A Farewell to Arms

Gatsby and Henry: Obsession Viewed in Two Different Lenses

Ernest Hemingway's Farewell to Arms and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby revolve around one primary character who serves as a vessel that reveals the major theme of the book. The Great Gatsby chronicles Jay Gatsby's pursuit of love, while Farewell to Arms is the story of Frederic Henry, a man caught in the midst of love and war. Both Fitzgerald and Hemingway portray these characters, respectively, as detached individuals absorbed by one ideal, but each writer does so in his own distinct style. Fitzgerald exposes Gatsby in a sensual, poetic manner primarily through intricately woven prose. Hemingway, on the other hand, reveals Frederic's character in a realistic and concrete sense through a combination of literary elements such as dialogue, structure, and form, and through events that transpire in the book.

The two authors' styles are revealed immediately upon the introduction of each character in the novel. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald describes Gatsby as a man who had a "heightened sensitivity to life" but at the same time was so detached from everything that during the lavish parties he threw he "[stood] alone on the marble steps looking from group to group with approving eyes"...

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