Term Paper on Ernest Hemingway

This essay has a total of 2660 words and 9 pages.


Ernest Hemingway






I. Ernest Hemingway’s tough, Terse prose and short, declarative sentences did more to
change the style of written English that any other writing in the twentieth century. II.
Ernest Hemingway has had many great accomplishments in his historical life but just one
event has hardly sticks out from the rest. The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s
most enduring works. Told in Language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an
old Cuban fisherman, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here
Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the
face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful
novel confirmed his power and presence in the literacy world and played a large part in
his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature. This novel also won the Pulitzer Prize
award. III. July 21st, 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born. He was born to DR Clarence Edmonds
and Grace Hall Hemingway. He grew up in a small conservative town called Oak Park,
Illinois. His father, a practicing doctor, taught him how to hunt and fish, while his
mother, wished to make him a professional musician. His upbringing was very conservative
and somewhat religious. He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he
distinguished himself in English. His main activities where swimming, boxing, and of
course writing. In 1917, turning his back on University, he decided to move to booming
Kansas City where he got a job as a cub reporter on the Kansas City Star. At the train
station, his father, who later on disgusted Ernest by committing suicide, kissed his son
tenderly good-bye with tears in his eyes. This moment was eventually captured in For Whom
the Bell Tolls. Hemingway wrote that he felt 'so much older than his father... that he
could hardly bear it'. The Star was the first to introduce Ernest to news writing which
demands brief, to the point sentences, that contain a smooth easy following of ideas. He
would later adapt this style to his fiction. In May of 1918, Hemingway became an honorary
second lieutenant in the Red Cross. He could not join the army due to a defective left eye
(resentfully inherited from his mother). On his first day of service across seas, he and
other ambulance drivers were assigned the horrific duty of picking up body parts from an
exploded munitions factory. Death, mostly of women, on such a scale was most definitely
another very shocking moment in Hemingway's young life. But he soon recovered from this
experience and became known as the man who was always where the action is. He would often
sneak cigarettes and chocolate to soldiers on the Italian front. It was on one of these
occasions that he was severely wounded by an Austrian trench mortar. Even with over a
hundred pieces of shrapnel and an Austrian machine gun bullet logged in his leg he managed
to carry a wounded soldier a hundred yards to safety. He got the Italian Medal of Valor
for his courageous action. He spent his recovery time at the Ospedale Croce Rossa
Americana, in Milan. It is there that he met and fell for a thirty year-old nurse called
Agnes Hannah. To Ernest's disappointment, Agnes was not willing to embark in a
relationship. Ernest, who had not yet turned twenty, who was a war hero, a journalist and
a wounded soldier, was too young for beautiful Agnes . With the will to write fiction, he
moved to Chicago where most of his work was refused. He lived by writing for the Toronto
Star and working as a sparing partner for boxers. It was in Chicago that Hemingway met
Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. She was an innocent young woman with graceful features and a
strong attraction for the eight year younger Hemingway. Not having much income and wanting
to marry Hadley, Ernest chose to move to Paris. Hemingway managed to convince the Toronto
Star to accept a series of Letters from Europe. The young couple also received money from
Hadley's trust fund while Ernest continued to work as a sparing partner for boxers. In
Paris, Hemingway encountered many of the greats (historically known as The Expatriates).
He met Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Scott Fitzgerald , Ford Madox Ford and
John Dos Passos. It was Stein who took him under her wing. She had been working to renew
literary writing by removing useless gothic, Victorian and archaic forms. She was the
first to point Hemingway in the direction of the 'simple declarative sentence', an attempt
to make words communicate concretely and efficiently. It was also during this period of
his life that Hemingway discovered the bull fight, the Pamplona bull run and the famous
San Fermin July Fiesta. He would later write several books and short stories about bull
fighting and the many events that surround this tragic ritual. Among these are Death in
the Afternoon and The Dangerous Summer. Quickly after Patrick's birth, they moved on to
what would remain Hemingway's only true residence in the United States-- Key West,
Florida. It was there that a whole new world broke itself open to the sportsman in Ernest.
Fishing the deep sea for great fish like the tarpon and the barracuda was his newest love.
But even in Key West, a heavenly earth, tragedy struck Ernest. His father, struggling with
diabetes and angina pectoris, had put a bullet through his head. Hemingway was very
ashamed of this. He had always felt that life was for the testing of death. Suicide was
the surrendering of life to death. This was forbidden in his code of courage. From that
day on, Ernest turned his back on his father. 1929 marked the release of A Farewell to
Arms. It was instantly accepted as a great work by critics and the public. With the
success of this novel, Hemingway became a true American writer. To many, he also became a
hot headed fool. He would make loud remarks about some of his fellow writers. He would
make proclamations about artistic integrity that he himself would often not respect. He
clearly was no longer the shy young journalist he had been for the Kansas City Star. He
had become Papa. Even with the beautiful surroundings of the Key West, Hemingway still
longed for Spain. At the time he was tediously working on Death in the Afternoon, a
marvelous, intriguing and powerful look at the bullfight. Although at times overdone,
Death in the Afternoon will capture greatness and power in the minds of its readers, even
those that are most disgusted by the bullfight. After Ernest finished Death in the
Afternoon and Pauline gave birth to another boy, they set off for Africa. It was there
that Hemingway hopped to find the true meaning of heroism. Three stories would result from
the events of Africa. The Green Hills of Africa, which lacked effective meaning and
carried a false tone of masculine hunting spirit, was the least successful. The Snows of
Kilamanjaro was a much more potent tale about the hunt. Arguably one of Hemingway's best,
it drew from the troubles of a broken Scott Fitzgerald to depict the guilt of a talented
yet unacomplished artist as he faced death. The last short story to result from Africa was
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