Ernest Hemingway Essay, Research Paper
Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Chicago. He was the second of six children born at his grandfather s house on North Oak Park Avenue. When Hemingway was just seven weeks old, the family moved to Bear Lake which his father had purchased the summer before.
Hemingway was not christened until October first at the First Congregational Church. Hemingway spent most of his younger years on the shore at Bear Lake where he caught his first fish at the age of three. At the age of six, Hemingway s grandfather died. The Hemingway family chose to sell the grandfather s house and move to another residence. Hemingway s new household was very strict. Especially in religious cases. Disobedience was punished by lashes by Hemingway s father or a hairbrush from his mother.
While Hemingway s mother taught music and creativity, his father taught his children to love nature. He taught them how to survive in nature and insisted on proper handling of guns, rods, and tackle. He also taught Ernest physical courage and endurance. When Ernest was twelve years old he received a single barrel, twenty gauge shotgun. This present brought many made up stories in which he was always the hero. It was also then that he first attempted writing on the side of singing at the Third Congregational Church.
At the brink of adolescence, Ernest developed into an all around kind of a guy. Afraid of Nothing 1 appeared to be his motto . He loved nature and made sure to uphold the code of physical courage and endurance, and doing things properly in which his father taught him.
He attended River Forest Township High School where he was a journalist for the school s newspaper. After Hemingway graduated, he attempted to enlist into the army for World War I. He was rejected because of an eye injury caused by boxing. He landed a job as a reporter for the Kansas City Star instead. Hemingway reached the war later as an ambulance driver for the Astro-Italian Army only to be wounded in the knee immediately after. The injury required dozens of operations to fix it, and became a central episode in both his real and creative life. He was decorated for heroism and became fascinated with a nurse which he based Catherine Barkley, the heroine of his novel A Farewell To Arms on. Hemingway returned to Michigan after the World Wars where he wrote about his war experiences. In 1921, Hemingway married and was commissioned as a traveling reporter for the Toronto Star. Hemingway worked at the craft of fiction with Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound in Paris during the era of the American expatriates. But the most important person he met was Gertrude Stein. She was a critic of all of Hemingway s works and advised him to cut out unnecessary description and to concentrate. Hemingway took the advice and spoke passionately about the truest sentence that you know, 2 and of arriving through straight presentation of unvarnished fact at a true, simple declarative sentence. 3
Hemingway married for the second time when he was thirty. He wrote his first major publication, In Our Time soon after his wedding in 1925. In Our Time composed of short stories and imaginary paragraphs. The real style and brutal subject matter, which were both his trademarks, attracted much attention from society. Hemingway s second important publication and first major novel, The Sun Also Rises , which was written in 1926, depicted in colloquial, vivid terms the aimlessness of the post war lost generation 4 and gained him a fame at the age of twenty-seven that would last the rest of his life.
In the following years, Hemingway faced three divorces. The ex-wives were Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, and Martha Gelhorn. After these three divorces, he eventually married Mary Welsh.
During the 1930 s, Hemingway spent a lot of time in Spain, Africa, and Florida as a bullfighter, big game hunter, and deep -sea fisherman.
At the same time, Hemingway involved himself as a correspondent on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War and with the First Army in World War II. In connection with the World War Two assignment, he became somewhat of a legendary figure by fighting more than he wrote and being better known for his fighting abilities than his writing abilities.
After 1945, Hemingway settled in an estate called Finca Vigia near Havana, Cuba. He staid there until the Castro administration forced him out of the country. He then had one more adventure in the bullfight in Spain and then moved to Ketchum, Idaho to live the last of his sad days of life. Ernest soon became sick and suffered from acute depression and loss of memory. He was twice hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic and killed himself with a shotgun at his home in Ketchum right after his second visit on July 2, 1961.
