Literary Precedents for From Here to Eternity

James Jones
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When From Here to Eternity appeared in 1951, observers immediately placed Jones among what Philip Rahv called the "redskins" of American literature, like Twain, Dreiser, Hemingway, and Steinbeck, self-made writers who "draw their metaphors from biology rather than literature." Working in the grim naturalistic tradition that grew out of American realism, the "redskins" saw man as a victim trodden down by inexorable natural and social forces, which for Jones seemed limited to the context of the Army. Like Dreiser, Jones tended to pile detail upon sordid detail, limited to some extent in From Here to Eternity by the standards of the 1950s. Like Dreiser, too, Jones seemed unable to focus his scenes tightly or to penetrate beyond surface realities. Like Crane and Hemingway, two other American authors of the battlefield, Jones set his fictional existences into a code formed of traditionally male values, the endurance of pain...

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This section contains 235 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the From Here to Eternity Short Guide
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Gale
From Here to Eternity from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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