death. Once I heard about someone’s opinion on human’s lives. She thinks that there might be something outside the Earth, controlling our lives. Actually all of us have our own way to go, no matter how hard we tried to change, to improve, the path is certain to each one, maybe created even before the one is born. The powerful controller may exist in the universe or somewhere else, but no one knows, and we human still work so hard trying to obtain a better life for us own, being unaware of its immutability, which is ridiculous and absurd. And she treats this controller as fate.
However, to me, it’s just so pessimistic, even though I thought as the same way in the past. From the other side, we don’t even know whether the controller is existed or not, how could we give our own life to it. I would still fight for myself all along the way because I believe the faith in my own heart would be the most correct and powerful thing to hold. In addition, what could I get if I believe in the fate, should I just stay back, do nothing, and wait for the death? Thinking about this way and doing nothing is the real self-suicide in such a peaceful life.

Hello, Sunny:
It's really an honor to find someone's idea similar with mine. I agree with most of your thought especially the symbolization part. (I describe it as a metaphor in my reply!) You did a very great job on explaining the connection between the ants and observer, also standing on different perspectives as Henry and ants. But there is also some different parts. First I believe that there are some links between the story of Henry and the story of ants. It only seems isolated but it's really not. Another point is that the government is something to be blamed most in my reply. But never mind. Your response really inspired me a lot and I hope you can find your own meaning of life soon! Thanks a lot!!
Sincerely
Herock
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-10
View user profile

Alan's reply to Cheng Jiazhou

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:08 am
Cheng Jiazhou wrote:I choose the 2nd question.
The frontier of Italian is "picturesque". The magnificent, horrible, violence place was created by men, which destroyed them and made them frightened. But despite of these bad aspect of Italian frontier. Itself was magnificent, a tremendous tragedy. It has witnessed the separation and reunion of human beings. War makes people miserable, but it is also part of civilization development. Although this is not mentioned in the article, I think it is one of the reasons for the beauty of this scene.
The beauty is painful and sorrow. It just like a glass with crack, the glass was not complete but somehow it's beautiful. The scene of war is not a paradise for human. But it is a beautiful part, a indispensable part of the world. It showed the genuine heart of human, Blood and ashes, Ignorance, violence and cruelty. Human is not kind but it's truly beautiful. And the frontier showed the reality the truth of human.
Last but not least, there are some connections between pain and love. There is love in a place where there is pain. Despite the sorrow war in the novel, Hemingway offers a deep, mournful meditation on the nature of love to Catherine. And during the war, at the frontier there must be many stories of love just like Henry and Catherine. The war should strengthen the relationship of lovers and made them cherish the precious chance of love. The war brought painful to them and consolidated the love. Soldiers found their shelter and joy during the horrible time. The sad scene of Italian frontier should witness true love.
These are 3 points of the physical descriptions of the landscape play in the establishment of the novel’s themes.

Hello, Jasmin Cheng. I feel very honored that I have a chance to make comment about your article. I am very impressive that you consider this problem very differently from mine. From your answer, I see your positive and optimistic attitude towards the life. Instead of finding the war a tragedy, you succeed in finding some positive effects of the war. However, although I agree with your first and second point, I am afraid that I have some different opinions towards the second one. In your second point, you consider the war as a beautiful part of the world because it shows the genuine part of the human. However, from my perspective, I think this cannot show that. The nature of human is not always kind, there is always an evil side hiding in people’s heart, just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If the war happens because of the evil side of the people, you cannot consider the war as a beautiful part of the war. Instead, it is just a war, which will bring pains and deaths to the war.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:16 am
Cathy Teng wrote:I choose question 4.

The ants are similar to the characters in the novel. They struggled to get rid of something, but ultimately failed. They did not escape successfully from their fate, just like the ants, running back and forth to escape from fire but of no use. For Catherine, when she was in dystopia, she tried quite hard, but finally both she and her baby died. For the baby, I think he did a lot to embrace the world, but he choked in his mother’s body. For Henry, he struggled to have an ideal life——free, unlimited, and with his lover, he escaped from the army confronting the enormous danger, but eventually he lost his lover and baby and meant to go through a long and lonely life. They made huge efforts to achieve the life they wanted to have, but they all failed to escape from fate, falling into the dreadful fire.

