Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway Essay, Research Paper

Ernest Hemingway s life experiences had a great impact on his works, which he depicted in his characters, exposition, and themes. Hemingway s tragic life had a profound effect on his works. Hemingway s fascination with death was from his childhood, and it grew, as he got older. (Walton 176)

Hemingway was born in 1899, in Oak park, Illinois, to Dr. Clarence Edmonds and Grace Hall Hemingway. Hemingway was second of six children. Family vacations were spent in Michigan at their cabin. Dr. Hemingway taught Hemingway and his children how to fish, hunt, and all about nature. (Walton 173) Hemingway s mother taught all her children music and creativity and took them to concerts, art galleries and operas. (Hulse 2)

His mother, Grace Hall Hemingway was the most important woman in his life when he was a child. She was not interested in domestic arts, and was also used to in getting her on way. In 1919 she undertook a project to build her own cottage, although Dr. Hemingway opposed the idea she still built the cottage. (Walton 173)

As an adolescent Hemingway was an athlete in high school and also wrote on the school newspaper. He s passion for writing was exposed in high school when he wrote short stories. Hemingway graduated high school in 1917 during WWII. (Abott 645) Academically he was good at English but uninterested in any other subjects. (Hulse 2)

From October 1917 to April 1918 Hemingway worked at the Kansa City Star. After his graduation from high school he had wished to go in the forces but his father forbade him. Hemingway had to move to accompany the job at the Star. He was to remember the leaving for a long time afterwards and wrote about it in For Whom the Bell Tolls relating the mixed emotions he felt of sadness, relief, and adulthood. (Hulse 4)

Although Hemingway enlisted in the armed forces he was rejected to due his damaged eye. In 1918 he joined The Red Cross and was sent to the Italian Corps. He was sent as ambulance driver to Italy. On July 8th 1918 Hemingway was hit by an artillery shell, and was injured in his knee and foot. (Hulse 4) About two months after his injury he was promoted as lieutenant and awarded a silver medal of valor. In December 1918 he left the ambulance service and in January 1919 he was back in America. (Hulse 5) The significance of his injury was that he learned the many ways a person can get injured on a battlefront and in peacetime. (Abott 645)

He returned to Michigan and found a job as a reporter for the co-operative commonwealth. In 1920 he married Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. (Hulse 6) He wrote a short story about Hadley titled A Very Short Story . (Walton 173) He quit the job at the commonwealth and lived off of Elizabeth s trust fund. They were saving money to go to Europe. When he went to Paris he met Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound who were to have a great influence in Hemingway s style of writing. At the time Hemingway was working on a novel he had started writing while in the US. (Hulse 6)

When in Europe Hemingway visited northern Spain, Pamplona where him and pregnant Hadley attended fiestas and bullfights. This trip and a couple of others were the basis of his novel The Sun Also Rises . Hadley and Hemingway left for Paris and after a few months went to Canada so their child could be born on American soil. (Hulse 6)

After their son was born Hemingway and Hadley moved back to Paris. During their five year marriage Hemingway wrote two novels The Sun Also Rises and The Torrent of Springs . They separated in 1926 when Hadley found out that Hemingway was having an affair with Pauline Pfeiffer, an editor. In January 1927 he was divorced from Hadley and in May 1927 he got married to Pauline. (Hulse 7)

Hemingway fell in a period of depression when he couldn t write due to his health problems. He was worried about his failing eyesight. Hemingway had wanted to write a book about his wartime experiences. Pauline and him had returned to America and stayed in Key West Florida. IN Key West Florida Hemingway s first son with Pauline was born. (Hulse 7)

In 1928 Hemingway s father killed himself. The Hemingway s were faced with mental illness of Clarence Hemingway long before his death. In 1903 to 1908 he went to a peaceful place to get a hold of his nervous condition . In 1909 he wrote a letter to Grace telling her about his life insurance policies, which was a hint to his suicidal. Hemingway blamed his mother for his father s death. Although he financially supported his mother, he rarely spoke if here and later admitted to hating her. (Walton 173)

His father s suicide may have inspired many of his writings. Five of his seven books, the male protagonist dies, and in his sixth novel the female dies. His first short story had to do with suicide. One of his manuscript read, We are the generation whose fathers shot themselves. It is a very American thing to do and it is done, usually, when they lose their money, although their wives are almost always the contributing cause. (Walton 176)

Hemingway never condoned with his father s death. According to Freud the death of a father is the most important thing in a person s life, something that Hemingway also believed. He considered writing a novel on his father s death but he never did. His novel For whom the Bell Tolls was similar to his story. Many of

Hemingway s novels were based on suicide or death there after. (Walton 176)

Hemingway in his lifetime was married four times. His twelve-year marriage with Pauline ended in 1939 after he met Martha Gelhorn. She was a journalist; they went to Spain together to cover the Spanish Civil War. Like his first marriage he also regretted the end of his second marriage. After his separation from Pauline he wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls. In 1940 he got married to Martha Gelhorn. (Hulse 8) Their relationship began to deteriorate, and in 1946 he was divorced from her when he fell in love with Mary Welsh a woman he met in London. After his marriage to Pauline he fell in a state of alcohol and indulgence. (Hulse 10)

Hemingway had two basic types of writing styles. As for his supposedly narrow and limited prose style, here again Hemingway s reputation has suffered from false comparisons between the hairy chested celebrity and the virtually anonymous writer- craftsmen laboring in solitude at his desk. Hemingway wrote in short declarative sentences and was known for his tough terse prose. (Walton 170)

