UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A preparation for death: temporal and ideal concepts in Hemingway's Across the river and into the trees Harvey, Roderick Wilson


The purpose of this thesis is, first, to examine the critical controversy surrounding the publication of Ernest Hemingway's Across the River and Into the Trees and, second, to show what Hemingway was trying to do in the novel, even though he may not have been successful in doing it. Chapter I examines the major critical responses to Across the River and Into the Trees, together with Hemingway’s own comments, and introduces the critical study which comprises the following three chapters. Chapter II examines the relationship between Cantwell's military past and the present, and discusses the effects of this dichotomy. Chapter III examines Cantwell's code of honor, mainly as it applies in his present peacetime situation, and discusses how he finally re-affirms his ideal principles of resolution and endurance, thus enabling him to accept the idea of his own death. Chapter IV examines Cantwell's preparation for death through Renata, secondary characters, and various symbols, and shows how he eventually becomes free of bitterness. Chapter V, a final appraisal of the novel's literary worth, discusses why the novel is not successful as a work of fiction.

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