And I think “I” in the passage is referred to fate. It is one’s fate that decides his future, being safe away from fire or falling into the heat, being satisfied and enjoyable or suffering from sorrow, according to the passage. Unfortunately, the existence for human being is tragedy since our future has already been confirmed——death. In other words, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much glory we gain, we will definitely and inevitably gradually walk towards death. People can escape from war or other things, but we cannot avoid death. Human beings are so vulnerable that we will easily be put into fire by the hand of fate. Also, as an atheist, Henry may want to imply that if someone wants to avoid death by anchoring the hope to his belief, the one holding his fate, it is quite sorry because that guy wants to drink whiskey and does not have time or willing to deal with his stuff.

In conclusion, I think the information the passage wants to convey is the vulnerability and tragedy of human’s life and the inevitable future—death of human.

remarks from Jamin:
you really did a great job. And it is delightful to see that someone shares some similar opinions with me.
you choose a quite different aspect under the topic of "ants", people's fate, and you mention that there is an inevitable future for every individual-- the death, and people are always struggling with the life but ultimately can not escape from the final ending. This kind of opinion is quite like fatalism. And also I really appreciate that you link some symbols to the rest part of the novel, and all these seems to be reasonable and acceptable to me. Human life is a tragedy. Also, I think you can dig deeper to discuss about what these symbols really are, for example, what "fire" is ? Anyway, I like your point of view, and it makes me to think further. Cool
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:07 am
JaminCheng wrote:I choose to answer the last question.

When I first read this passage in the novel, I felt pretty strange. Cause this kind of words seldom appeared in the whole book which discusses about something seemed to be out of the story plot and it is quite not the style of Hemingway. Of course, the iceberg theory, those strange words always implies and alludes something bigger and more grandiose.

Henry here acts like an administrator, standing aside, watching the scene and doing nothing even pouring the water onto the burning ants. The brutality and heartlessness were not created from nothing, but the brutality itself, the war. Every single ant in the crowd represents one individual involved in the war. They are always busy moving here from there, crawling around for the opportunity of living. “Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire.” Just like the words said by the soldiers mentioned before in the book, people don’t know the reason why they are fighting and what they are fighting for, the war is totally absurd. People are just doing those things in the group and died before they figure out something really matters and meaningful. Sometime, after they have experienced the cruelty, they would find that they are no longer familiar with what they deserved to enjoy. They were paralyzed. And they have no power to do something different. They are crippled, not only physically but mentally. So pathetic. Cause every single individual’s destiny is controlled by someone high up in the state, and normal people do not have any chances to reach that.

This passage expressed that people are tiny, depressed and helpless, just like the ants on the log. There is no way to rescue themselves. It concludes the former story and alludes something bad will happen, they will “finally fell off into the fire”, into the chaos which full of people’s desires, conflicts, cruelty and ultimately the death Very Happy


We choose the same question, but we analyze it from different perspectives. You tend to think that the ants refer to the panic soldiers, something that are tangible. But I tend to give it a less intuitional meaning, since it's more flexible. But we both agree that the figures of the ants are similar to the "paralyzed soldiers", both their action, mood and agitation. And we have different opinions in the motif of the paragraph, since you think it describes people, and I think that it describes life. Still, the difference caused by whether it is entity or not. The iceberg theory, there are too many thing to discuss, and so many different opinions to see. Appreciate for what you write, your attractive sparks.
Posts : 5
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:13 am
The Italian had fought for a very long time but have no effect on themselves. These soldiers survive in the war had experienced death of friends and pain of being hurt. These soldiers are ordered to fight, or getting prepared for a fight, but no people give them a reason why they are going to fight. As the war went on, the main Character realized that he himself also had things he valued and was taken away from him by the war. He had people he loved, and his gun was taking away——or help taking away——other people’s lover. He slowly realized what he was doing is nothing beneficial to himself, but only gain the country’s leader benefits. The end of his life could be death on the battlefield or suffering from nightmare for the rest of his life for his whole life. During the war, these soldiers are treated as a very small part of the number of soldiers survived, instead of living human. Disillusioned means no longer have a dream, and some one who had already realized the truth of the war, there is nothing worth to dream about the war. Thus, the Italian soldiers are disillusioned with the war
Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-06-10
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:24 am
I choose the last question. It was a long and complicated metaphor of that suffering era. Henry was the epitome among that big trend. The world without order squeezed the ordinary men “went off not knowing where they were going”, kind of like the log that once provided home for the ants, then prevented them from escaping. The war derailed them from their ordinary and secular life, left them infinite disorientation and darkness of the future. “But most of them went toward the fire”, fire, sometimes was supposed a symbol of hope, maybe they thought the only way could bring about peace and settlement was to quickly defeat their enemies and end the war. However fire was also dangerous and destructive, represented the cruelty and chaos in the war, which killed bunches of people and ruined their family and hometown. Depression, agony, fear and disorder gripped the ants, and the people.

