Three Paths To Religious Integration In Ernest Hemingway’s War Fiction
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My dissertation studies religiosity in Ernest Hemingway’s war fiction in terms of how his soldier characters connect to the divine. The means to understanding this connection is in refining how the characters express the utility of this connection and how these features fit into larger structural ideals. I argue that the wartime characters integrate with the divine through various methods: by contact with nature, by enacting a ritual, or by embodying Christian manliness. I base my dissertation on relevant phenomenological theories but also considers broader structural-functional theories, and I form the approach on structuralism in that I look at both single works and at the war fiction as a whole as well as looking for connections between literature and culture. Furthermore, I look to the theories of Northrop Frye in analyzing this literature because Frye’s structuralism allows for genre-bending oeuvres such as Hemingway’s. I argue that, contrary to much literary criticism, the Hemingway wartime protagonists are theists who seek the divine in times of conflict, but, unlike the notion of “no atheists in the foxholes,” these characters harbor their religiosity not situationally but throughout their lives. I conclude by bringing together elements of Ernest Hemingway’s biography with mythoi of connection to nature, enacting rituals, and embodying Christian manliness to derive at a rough categorization of this religiosity.
Table of Contents
The premise forms -- Nature-the scarred sacred landscape -- Ritual-initiation -- Christian manliness-divine manhood -- Conclusion