hemmingway



Jan-Erik Saue
English 352, Short Stories
TTH 12:15
Final paper


ERNEST HEMINGWAY
(1899-1961)

"You really ought to read more books -
you know, those things that look like
blocks but come apart on one side."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1927


This is a paper about Ernest Hemingway\'s short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933). However, to understand Hemingway and his short stories I find it necessary to take a brief look at his life and background first. It is not easy to sum up Ernest Hemingway\'s adventurous life in a few paragraphs, but I\'ve tried to focus on the most important things before I started on the analysis of the five short stories.
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in oak Park, Illinois, July 21st 1899, and committed suicide July 2nd, 1961. In his lifetime Hemingway managed to write some of the best known novels of our century, including books such as The Sun Also Rises, (1926) A Farewell to Arms (1929), Death in the Afternoon (1932) and For Whom the Bells Toll (1940). Hemingway\'s first published work was Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and then In Our Time (1924), before his fame grew with the publication of The Sun Also Rises in 1926. By that time Hemingway was married and had a child, and he was working as a news correspondent in Paris.
At the age of 18 Ernest Hemingway signed up for the army to fight in World War I, but because of his poor vision he was not accepted in the fighting forces. After a short span as a reporter in Kansas City, he joined the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. Three weeks after his arrival at the front, Hemingway was wounded and spent nearly six months in convalescing before he returned home to USA and a hero\'s welcome. Hemingway\'s experiences in Italy, his wounding and recovery, later inspired his great novel A Farewell To Arms, and also explains some of the dark, pessimistic spirit one can trace trough much of his later work.
After the return from Europe, Hemingway worked as a reporter for the Toronto Star Daily and in 1921 he moved to Paris as the paper\'s European correspondent. Hemingway\'s background as a reporter is clearly shown in most of his work, and the rules inflicted in the newspaper, advocating short sentences, short paragraphs, active verb, authenticity, compression, clarity and immediacy follows him throughout his career. He later said: "Those were the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing. I\'ve never forgotten them." (Wilson)
He lived, worked and wrote in Paris for the next six years, until he moved back to the US in 1928. Hemingway was an eager hunter and fisher. He went on many hunting safaris to Africa and was a passionate deep sea fisher. Hemingway\'s love of nature and hunting is shown in many of his novels and short stories, most clearly in the book The Old Man and The Sea from 1952. The struggle between the man and the marlin is a brilliant description of courage and stamina, and the old man seems to be the prime example of the Hemingway hero, a culmination of a lifetime of writing that comes together in the character of Santiago.
Hemingway settled in the US in 1928 and wrote much of his best work in the next ten-fifteen years. He worked as a correspondent in the Spanish Civil War in 1937, and covered the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Paris among others in the final face of World War II. Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

The stories I have chosen for this essay, The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933), have many things in common, but are also distinct in their own ways. All five are centered within a small geographic area, and the time span of the stories are relatively short in all five. I will give a brief recap of each story before I start analyzing them thoroughly.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro describes a couple on a hunting safari who has had an accident. The husband,