Analysis Of Advice To A Son By Ernest Hemingway

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When you think of war, what images come to mind? Personally, I think of death, sadness, and mass destruction. With this picture in mind, it is easier to understand why people would need an outlet for their grief. In a period bookended by world wars and defined by hardship, writers expressed their frustrations through their work. Thus, modernism emerged, and Ernest Hemingway made a name for himself. Being a World War I veteran enabled him to tell raw, truthful stories that conveyed the struggles a soldier faced when returning from war. In a particular poem, he exposed the hardship he faced during the war and urged his sons to not make the mistakes he did, as many parents do today. Through his prose and the context of the early to mid-1900s, Ernest Hemingway criticizes anti-semitism and war in “Advice to a Son.” The opening lines of his poem strike the reader as an obvious comparison to the holocaust in World War …show more content…
One example is the line that reads, “Don’t enlist in armies...” (5). He is criticizing the romanticism of war, which Hemingway felt was prevalent when he returned home. He knew of the horrors of war since he volunteered in the military as an ambulance driver. Because of this life changing experience, he no longer idealized war and urged his sons to not make the same mistake. Hemingway stated in his book Men at War, “‘When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you… when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion...” This emphasizes how he, as a father, does not want his sons to lose their naivety and how he left the poem as a message to them. Later in the writing, he reinforces this belief when he makes the claim, “Don’t believe in wars…” Again, this line stresses to his sons to not participate in or romanticise war. In the context of when he was writing, the reader can clearly view the criticism of

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