Overcoming The Biological Trap: A Study Of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms And The Old Man And The Sea

Tsavmbu Aondover Alexis, Amase Emmanuel Lanior, Kaan Aondover Theophilus


Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers that America has produced. His works have indeed, contributed immensely in shaping the literary path in his country. All his novels are tragedies and his heroes tragic heroes because he is always conscious of man’s mortality. In this paper, we have undertaken a critical study of Hemingway’s exploration of the theme of ‘the trapped man’ in A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway believes that man is biologically trapped and doomed to suffer and die. This is clearly demonstrated by Frederick Henry in A Farewell to Arms. However, in The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago, the protagonist has demonstrated that though man is a victim of a hostile universe, he is not made for defeat. Santiago’s actions prove that with a dogged determination and focus, it is possible for humanity to overcome the biological trap and achieve success in life. We believe that this important lesson lays credence to the utilitarian value of literature to the society. This prerequisite for overcoming the biological trap is a necessary antidote because the trap does not only hang over Hemingway’s characters but humanity as a whole.

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