It was lucky for Henry to meet Catherine, and she even brought a infant. Infants were also used to represent vitality and hope and life force. Love and hope, Similarly haphazard and fortuitous to the case when Henry poured that cup of water to the ants, all those happened “randomly” and suddenly, without plan in advance, built him an illusion of refuge and settlement. But eventually they didn’t realize and come true, like the water which would “only steam the ants”, his illusion and hope were snuffed out. The biggest tragedy was not merely pain and torment, but was the extreme contrast and fall that could easily collapse a wiry man, plus he could do nothing to stop the trend that took everything away just like how it brought everything in.
Posts : 2
Join date : 2018-06-11
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:27 am
I will answer the 2nd question.
In our traditional opinions, battle fields should be dark and grey, just like the rainy and foggy days in London. There are full of dead bodies and bullet shells on the ground, and fire burning everywhere with no green plants nor vitality. In the book, the author described a scenery view at the front line of the war. It contracts with the characteristics of war like cruel and dangerous and seemed peaceful and enjoyable. Soldiers that fought there may be easily attracted to the view and care less about war. It is related to the book’s theme of antiwar and people may feel pity that the gorgeous landscapes was disturbed by the war. It explained why the main character was tired of war and tried to run away.
All in all, the idea is clear, that we want peace in this peaceful land.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2018-04-16
View user profile

Response to Question 4

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:56 am
Response to Question 4
This paragraph seems abstruse to understand in the text, but because its location is at the very late part of the novel when Henry morned his child we know that this paragraph definitely mean something. In my mind, this part is very interesting. As I always believe and as what I have perceived from the book, I think the war is started not by men, but by some superior power that humans don’t know and have no way to control. That’s why the war wouldn’t end as people anticipated - it continued. The war is actually started by chaos, disorder and nonsense, just as itself represents. The war is manipulated by some grand unknown power - ‘the god’ and ‘the destine’. In this paragraph, there is an interesting metaphor. To the tiny ants, Henry is a ‘god’ to them - just as to the tiny humans, that grand power which started the war is the ‘god’ to us. Henry tries to help the ants, but he actually don’t really care about life and death of ants, though he tries to act ‘kind’ for orthodox moral reasons. So he pours water onto the log but that only steams the ants to death. Just like the god ‘seems’ to help us - the god may want the war to end - but the god doesn’t really care for what human beings may suffer because ‘the god’ doesn’t belong to the race of humans. This is where the war is tricky and nonsense, chaotic and disordered.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2018-04-16
View user profile

Response to Question 4

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:57 am
Response to Question 4
This paragraph seems abstruse to understand in the text, but because its location is at the very late part of the novel when Henry morned his child we know that this paragraph definitely mean something. In my mind, this part is very interesting. As I always believe and as what I have perceived from the book, I think the war is started not by men, but by some superior power that humans don’t know and have no way to control. That’s why the war wouldn’t end as people anticipated - it continued. The war is actually started by chaos, disorder and nonsense, just as itself represents. The war is manipulated by some grand unknown power - ‘the god’ and ‘the destine’. In this paragraph, there is an interesting metaphor. To the tiny ants, Henry is a ‘god’ to them - just as to the tiny humans, that grand power which started the war is the ‘god’ to us. Henry tries to help the ants, but he actually don’t really care about life and death of ants, though he tries to act ‘kind’ for orthodox moral reasons. So he pours water onto the log but that only steams the ants to death. Just like the god ‘seems’ to help us - the god may want the war to end - but the god doesn’t really care for what human beings may suffer because ‘the god’ doesn’t belong to the race of humans. This is where the war is tricky and nonsense, chaotic and disordered.
Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-04-10
View user profile