Hemingway once claimed that all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn , and it was partly from Twain that he learned how colloquial diction could be fresh and even poetic. From Stephen Crane, the author of The Red Badge of Courage , he learned at least a little bit about intensity, terseness, understatement, and natural-sounding dialogue. Gertrude Stein taught him how each word could carry an abundance of meaning and how rhythms and repetitions could be used to his advantage. Ezra Pound taught him to cut adjectives and adverbs. However, it must be emphasized that his talent was essentially a highly original talent.5
Hemingway s life and fiction stories were both filled of the same things- war, sports, drinking, brawling, traveling, and loving. However, these ingredients did not keep him from the dedication to his craft. Hemingway was the most colorful and most publicized man o0f his time while also being the most influential American writer of prose in the first half of the century.
Hemingway produced six novels and more than fifty short stories. Of his novels, The Sun Also Rises , which was wrote in 1926, portrays the aimless expatriates of the 1920 s in Pamplona, Spain . A Farewell To Arms , which was written in 1929, is about a young American that is disillusioned with World War I and the society that produced it. The 1937 novel To Have and Have Not , is a depression novel that is set in Cuba and Key West, Florida. The novel is about a man who is killed after becoming a fugitive of law to support his family. In 1940, Hemingway wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls . This novel was an epic work set in the Spanish Civil War. The novel argues for the brotherhood of man, and is Hemingway s first optimistic novel. One of the not so great novels that Hemingway wrote was Across the River and into the Trees . This inferior novel deals with an American colonel who returns to his favorite city to see his girlfriend. The colonel goes to remember his life and military career, and to die from a heart condition. Hemingway s last work to be published in his lifetime was the novel The Old Man and the Sea . This novel consists of the adventures of an old Cuban fisherman who sails out beyond sight of land to catch a marlin only to have it killed by sharks. The novel is a tribute to man s endurance with the theme that a man can be destroyed, but he cannot be defeated. 6
Hemingway s short stories appeared in three different collections: In Our Time , written in 1925, Men Without Women , wrote in 1927, and Winner Takes Nothing , written in 1933. They were all collected for his one play The Fifth Column and the First Forty-nine Stories. The play was based on Hemingway s experience in the Spanish War, and did not enjoy great success. However, of the tales, a few- such as The Killers , The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber , and The Snows of Kilimanjaro are as widely known, admired, and imitated as any other novel in English.
The Killers is a part of a series about a youth much like Hemingway who grows up in northern Michigan. He comes home but cannot adjust. Much like Hemingway, he also liked to hunt and fish, but had bad dreams because of the horrors he had seen. One such horror is the subject of the novel. The novel s subject is about gangsters who come to murder a Swede that is in such despair that he will do nothing to spare his own life.
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomba is about a man gone to a waste and suddenly realizes the meaning of courage on an African hunt.
The Snow of Kilimanjaro portrays the last hours of a writer who has not used his God-given talents, and is now dying on an African plain. The man dies thinking about all the stories he will never live to tell.
Hemingway also wrote poetry and journalism. Some of his more famous volumes of nonfiction are Death in the Afternoon , Green Hills of Africa , and the post humorously issued A Movable Feast . By-line Ernest Hemingway , a selection of his publicized journalism was issued in 1967. Most of his verse has never seen print. 7
At a time when many writers were using excessively decorated and often excessively wordy style; Hemingway chose to stick to the basics and cut out all unnecessary words. This style of writing is still associated with his name. This style is much like that enforced in grade-school reading texts, but its simplicity is actually forged out of complexity under great pressure. This style is characterized by short, simple sentences with few adjectives and adverbs. The nouns and verbs are concrete, frequently repeated, and the rhythmic flow of sounds is at time monotonous.
Hemingway also sought to be honest and complete about what he saw and wrote. I was trying to write then, and found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, was to put down what really happened in action: what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion His idea was to describe a series of actions without comment or emotional use of speech. The reader would then visualize the sequence and experience the emotion, which the author had deliberately left out. This is what makes Hemingway a great writer.