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Use of Symbols, Images, etc  and Theme of Lostness in Hemingway’s Novel: A Farewell to Arms – An Existential Enquiry

Kuldeep Singh Thakur

Associate Professor, Department of English,

Govt. Degree College Baldwara, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India

Corresponding Author:


DOI: 10.52984/ijomrc2310


The theme of lostness pervades Hemingway’s earlier novels and short stories.   Almost all characters in his earlier novels and short stories were lost and sought escape from striving against existential destiny adopting the self-destroying style of life. In these novels and short stories, the author uses symbols and images to establish the dominant mood of lostness and nothingness. All images, references, or symbols have been associated with the dominant mood of failure, emptiness, despair, and defeat. Rain has been presented as a symbol of disaster. The images of plains make Frederic Henry more aware of war and death. Frequent references to dancing parties, sex or drink mark their ‘bad faith’ or fleeing away from their freedom or reality. Like Henry, other characters are also lost and cannot face their reality.

Keywords: Bad Faith’, ‘ Nothingness’, ‘Lostness’ ‘Despair’ ‘Defeat’ ‘Unauthentic Existence’. 

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