A Farewell to Arms

Influence of contextual factors across American Literature 11th Grade

World war one is a defining part of history worldwide, lasting from 1914 to 1918. Although America only joined the war in 1917, its effects were inescapable, and consequently the war is alluded to in many works of literature from the time. The war was actually economically good for America – profits from munitions production and technological advances actually raised the living standards of many ordinary Americans. However, for those experiencing the true horror on the front line, the war was far from beneficial, creating emotional scars far deeper than physical battlefield wounds.

Many authors writing in America after the war were able to draw on their own first hand experiences to influence their writing. For example, F.Scott Fitzgerald trained to be a soldier and whilst doing so, met his future wife Zelda. This undoubtedly influenced his writing of ‘The Great Gatsby’ where, with the invisible cloak of his uniform draped across his shoulders, Gatsby was able to met Daisy. Other authors had similar war-time experiences, but reflect this far more negatively in their own works of literature, such as Ernest Hemingway, an ambulance driver during the war, and, Edith Wharton who provided relief for wounded soldiers and army...

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