reply

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:12 am
I’d to like to answer the second question. The beautiful landscape provide a view of unwilling to have the war and fear of destroying the beautiful landscape. It makes people feel ashamed if such beautiful view is destroyed by the war. Such background information can be seen as “iceberg theory”. It provide a basic emotion background. And such beauty also remind people that such wonder is vulnerable and war could destroy these.
Posts : 2
Join date : 2018-06-11
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:16 am
Cheng Jiazhou wrote:I choose the 2nd question.
The frontier of Italian is "picturesque". The magnificent, horrible, violence place was created by men, which destroyed them and made them frightened. But despite of these bad aspect of Italian frontier. Itself was magnificent, a tremendous tragedy. It has witnessed the separation and reunion of human beings. War makes people miserable, but it is also part of civilization development. Although this is not mentioned in the article, I think it is one of the reasons for the beauty of this scene.
The beauty is painful and sorrow. It just like a glass with crack, the glass was not complete but somehow it's beautiful. The scene of war is not a paradise for human. But it is a beautiful part, a indispensable part of the world. It showed the genuine heart of human, Blood and ashes, Ignorance, violence and cruelty. Human is not kind but it's truly beautiful. And the frontier showed the reality the truth of human.
Last but not least, there are some connections between pain and love. There is love in a place where there is pain. Despite the sorrow war in the novel, Hemingway offers a deep, mournful meditation on the nature of love to Catherine. And during the war, at the frontier there must be many stories of love just like Henry and Catherine. The war should strengthen the relationship of lovers and made them cherish the precious chance of love. The war brought painful to them and consolidated the love. Soldiers found their shelter and joy during the horrible time. The sad scene of Italian frontier should witness true love.
These are 3 points of the physical descriptions of the landscape play in the establishment of the novel’s themes.
You did a very great job expressing your idea, though there are several grammar mistakes in your response.
Indeed, what you've written is very true. It makes it a tragedy when such a cruel fire of war spread to such a scenery view, which disturbs the local peaceful lives. People are forced to not enjoy the landscape but to kill each other in this environment.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2018-04-16
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:27 am
Hetty He wrote:Question:
3. If we are to interpret the novel as an antiwar novel, how do we reconcile Fredric Henry’s use of violence (when he kills the engineering sergeant) and seemingly masculine persona with his disillusionment with the war?

Answer:
In <A Farewell to Arms>, Hemingway uses Fredric Henry's violent behavior and seemingly masculine persona with its internal indecisiveness to infer Henry's disillusionment with the war.
By using violence, Henry showed his masculinity but also failed to prove it as a lieutenant. After Henry was recovered and came back to the frontline, the situation had already beome desperate. Italians were losing and retreating in a way that was more chaotic than marching. Beholding these situation at frontline, Henry and other Italian soldiers were gradually losing their hope about this war. Their fearness towards the war was rising anti-war emotion to a climax. Some obvious and direct actions generated from this emotion were unrests among soldiers. Hence the soldiers took aim at their officers, refusing to obey to the order from their superiors. When Henry was ordering the two sergeants, he considered himself as the lieutenant. He has already lose his identification with his role of an ambulence driver, which he had no idea about the reason why he became it. Almost by instinct, he shoot one of the sergeants when they tried to escape in front of him. After this incident, when his companion was swearing the sergeant who escaped, Henry might realize that was an Italian he killed, who shall be his fellow and killing Germans with his support. Killing Italians was definitely not helping Italy win the war. Since then he lose the other identification of being a responsible lieutenant, as he was going far away from his original goal.
After Henry realized the contrast between his idealistic observation towards the war at first and the pratical impact of the war on everyone's life, he was totally disillusioned about the war. Thus he escaped, having no choice, as he was neither a patriotism for Italy nor has hatred for Germany.

Sherry Liu's reply to Hetty He
I quite agree with you. The change happened to Henry is just where the war do horrible things on humans, where the war creates disillusions. Thus, the novel conveys an emotion of anti-war because the novel shows how terrible that a good man can be made into a horrible person by war.
Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

impressive idea : )

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:38 am
Hetty He wrote:Question:
3. If we are to interpret the novel as an antiwar novel, how do we reconcile Fredric Henry’s use of violence (when he kills the engineering sergeant) and seemingly masculine persona with his disillusionment with the war?

