Period 6 Tessein
Adieu to Peace
Comparably, the repercussions of war and genocide are vile as captured in Sophal Leng
Stagg’s “Hear Me Now” and Ernest Hemingway’s
Farewell to Arms
. Stagg bases the poem on her personal reflection of the Cambodian genocide. The Cambodian genocide is the ramification of the communist group, Khmer Rouge attempting to “reconstruct” Cambodia. The group’s leaders, Angkar were angered due to the industrial growth in Cambodia which was surpassing the agricultural economy. Khmer Rouge longed to bring the nation back to “Year 0” by eliminating everything and everyone relating to popular culture. Hemingway on the other hand takes a fictional stand on war through his novel, specifically with Frederic Henry with his war experience being an American on the Italian army. Nevertheless, war and genocide are portrayed as tormenting, for the sorrow events result in death and desolation. In a similar style, “Hear Me
Now”, Stagg conveys war as an assassin of peace through a somber tone while Hemingway’s correlation in
Farewell to Arms accents the yearning for refuge and the desperation to elude the distress that accompanies war.
The impact of the moments of agony during war can bring a sense of loneliness from the bereft guarantee of security during times of peace. In both the poem and the novel, as a result of lack of peace and love, Stagg and Frederic see the reality of war and genocide . Stagg mentions,
“peaceful times have gone away” (Stagg 1), evidently her reflection on the genocide is viewed as unhappy. As the genocide is commences, tranquility ceases. Similarly, Frederic sees the same effect on war as Passini observes, “war is not won by victory” (Hemingway 50). Even after a war or genocide might allegedly be ‘over’, the consequences and grief of the incidents are constant reminders that the impacts are longterm. Nostalgically, “that life was over” (Hemingway 233),
Period 6 Tessein and the period that was once full of laughter and joy is replaced with worry and sorrow due to war. Clearly, the nostalgic and sad tone of the passages demonstrate the sentiment of Stagg and
Frederic as they lose the calming peace of the past.
Additionally, war and genocide can prompt a need for escape or distraction, for which
Frederic Henry and Sophal Leng Stagg covet. Stagg and Hemingway convey the desperation of their characters, as they long for refuge; Frederic finds it in Catherine and alcohol, while Stagg obtains it in her mother. As the war takes a toll on Henry, he looks to his lover to get away from the negative aspects of war, he expresses, “we could feel alone when we were together, alone against the other” (Hemingway 249). Frederic uses love to stand away and against the emotional and physical detriment of war. Sophal Stagg also seeks refuge saying, “mother please stay with me” (Stagg 9). Looking to her mother, she describes her childhood state not comprehending the genocide and cruelty of her nation. Hemingway conveys Frederic’s escape through drinking as well when he indicates “wine is a grand thing...it makes you forget all the bad” (Hemingway
154). Henry finds solace in drinking, for it allows him…