Perspectives

Literary period

Published in 1927, the short story “Now I Lay Me” by Ernest Hemingway is part of the literary movement we call Modernism, which was popular in fiction writing between the 1910s and the 1960s. Modernist works can be recognised through themes, context, and narrative techniques. In “Now I Lay Me”, Hemingway explores themes like war and masculinity, which are themes frequently encountered in Modernist works.

In terms of narrative techniques used by modernist writers, “Now I Lay Me” focuses on the main character’s perception of the world, using irony and symbolism to hint at the complex reality hidden behind the apparently simple action. The narrator also gives many details about his life without being explicit about the impact that his upbringing and the war have had on him. The themes of the story are not explicitly discussed but hinted at through symbols, which is specific for Hemingway’s particular style of writing, which he called the Iceberg Theory. The dialogue replaces the ac...

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