Hemingway s was also known for his Hemingway hero , that was his style of writing which he invented. He got the ideas from other great authors like Mark Twain and Stephen Crane. An example of such a character is Frederick Henry in a Farewell To Arms . His characters traveled all through the World; Italy, Spain, Africa, Paris and risked their lives, but never lost courage. (Parshall 1)

The hero is wounded. He bears outward, or in some cases inward, traces of violence and abuse. His battle consists of conquering dread, a dread which is connected with earlier experiences and which appears as a fear of life two apparently forms of dread, which in reality are the same. Since life ends with death since death, in other words, is a constituent part of life. Life includes death. The same applies to pain. It is a pitiful zest for life wh9ich does not at the same time rejoice in death. Hemingway s hero is placed in naked circumstances, where the human lot has cast off its veil: life, pain, and death. You can t have one without the others. (Bjorneboe 1) The Hemingway hero , amn for whom it is a point of honor to suffer the game with grace and dignity, and who, though sensing his defeat is inevitable, plays the game well. (Abott 645)

Literary critics believed hat the Hemingway hero and Hemingway himself are incapable of thinking, interested in nothing but drinking, whores, and blood. They believed the hero was stupid. They though the Hero and Hemingway were partly mentally ill. Hemingway disproved this judgment by his intellectual writing, in which he proved that the critics were stupid, not Hemingway. (Bjorneboe 2)

Hemingway believed the people had to cope with death from childhood. In the short story Indian Camp the little boy portrays this idea. Nick s father performs a caesarean section on an Indian woman without anesthesia, only with a jackknife and fishing leaders to sew her up, while Nick is present. The woman s husband kills himself and this where Nick meets life according to Hemingway. He believes Nick the hero has received his wound. Hemingway believes Nick the hero will finally realize that it hurts to live on Earth. (Bjorneboe 1)

Hemingway s Green Hill in Africa tell us how hunting reflects his life. Hemingway asks himself why did he kill animals, and the only answer he could come up with if he didn t kill animals than he would have killed himself. He also learns how an animal might feel from a gunshot wound, when he himself suffered from a broken upper arm with inflammation and gangrene. Hemingway s war experiences are in A Natural History of the Dead. To Hemingway was is merely a summation of our true human circumstances and limits. Here life is more honest, because it has shed its mask. (Bjorneboe 2)

Hemingway s basic themes included Dread of life and death or of overcoming that dread. Another major theme was big-game hunting or War. He also had themes of bullfighting, which were influenced by his many visits to bullfight in Spain. Hemingway s other major theme was fishing, which was predisposed to him in his childhood. (Bjorneboe 4)

His first novel was the The Sun Also Rises had a theme of love. It was a story about a love affair that in Paris. The time is aftermath of the War. (Edmund 3) The book was about a group of American and British expatriates from Paris. The book discusses some of Hemingway s basic themes such as fishing and bullfighting. The characters also attend a fiesta in Pamplona, Spain, which creates the crisis in the novel. (Silverstein 1) The story reflects Hemingway when he was a writer in Paris. The hero in the novel is Jake Barnes. The book also shows the relationship between men and women. (Edmund 3)

His most famous novel with the theme of love is A Farewell to Arms . This novel was different from the Sun Also Rises because it was mainly concerned with the phases of the War. The book is based on the collapse of the Italian front, which is considered to be the depiction of Hemingway s real life. (Hutchinson 1) The love of Lieutenant Henry for the nurse Catherine Barkeley is the sole purpose of the novel. The story of this attachment is poetic, idyllic, and tragic. (Hutchinson 2) And the story of the love between the English Nurse and the American ambulance officer is compared to Romeo and Juliet, and is believed that Hemingway introduced the new romanticism. (Hutchinson 5)

His other basic theme was war. His characters might not win, but they would die with courage. For Whom The Bell Tolls describes a guerilla fighter during the Spanish civil War. Although he wants to fight in the war he is unable to due to his damaged eye. The guerilla fighter becomes an ambulance driver on the Italian Front. A Farewell To Arms and the Sun Also Rises are based on his wartime experiences. (Letsfindout 1)

An unhappy childhood was the best possible training for a writer, Hemingway once commented, and he obviously felt that he qualified as well trained on those grounds, to which were added his adult traumas of his wartime wound, his jilting by Agnes, his mother s rejection, and his father s suicide. The character who most closely resembles him is Nick Adams, the protagonist of fifteen stories published in his lifetime, and of still others published posthumously, all of which are collected in The Nick Adams Short Stories (1972). (Walton 174)

Hemingway s personal travels were also a great influence on his writings. Hemingway was an amateur bullfighter. He wrote Death in the Afternoon , a book about bullfighting. His main point was bullfighting is not a sport it s a tragedy. He believed accidents, death, visible fear, and cowardice did not belong in the arena. He also believed that one meets death in the arena. (Bjorneboe 5)

Hemingway continued to face tragedy after the tremendous success of his books. Hemingway s editor max Perkins died which changed his life tremendously. In the late 40 s Hemingway was physically out of shape, overweight and soaked in liquor. Between 1940 and 1950 Hemingway had no published work. He became infatuated with yet another woman, Adriana Ivanwich. The character Renant in his novel Across the River and Into the Tress is based on her. (Dupuis 15)

In his final years Hemingway won a nobel peace prize for his novel The Old Man and the Sea which he published as his last work. He lost the ability to work in a few years after his physical and mental problems grew. (Dupuis 15) He eventually fell into a period of mental illness, overwhelmed by the demands put on him by others and himself. But his medical treatment to overcome his mental problems did not work and he found his memory had gone and he could not even write to appease himself. His physical state was also too poor for him to carry on with his pursuits of fishing, shooting and hunting. There was no other choice than to end his life. (Dupuis 17)

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