Answer:
In <A Farewell to Arms>, Hemingway uses Fredric Henry's violent behavior and seemingly masculine persona with its internal indecisiveness to infer Henry's disillusionment with the war.
By using violence, Henry showed his masculinity but also failed to prove it as a lieutenant. After Henry was recovered and came back to the frontline, the situation had already beome desperate. Italians were losing and retreating in a way that was more chaotic than marching. Beholding these situation at frontline, Henry and other Italian soldiers were gradually losing their hope about this war. Their fearness towards the war was rising anti-war emotion to a climax. Some obvious and direct actions generated from this emotion were unrests among soldiers. Hence the soldiers took aim at their officers, refusing to obey to the order from their superiors. When Henry was ordering the two sergeants, he considered himself as the lieutenant. He has already lose his identification with his role of an ambulence driver, which he had no idea about the reason why he became it. Almost by instinct, he shoot one of the sergeants when they tried to escape in front of him. After this incident, when his companion was swearing the sergeant who escaped, Henry might realize that was an Italian he killed, who shall be his fellow and killing Germans with his support. Killing Italians was definitely not helping Italy win the war. Since then he lose the other identification of being a responsible lieutenant, as he was going far away from his original goal.
After Henry realized the contrast between his idealistic observation towards the war at first and the pratical impact of the war on everyone's life, he was totally disillusioned about the war. Thus he escaped, having no choice, as he was neither a patriotism for Italy nor has hatred for Germany.



I really like your idea that violence prove the identity of Henry that he was an officer. Although I don't really agree that being a officer means he can use violence, in reality, this is something true, specially at war at that time. As a reflection of history, this idea seems reasonable. I'm quite convinced with this idea, I haven't thought of such thing, really impressive to me.

Posts : 6
Join date : 2018-04-09
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:50 am
COCO LI wrote:Both are sad stories. But they are so true.
In this novel, Henry from the beginning, according to different people’s statements about this war, had a broad picture of what was really going on out there, on the battlefield. Nothing matters, no one matters. When we are watching two stories, we are talking about Henry and others, Me and ants. It seems that as long as the whole community did not disappear, sacrificing a few do not even matter. Except Henry and some friends, all the other soldiers are suffering. They are nothing but individuals; they are everything but one of the community. Each one counts. Ironically, in both stories, no one cares about a single individual. What we are witnessing is a massacre, hundreds of  casualties, then we start to appeal to peace; what we are seeing is that all the ants are dying, they are hopeless, then we decided to take the next action.
In some way, the ants represent those soldiers. Their warm home Italy were suddenly in war without asking for permission. Without knowing what is going on, they are trying to survive in the extreme situations. No one tells them what to do, when you are in the fire, you are lost. There is no light to tell you which way to go, all you know is the fire, is killing everyone, everything you love, and is coming after you. When I read to the end, the author pour the water into the fire. I laugh bitterly, great help. Water and fire, but how can a cup of water save ants from the huge fire? Just like when Henry trying to escape from this war, how can escaping from this nightmare saves him from the cruelty of life? Death of his wife and his child is waiting for him. Life is harsh, we are all those ants in a way.
Hi Coco, it is my great honor to reply to your answer.
You talk about when individuals face big disasters, their tininess made them unable to fight against their fate to die. I especially like your opinion about that the change of macro situation can only be changed when the sacrifice of individuals are intense, although they realize this sorrowful fact, they have no way to escape from its impact, like you said, Henry does not escape from it at any time, and will never have his actual escape---since he is still an individual.
Posts : 1
Join date : 2018-06-11
View user profile

Re_(James)

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:06 am
Sean Xie wrote:I chose the fourth question.
The ants, like soldiers, rushed to the fire without hesitation: the fire of the enemy, like moths flinging directly to the fire, so many of them died and wounded, the corpses were everywhere on the battlefields. Realizing that something was wrong, the soldiers finally turned their backs and tried to get a chance to live. Another sudden fire also burned most of them——the ants, as well as the soldiers. A small number of ants escaped, but they were also confused and did not know where to go. They are like the priest. In the war, only he remained conscious from beginning to end. He hated the war and knew what the actual war was. But still he couldn't see “it”. What is “it”? Is it the significance of everything? Is it the useless power of religion when it face the war? No matter what “it" is, the priests feel suffocated by all these things. He is the most sober and most confused. The cup of water that can be thrown to the camp fire can be said to be a compromise of evil and natural goodness, and it can also be said that he just does not care about it. Whether being the Messiah of ants is meaningless to Henry, they should be as simple as pouring a glass of water if they are to die. He has nothing to do with death. Before this metaphor, he had been thinking that Catherine was going to die, and no she wouldn’t die. He was crazy, from his deep inner heart, from the moment he began his cursing of his child. He saw too many people die in the battlefield, so awful, just like watching the ants pounce on the fire, and then slowly became dark. Easily, people are gone. He imagined all the situation will have, he is mad, but his persona suppressed his appearance very well. He still behave as before. His madness is a kind of silent collapse.
The role of this strange metaphor is nothing more than the merging of all previous emotions, whether on the battlefield or in the later hard times, into such a seemingly absurd actions. Venting, silent bursts of emotions are here. This indifferent emotion implies a certain kind of certainty—death. Therefore in the end, he still used his feelingless language , to narrate the curtain call of sorrowful tragedy.

