In Our Time

The Universal Human Experience of In Our Time

The voice of his generation, Ernest Hemingway, captured the many complex emotions of Americans during the World War I era and provided clarity to his peers through his famous collection In Our Time. Through the stories and vignettes, Hemingway sheds light upon World War I by depicting very moving, real snapshots from before, during, and after the war. Hemingway explores the devastating affects of war on society by telling the stories of Nick Adams and others. By using a number of diverse characters in similar life situations, Hemingway emphasizes the generality of the human experience and highlights the issues of his generation. In the concluding stories of In Our Time, Hemingway ties together themes of survival in the world and how universal the human experience is.

In Our Time is essentially the story of the life of Nick Adams as a boy growing into a man. Many critics have disputed whether the work is a "bildungsroman" book or not, but the development of Nick's character throughout the stories ensures that it is. The compilation of stories and vignettes must fall under the category of bildungsroman literature, considering how they show Nick's- and perhaps every boy's - progressive right of passage. The...

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