I. Introduction to Ernest Hemingway
II. Life and Times
A. Early Life
3. Marriage and Children
III. Literary Style
B. Very Influential
IV. Famous Works
1. Three Stories and Ten Poems
2. A Farewell to Arms
3. The Old Man and the Sea
B. Short stories
1. “Men Without Women”
2. “The Fifth Column and the First Forty-nine Stories”
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer, whose style was characterized by crisp, laconic dialogue, and emotional understatements. Hemingway’s writing and his personal life extended a profound influence on American writers of his time. Many of his works are regarded as classics of American literature and some have been made into motion pictures.
Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His parents were Dr. Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hall Hemingway. Ernest was the second child of six. His father was an accomplished physician and his mother was enthusiastic musician. Ernest Hemingway loved to accompany his father on outdoor activities such as hunting or fishing, although his mother would have preferred her son to be more influenced by music. His love for the outdoors would later show up in his writing as an accomplished author. He loved to play with his brothers and sister although most of them were younger then him.
He had four sisters and one brother. He played football and boxed on a regular basis. Hemingway’s interest in energetic activities carried on through his high school years while he attended Oak Park High School, which he graduated from in 1917. During his high school years he edited the high school newspaper and reported for the Kansas City Star. But within a few months he left his job.
He was finally able to participate in World War I as a voluntary ambulance driver for the Red Cross, after repeatedly being rejected because of his damaged eye, caused by his boxing. On July 8, 1918 the nineteen year old was severely injured on the Austro-Italian front and hospitalized in Milan and had an affair with a Red Cross nurse named Agnes Von Kurowsky, who turned down his proposal to marriage. War punctuated Ernest Hemingway’s life and career (Ernest Hemingway 1024).
The relationship is said to have formed the basis for one of Hemingway’s most popular and critically acclaimed novels was A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) 1899-1961 1). Hemingway was given two decorations by the Italian government, and then joined the Italian infantry. The war made big influences in Hemingway’s writings. War itself is a major theme in Hemingway’s works. In 1937 he was a correspondent in Spain; the events of the Spanish Civil War inspired For Whom the Bell Tolls. After he returned home to his family in Chicago to recuperate, he worked as a foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star. In Chicago, he met and married Hadley Richardson in 1921. In the same year his first son, John, was born in Toronto. But in 1927 he divorced Hadley Richardson and married Pauline Pfeiffer. He later moved to Key West where he had two boys named Patrick and Gregory.
It was in those years that his father had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with an old Civil War pistol. His father, Clarence Hemingway, had been in torment with hypertension and diabetes. In 1940 he divorced from Pauline and married Martha Gelhorn. During World War I he served in the U.S. Navy as a volunteer submarine spotter in the Caribbean. Yet again he divorced Martha Gelhorn in 1945 and married Mary Welsh, a correspondent for Time Magazine, in 1946.
They moved to the Cuban village of San Francisco de Paula, where Hemingway would live most of the rest of his life. His later life was very hard for him. He seemed to have a lot of bad luck. He went on a safari and was the victim of two plane crashes. He sprained his right shoulder, arm, and left leg, had a grave overall concussion, temporarily lost his vision in his left eye, his hearing in the left ear, had a paralysis of the sphincter, crushed vertebra, suffered from ruptured liver, spleen and kidney and was marked by first degree burns on his face, arms, and leg.
Then to add more to that already overwhelming pain, one month later he had a bushfire accident which left him with second degree burns on his legs, front torso, lips, left hand and right forearm. He was extremely sick after his two ordeals. He dealt with drinking problem that kept him down. His high blood pressure and cholesterol count were dreadfully high, and he suffered from an aorta inflammation.
During Hemingway’s last years he suffered from sever paranoia and depression. He tried to end his life unsuccessfully in 1961 and received treatment, but this was unable to prevent his suicide on July 2, 1961. Ernest Hemingway ended his life around 5:00am, as a result of a self-inflicted shotgun blast to the head and was buried in Ketchum.
The Hemingway style rocked the literary scene when it first arrived (Ernest Hemingway, Wikipedia 3). Hemingway’s writing style often seems simple and almost childlike, but his method is calculated and used to complex effect. In Hemingway’s writing he provided unconnected descriptions of action, and used very simple vocabulary to describe his scenes precisely. He avoided describing his characters’ emotions and thoughts directly. Instead, providing the reader with the raw material of an experience and eliminating the authorial viewpoint. He was also very particular about authenticity in his writing.
Hemingway’s stylistic influence on American writers has been enormous. The success of his plain style in expressing basic emotions contributed to the decline of the elaborate Victorian-era prose that characterized a great deal of American writing in the early 20th century. A multitude of American writers have cited Hemingway as an influence on their own work.
Ernest Hemingway was a very talented and accomplished author. In 1923, his last year at the Star, his first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, was published in Paris by Robert McAlmon. Only 300 copies of the book were made. Stylistic development for Hemingway reaches its zenith in 1923 with the publication of Three Stories and Ten Poems (Biography of Ernest Hemingway 2). It contained only fifty-eight pages, but it helped Hemingway establish himself as one of the leading talents of the Modernist movement. A Farewell to Arms was Ernest Hemingway’s second full-length novel.
One of Hemingway’s war and love stories, this novel takes place in Italy during World War I and is tied closely to the author’s own experience as an American Ambulance Driver for the Italian Army. In 1952 Ernest Hemingway published the book that is widely acknowledged as his masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea, redeeming his literary reputation after the critical attacks which had greeted his first post-war novel.
Hemingway also wrote renowned short stories. “Men Without Women” (1927) was Ernest Hemingway’s second major collection of short stories. Most of which are somehow related to a war, World War I, to be exact. “The Fifth Column and the First Forty-nine Stories” (1938) collected all of the short stories Ernest Hemingway had published up to that date and his only full-length play, The Fifth Column.
Ernest Hemingway was a magnificent author. He incorporated his life in his works. His life was full of tragedy but was also filled with glee. In my opinion he is one of the greatest authors in American Literature.
“Biography of Ernest Hemingway.” ClassicNotes: Ernest Hemingway. 2004. GradeSaver. 23 March 2004
“Ernest Hemingway.” The Language of Literature – American Literature. Dallas: McDougal Litell, 2000.
“Ernest Hemingway.” Wikipedia. 2004. MediaWiki. 23 Mar 2004
“Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) 1899-1961.” 2000 A & E Television Networks. 23 March 2004.