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WR150 Portfolio

Yet altogether the stories are vaguely connected with

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Yet altogether, the stories are vaguely connected with one another. However, there has been a large debate on the structure of Hemingway’s novels and his overall intentions behind them. In Our Time is one of Hemingway’s novels that have been the topic of these debates. There are a lot of different opinions on this about the structure of this novel and how that is correlated with Hemingway’s overall message. But two of the strongest are from Debra A. Moddelmog and Jacqueline V. Brogan. Moddelmog suggests that Nick Adams, the main character in Hemingway’s In Our Time, is the implied author while Brogan believes that Nick cannot be the author and that it was indeed Hemingway is the implied author. This issue brings up the larger question of what exactly the structure of this novel is and the purpose that the structure serves to the reader. Furthering their arguments, Moddelmog describes In Our Time as a novel and not just a collection of stories, which helps her to conclude that Hemingway used Nick as a way to portray himself and his bravery. Brogan, on the other hand, describes Hemingway’s novel as having a cubist anatomy and that Hemingway offers a larger message of the reality of the world in “our time”. Despite Brogan’s accurate depiction of the structure of the novel,
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42 both scholars’ arguments are faulty in pinpointing Hemingway’s ultimate message. Intertwining the vignettes and short stories together does help create a cubist anatomy. But in the larger scheme of things, this structuring allows Hemingway to display the affect of a traumatic experience on one’s view on life. In Our Time is a short story cycle that represents the disruptive effect of war on one’s life and how one sees himself or herself. In Our Time has a lot of publication history that also adds to the debate of its structure and message. The book itself has undergone many different modifications within the first decade that the first edition was published. In the 1924 edition, in our time was just an isolated collection of eighteen vignettes labeled with Roman numerals. Later, sixteen of those vignettes were included in the 1925 edition, intermixed with short stories. Then the first story of the book, “On the Quai at Smyrna” replaced an introduction by the author that was originally present. Furthermore, there was a separate book published that contained stories only involving Nick Adams, called the Nick Adams Stories . Many of these stories happen to appear in In Our Time , yet they were first a part of their own book depicting the growth of Nick from boyhood to war life and then to his post-war years. These small details all add to the larger debate of how Hemingway structured his novel and more importantly, why. The foundation of Moddelmog’s interpretation of In Our Time revolves around the argument of Nick Adams being the author of the stories and vignettes, similar to George Willard in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio being the writer described in the very first story “The Book of the Grotesque”. Moddelmog mentions how it was not Hemingway’s initial intention to make Nick the author in In Our Time ; however, because
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