Hello, Mr.Sean. I think it is necessary to consider the fact that there are many ants in the scene, so the ants don't really represent one man very well. In my prospective, the ants should only represent the people or the army. Just like in WW2 the Soviet soldiers assaulted the Germans, so why should such a waste of life's assault be carried out when the other party was waiting to be treated? Even after the assault failed, the following supervising teams also used machine guns to fire at the soldiers. The soldiers ran to one end of the stick, burnt by fire, and the flee to the other end,  but there were only death waiting for them. In fact only French used supervising team in the first world. The French also used this method because the army had begun to show signs of mutiny. It is better to force them rushing out and fight with German. I agree the scene bring us a feeling of hopeless, and the war is meaningless and cruel.-James Wei
Posts : 1
Join date : 2018-06-11
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:42 pm
I choose the second question.
There are many descriptions of beautiful scenery in the book, such as the beautiful scenery of Switzerland and Italy. The author intends to create a great and beautiful scene of peace. The author may want to contrast the brutal and horrible of the bloody war. After escaping from the war, Catherine and Henery did have a happy time. The description of the scenery in this period is to highlight a happy and peaceful situation. But in fact, he wants to pave the way for the final tragedy of the book. The author deliberately describes beautiful scenes when the lovely time, such as when Catherine and Henery are dating, seems to tell the readers that the book will eventually have a perfect ending. But in the end, the author gives all readers a strong blow. But ironically, the tragedy of the two people and the tragedy of them are both caused by the war.
This tragedy of Hemingway's novel combination of the beautiful descriptions of the previous articles with the final tragedy gives the readers a strong sense of anger, but also full of helplessness, adding a strong sense of negativity against the war.
Posts : 3
Join date : 2018-06-11
View user profile

Re:Final

on Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:35 pm
I want to answer the third question:
If we are to interpret the novel as an antiwar novel, how do we reconcile Fredric Henry’s use of violence (when he kills the engineering sergeant) and seemingly masculine persona with his disillusionment with the war?
In Hemingway's mind, the war is the root cause of people's life and the destruction of a happy life. Henry is full of disgust in the war, and he hates the pain and pity brought to the people by the war. As Henry became more aware of the war, he became more and more deeply aware of the injustice of the war and Henry felt that the war had completely fooled the young people who should have another life, and Henry's anti war spirit and weariness began to emerge.  Henry too became numb and used violence just like other disillusioned soldiers. He represented a majority of the people during that period. Moreover, the Italians faced failure and confronted with serious situations. Henry lost himself and be self-suspicious of the reason why he came there. He finally tried to escape, not being assimilated by other cold-blooded soldiers. He was not evil after all and his masculine persona was temporary. But it reflects the situation and the thought of many forefront soldiers.
Posts : 2
Join date : 2018-06-15
View user profile

Re: Final assignment

on Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:09 pm
I choose to answer the last question.

After I read the story, I had a feeling that it was a sad fable which interpret the whole novel. First of all, a log was put on a set of fire. There were many ants in it, who can only run away from the fire, because they did not have the ability to fought against the bright fire. All the characters in the novel, from my perspective, were in the same stage with those ants. The soldiers, including backups, were forced to fought in First World War. I think nobody really want to join in a war, because lots of people would die, and even more people would lose their home, thousands of building were destroyed. From the middle of the novel, Frederic was wounded and rest in a hospital in Milan, he thought that was the best time during the war since he will not get more hurt in the battle. This, I think is exactly the same as what the ants do. They both want to escape from the bad thing.

Besides, in the story, it was said that the ants gathered at the farther end of the log, expected to escape from disaster. The same plot in the novel was that Italian soldiers were extreme anti-war, so the Generals decided to punish lamsters. Thus, Frederic had to run away in order to avoid from being killed. Finally, Catherine was died and Frederic lived along, which I thought, was very analogous.

What’s more, the role you played in the story (you refer to David), from my point of view, like the Ruler of all the countries join the war. At the beginning, they could avoid this unethical battle from happening, but they did not, just like you do nothing but put the pot on the fire, except remove the log.

Above all, these were just my humble opinion on the fascinating story in the question.
Sponsored content

Re: Final assignment

Back to top
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum