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The Life of Ernest Miller Hemingway

There were several writers in the twentieth century, and among them was Ernest Miller Hemingway. Hemingway had a interesting, but strange life. By analyzing and exploring the literature and biographies of Ernest Hemingway, one will be able to understand the life of Ernest Hemingway and see the major contributions he had to literature. He was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. Hemingway was born in the Hemingway family home, which was built by his grandfather Ernest Hall. He was the second child out of six, that were born to Clarence and Grace Hemingway. He had four sisters and one brother.

He was named after his mother’s father Ernest Hall and his great uncle Miller Hall. The area Ernest grew up in was a very conservative area of Illinois. It was the opposite of Chicago which was liberal. Hemingway was raised with values of strong religion, hard work, physical fitness and self determination. He was taught that if he went by these values in life, he would do good in whatever he did. When he was little, his father taught him to hunt and fish around the Lake Michigan area. Ernest’s family had a summer house on a place called Walloon Lake in north Michigan, and the family would spent their summer there.

When he was at the summerhouse, Hemingway would fish in the streams that ran into the lake, or take the little row boat on the lake to fish. He would also go squirrel hunting in the woods near the summer house. He liked to be by himself because he could think. Nature is what inspired Ernest to create some of his greatest works. Even though Ernest liked nature, he often lived in major cities like Chicago, Toronto and Paris, but when he became successful he chose more isolated places to live like Key West, Cuba, or Ketchum, Idaho. Wherever he lived, he made sure he had access to hunting and fishing.

When he wasn’t hunting or fishing his mother taught him about music. His mother was a singer who once had thought about a professional career, but she chose to settle down with her husband instead. She occupied her time by giving voice and music lessons to local children. Sometimes she gave her own kids lessons. Hemingway never really liked music and he hated choir practices and cello lessons. Even though he didn’t like music a lot, it helped him with his first wife, Hadley because she liked the piano. Hemingway went to school in the Oak Park public school system. In high school he was okay at sports.

He played football, swimming, water basketball and was the track team manager. He liked to also work on the high school newspaper called the Trapeze, where he wrote his first articles. He imitated the style of writer Ring Lardner who wrote with a sense of humor. Hemingway graduated high school in 1917 but instead of going to college like his parents wanted him to, he took a job as a reporter for the Kansas City Star. His uncle was responsible for him getting the job, because he knew the top editor. While Hemingway worked for the Kansas City Star he learned about how to write, and it showed in his later works of fiction.

The newspaper advocated short sentences, short paragraphs, active verbs, authenticity, compression, clarity and immediacy. Hemingway later said: “Those were the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing. I’ve never forgotten them” (Young 36). The same time Ernest was graduating, World War I had started in Europe. Even though President Wilson tried to keep the US out of the war, they helped other countries in the fight against Germany and Austria. When Hemingway turned eighteen he tried to enlist in the army, but they turned him away because of poor vision. He had a bad eye like his mother.

When he heard the Red Cross wanted volunteers for ambulance drivers he quickly signed up. The Red Cross accepted him so he left his job at the paper in 1918 and went to Europe in May. Hemingway first went to Paris when he got to Europe, then he went tp Milan. The day he arrived, a firearms factory exploded and he had to carry nasty bodies and body parts to a temporary morgue. Two days after that he was sent to an ambulance unit in a place called Schio, where he worked driving ambulances. A few weeks after arriving, he was hurt by pieces of a Austrian mortar shell that landed a few feet away from him.

Hemingway was distributing chocolate and cigarettes to Italian soldiers when this happened. The explosion knocked Hemingway unconscious, killed one soldier and blew the legs off another one. After the explosion happened, historians aren’t exactly sure what happened next because Ernest sometimes lied. In a letter to Hemingway’s father another ambulance driver wrote that even though there was over 200 pieces of metal from the mortar shell in his legs he carried another injured soldier back to the first aid station. He also said that on the way Ernest was hit in the legs by bullets. In the hospital Ernest met one of his first loves.

Her name was Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky and she was a twenty-six year old nurse who took care of Ernest while he was injured. Ernest really liked Agnes since he first saw her and it seemed like she liked him too, but that’s not what she said later in a letter to him. The letter said : ” Now, after a couple of months away from you, I know that I am still very fond of you, but, it is more as a mother than as a sweetheart. ” Hemingway wanted to marry her, but she said because of the age difference she thought he wasn’t mature enough. Plus she talked to other men. When Ernest left the hospital he wrote letters to her.

Hemingeway was given the Italian Silver Medal for Valor. The words on the medal read: “Gravely wounded by numerous pieces of shrapnel from an enemy shell, with an admirable spirit of brotherhood, before taking care of himself, he rendered generous assistance to the Italian soldiers more seriously wounded by the same explosion and did not allow himself to be carried elsewhere until after they had been evacuated” (Baker 54). Hemingway’s wounding along the Piave River in Italy and his subsequent recovery at a hospital in Milan, including the relationship with his nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, all inspired his great novel A Farewell To Arms.

When Hemingway went home from Italy in 1919 he thought that Oak Park wasn’t as fun as it used to be and it was more boring now compared to being around the war. He was only nineteen years old, but the war had made him more mature. HIs parents didn’t really like the fact that he had went over seas to the war, so living with them was hard on Ernest. After he came home his parents began to pressure him to find work or go back to college. He had received more than a thousand dollars from insurance for his war injuries, so because that was a lot of money back then he didn’t have to work for about a year.

He lived at his parent’s house and spent his time reading. Ernest went around town talking to people about how war was and when they asked him to tell about his experiences he lied to make the people happy. His story “Soldier’s Home” talks about how he felt bad when he came home because people didn’t really know what happened in war, so they didn’t know that the war had affects on his mind. The last time Ernest spoke in public was very important. It was important to Hemingway not because of what he said but because of who heard it. Harriett Connable, the wife of an executive for the Woolworth’s company in Toronto was listening.

When he started talking Ms. Harriett noticed the differences between Hemingway and her son. Hemingway was healthy and strong and her son was frail and handicapped byhis right arm and spent most of his time inside. Harriett Connable thought her son needed someone to show him the some fun and Hemingway seemed like a good person to help her son while she and her husband took a vacation in Florida. She asked Ernest if he would do it, and he said yes. When Ernest took the little job, he got to write and work for the Toronto Star Weekly. Hemingway wrote for the Star Weekly even when he moved to Chicago in 1920.

When he lived at one of his friend’s house he met Hadley Richardson and they fell in love. They got married in 1921. In the same year the same year Hemingway took an offer to work with the Toronto Daily Star as its European correspondent. Ernest and Hadley got to go to Paris where literature was being changed by writers like Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Ford Maddox Ford. So he got to do stories on them. The Hemingways got to Paris on December 22, 1921 and later they moved into their first apartment. It was a dirty apartment that didn’t have any running water and the bathroom was really a closet with a bucket inside.

Hadley wasn’t really used to living in bad conditions. They could have got a nicer apartment because they had about $3,000 for a income. That was pretty good for those times. Ernest rented a separate apartment so he could write. Ernest made a lot of friends in Paris and some of them were famous writers and painters. These friendships would later help him out when he was becoming a writer. Ernest wrote about a lot of stuff for the paper including the Geneva Conference, the Greco-Turkish War, the Luasanne Conference and the post war convention in the Ruhr Valley (.

He also wrote about non political issues. Just as Ernest was beginning to make a name for himself, he found out that Hadley was pregnant with their first child. They wanted the baby to be born in North America where the doctors were better, so they left Paris in 1923 and moved to Toronto, where he still got to write for the Toronto Daily Star and wait for their child to arrive. John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway was born on October 10, 1923 and when he was almost one, they moved back to Paris where Hemingway would finish making a name for himself.

Hemingway got a chance to edit the Transatlantic Review. The owner of the Transatlantic Review, Moore Ford published some of his stories, including “Indian Camp” and “Cross Country Snow” and generally really liked him. The magazine only lasted untitl 1925, but it gave Ernest a chance to do some writing. From 1925 to 1929 Hemingway produced some of the most important works of 20th century fiction, including the a short story collection “In Our Time” which had “The Big Two-Hearted River” in it. In 1926 he came out with his first real novel, The Sun Also Rises .

He then came out with a new book called “Men Without Women” and that was famous because of the short stories “The Killers” and “In Another Country. ” In 1929 he published A Farewell to Arms, and a lot of historians think that that was his best work and one of the most important ones to come from the World War I times. In four years he went from being an unknown writer to being the most important writer of his time, ans even still to this day people like him. Hemingway would write about stuff like theories.

He said that only 1/8 of a iceberg can be seen above water, and the rest of it is in the sea, and from tthings like that he could get story ideas. Some more of his works are “Soldier’s Home,” “Indian Camp,” “A Very Short Story,” “My Old Man” and the “Big Two-Hearted River. ” “Big Two Hearted River”would lead up to Hemingway working for Scribner’s magazine. Scribner’s published Torrents in 1925, and then later put out his other novel The Sun Also Rises. A lot of people didn’t really like The Sun Also Rises. It was about love in Paris and Spain, and it talked about bullfighting.

He was doing real good as a writer but his personal life was getting bad. He divorced his first wife Hadley in 1927 and married Pauline Pfeiffer in the same year. She was sometimes the fashion reporter for Vanity Fair and Vogue. In 1928 Ernest and Pauline left Paris to go to Key West, Florida so they could start there new life together. They lived there for about twelve years, and Ernest really liked it because he could write and fish and hunt. That same year Ernest’s father committed suicide. His father had some mental problems and health problems. He had diabetes, angina and migraines.

And with all this he had financial problems to make things worse. So, his father shot himself in the head. Ernest went back to Oak Park to make the funeral arrangemnets. Pauline was pregnant at the time and on June 28, 1928 she gave birth to Patrick (Reynolds 13). Even through all this drama, Ernest finished working on A Farewell to Arms, and he finished itin January of 1929. In 1931 Pauline gave birth to Gregory, their second son together, and the last child they had. After A Farewell to Arms Hemingway published his bullfighting book called Death in the Afternoon.

While writing an encyclopedic book on bullfighting he made it interesting enough for people who didn’t really care about reading it to read. He talks about the Spanish culture, writers, food, people, politics, history, and other stuff. Ernest wrote this about why he wrote his book about the Spanish peopl: “It is intended as an introduction to the modern Spanish bullfight and attempts to explain that spectacle both emotionally and practically. It was written because there was no book which did this in Spanish or in English. ”

Ernest started writing fiction again in 1933 and he published “Winner Take Nothing” The book had 14 stories including “A Clean Well Lighted Place,” “Fathers and Sons,” and “A Way You’ll Never Be. ” Since it was put out in the Depression it did alright, but it could have done better. In 1933 the Hemingway family and their friend Charles Thompson went to Africa to go hunting. After he read about Teddy Roosevelt going to Africa, Hemingway wanted to go too. Pauline’s Uncle Gus gave them a $25,000 dollar loan do they could go. He stayed there for three months. In 1935 he published Green Hills of Africa.

That was about what he did in africa. It was a decent book, but people didn’t really like it. In the book he was talking about people who was supposed to be his friends and that made him seem like he was insensitive. He made himself look good, and others look bad. He even had Charles Thompson in it bad. Book critics talked about him a lot. Even though it wasn’t really liked, the description of Africa painted a iridescent mind picture of Africa. But his trip didn’t go to waist anyway because he did get to write better stories like “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.

The books were like the opposite of Green Hills of Africa. The character in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” was lazy, rude, and rich. And in the other story the man shot his wife, so that was different. A lot of times Ernest didn’t really tell the truth, or he hyped it up to be something that it wasn’t. What was supposed to Hemingway’s life was a lot of times his fiction books. For example: Ernest’s injuries were a lot like Frederic Henry’s in A Farewell To Arms rather than the biographies you see today.

A Farewell to Arms tells how Frederic fought with the Italian people in the war, and when he was hit by a mortar shell, he carried a hurt soldier through machine gun fire to the field hospital, and how he refused to get help until others were got help before him. So really, Ernest’s life was in his fiction. In March 1937 Hemingway went to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance (Griffin 41). This caused some problems for his marriage. Ernest had met a Martha Gellhorn and they had a secret affair for four years before Ernest divorced Pauline.

Ernest supported communism and Pauline supported the other side of the war because they were catholic. Martha and Ernest traveled together a lot becuase she was a writer too. They would married in 1940. Eventually the loyalist movement failed and the Franco led rebels won the war and installed a dictatorial government in the spring of 1939. Even though his side lost the war he used his experiences there to later write For Whom the Bell Tolls, a play titled “The Fifth Column” and some other short stories. After he got back from Spain, him and his new wife moved to Cuba and finished it in 1940.

The book was popular, and people liked it, even the critics. The book was voted the best novel of the year by the Pulitzer Prize committee, but was vetoed because of politics by the president of Columbia University, so they didn’t even give a prize that year. The book sold over 500,000 copies in just six months, and people still buy it today. During the 1940’s he worked on novels Islands In The Stream and The Garden Of Eden. These two weren’t published while he was still living. In between he would also talk about World War II. During this time he divorced his Martha to marry his fourth wife, Mary Welsh.

After his work covering the Spanish Civil War and his work on For Whom the Bell Tolls, he covered the Chinese-Japanese war in 1941. He wrote dispatches about the war for PM Magazine (Meyers 68). He didn’t really like the trip so he was ahppy when he got to go back to Cuba. He didn’t stay there for a long time because he got to go on a undercover mission to hunt down German submarines in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Cuba. Him and his friends got together with some professionals and turned his boat into a sub catcher. They called themselves the “Crook Factory.

Nothing ever came of their sub hunts except for them fishing and drinking together. In the spring of 1944 Hemingway finally decided to got to Europe to report about the war and the war’s effects on England. When he was there he got into a car accident, but it was his fault because he was driving drunk. Ernest spent his time observing the war, and he wanted to write a book about the war, but that never happened. Hemingway returned to America in 1946. The only book he wrote about the war was Across the River and Into the Trees. It talks about a general who was demoted after a bad battle was blamed on him.

Then it turns into a love story. Because Hemingway had a good reputation, Scribner’s ran 75,000 copies of Across the River and Into the Trees in 1950 after it had already appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine in previous issues of the same year. Some book critics didn’t like it, but others thought it was pretty good. The captious critics were waiting for another book like For Whom the Bell Tolls. Many of the critics were bumptious and full of narcissism, and because of that they were mean sometimes. In September of 1952 The Old Man and the Sea appeared in Life magazine, selling over 5 million copies (Reynolds 14).

The next week Scribners rolled out the first hardcover edition of 50,000 copies and they got sold real fast too. The book was a great success for the first time since For Whom The Bell Tolls in 1940. The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953. He used the money to go to Europe and Africa. While he and Mary was on a airplane tour of Africa the pilot, dove to avoid a flock of birds and hit a telegraph wire. The plane had to amke a crash landing. After a boat ride across Lake Victoria they took another flight in a de Haviland Rapide, this time piloted by Reginald Cartwright.

Heading toward Uganda the plane barely got off the ground before crashing and catching fire. Ernest used his head to break through the main door. The crash had injured Ernest more than a lot of people would know about. Even though he survived the crashes and lived his injuries was going to catch up to him. Even though he was a little hurt, Ernest and Mary traveled on to Venice and then headed back to Cuba. On October 28, 1954 Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he couldn’t go to Sweden to get his reward (Reynolds 17).

He sent a letter to accept his award. In 1959 Life magazine worked with Hemingway to write a short article about two of Spain’s best matadors. The story was too long so he asked another writer named A. E. Hotchner to help him make it shorter. The magazine wasn’t to happy with how long it was, but they published the article as “The Dangerous Summer” in three parts in 1960. That was Ernest’s last work to be published. Ernest became a alcoholic after this time. There was a control in his writing that hadn’t been evident in a long time.

Also in 1960, and moved to Ketchum, Idaho where he and Mary had a house waiting for him with his wife Mary. In the fall of 1960 Ernest flew to Minnesota and was admitted to the Mayo Clinic to see a allenist for treatment of severe depression disguised as high blood pressure. The only therapeutic treatment the Mayo Clinic gave Ernest, was electro shock therapy, and that caused him aphasia and memory loss. Without that he couldn’t really write anymore. Hemingway spent the first half of 1961 fighting his depression, paranoia, and biliousness seeing enemies at every turn and telling people he would commit suicide.

On July 2, 1961 Hemingway got a gun from a closet in the basement, went upstairs to a spot near the entrance-way of the house and shot himself in the head. Suicide is what sadly ended the life of Ernest Hemingway, but this was something commn in his family (Baker 114). Several members of the Hemingway family committed suicide. His father, grandfather, sister, and great grand daughter all committed suicide. Even more distant relatives committed suicide too. Carrying the Hemingway name was baleful.

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Home » Ernest Hemingway » The Life of Ernest Miller Hemingway

The life of Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest’s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and censored the books he allowed his children to read. He forbad Ernest’s sister from studying ballet for it was coeducational, and dancing together led to “hell and damnation”.

Grace Hall Hemingway, Ernest’s mother, considered herself pure and proper. She was a dreamer who was upset at anything which disturbed her perception of the world as beautiful. She hated dirty diapers, upset stomachs, and cleaning house; they were not fit for a lady. She taught her children to always act with decorum. She adored the singing of the birds and the smell of flowers. Her children were expected to behave properly and to please her, always. Mrs. Hemingway treated Ernest, when he was a small boy, as if he were a female baby doll and she dressed him accordingly.

This arrangement was alright until Ernest got to the age when he wanted to be a “gun-toting Pawnee Bill”. He began, at that time, to pull away from his mother, and never forgave her for his humiliation. The town of Oak Park, where Ernest grew up, was very old fashioned and quite religious. The townspeople forbad the word “virgin” from appearing in school books, and the word “breast” was questioned, though it appeared in the Bible. Ernest loved to fish, canoe and explore the woods. When he couldn’t get outside, he escaped to his room and read books.

He loved to tell stories to his classmates, often insisting that a friend listen to one of his stories. In spite of his mother’s desire, he played on the football team at Oak Park High School. As a student, Ernest was a perfectionist about his grammar and studied English with a fervor. He contributed articles to the weekly school newspaper. It seems that the principal did not approve of Ernest’s writings and he complained, often, about the content of Ernest’s articles. Ernest was clear about his writing; he wanted people to “see and feel” and he wanted to enjoy himself while writing.

Ernest loved having fun. If nothing was happening, mischievous Ernest made something happen. He would sometimes use forbidden words just to create a ruckus. Ernest, though wild and crazy, was a warm, caring individual. He loved the sea, mountains and the stars and hated anyone who he saw as a phoney. During World War I, Ernest, rejected from service because of a bad left eye, was an ambulance driver, in Italy, for the Red Cross. Very much like the hero of A Farewell to Arms, Ernest is shot in his knee and recuperates in a hospital, tended by a caring nurse named Agnes.

Like Frederick Henry, in the book, he fell in love with the nurse and was given a medal for his heroism. Ernest returned home after the war, rejected by the nurse with whom he fell in love. He would party late into the night and invite, to his house, people his parents disapproved of. Ernest’s mother rejected him and he felt that he had to move from home. He moved in with a friend living in Chicago and he wrote articles for The Toronto Star. In Chicago he met and then married Hadley Richardson. She believed that he should spend all his time in writing, and bought him a typewriter for his birthday.

They decided that the best place for a writer to live was Paris, where he could devote himself to his writing. He said, at the time, that the most difficult thing to write about was being a man. They could not live on income from his stories and so Ernest, again, wrote for The Toronto Star. Ernest took Hadley to Italy to show her where he had been during the war. He was devastated, everything had changed, everything was destroyed. Hadley became pregnant and was sick all the time. She and Ernest decided to move to Canada. He had, by then written three stories and ten poems.

Hadley gave birth to a boy who they named John Hadley Nicano Hemingway. Even though he had his family Ernest was unhappy and decided to return to Paris. It was in Paris that Ernest got word that a publisher wanted to print his book, In Our Time, but with some changes. The publisher felt that the sex was to blatant, but Ernest refused to change one word. Around 1925, Ernest started writing a novel about a young man in World War I, but had to stop after a few pages, and proceeded to write another novel, instead. This novel was based on his experiences while living in Pamplona, Spain.

He planned on calling this book Fiesta, but changed the name to The Sun Also Rises, a saying from the Bible. This book, as in his other books, shows Hemingway obsessed with death. In 1927, Ernest found himself unhappy with his wife and son. They decided to divorce and he married Pauline, a woman he had been involved with while he was married to Hadley. A year later, Ernest was able to complete his war novel which he called A Farewell to Arms. The novel was about the pain of war, of finding love in this time of pain. It portrayed the battles, the retreats, the fears, the gore and the terrible waste of war.

This novel was well-received by his publisher, Max Perkins,but Ernest had to substitute dashes for the “dirty” language. Ernest used his life when he wrote; using everything he did and everything that ever happened to him. He nevertheless remained a private person; wanting his stories to be read but wanting to be left alone. He once said, “Don’t look at me. Look at my words. ” A common theme throughout Hemingway’s stories is that no matter how hard we fight to live, we end up defeated, but we are here and we must go on.

At age 31 he wrote Death in the Afternoon, about bullfighting in his beloved Spain. Ernest was a restless man; he traveled all over the United States, Europe, Cuba and Africa. At the age of 37 Ernest met the woman who would be his third wife; Martha Gellhorn, a writer like himself. He went to Spain, he said, to become an “antiwar correspondent”, and found that war was like a club where everyone was playing the same game, and he was never lonely. Martha went to Spain as a war correspondent and they lived together.

He knew that he was hurting Pauline, but like his need to travel and have new experiences, he could not stop himself from getting involved with women. In 1940 he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls and dedicated it to Martha, whom he married at the end of that year. He found himself traveling between Havana, Cuba and Ketchum, Idaho, which he did for the rest of his life. During World War II, Ernest became a secret agent for the United States. He suggested that he use his boat, the “Pillar”, to surprise German submarines and attack them with hidden machine guns.

It was at this time that Ernest, always a drinker, started drinking most of his days away. He would host wild, fancy parties and did not write at all during the next three years. At war’s end, Ernest went to England and met an American foreign correspondent named Mary Welsh. He divorced Martha and married Mary in Havana, in 1946. Ernest was a man of extremes; living either in luxury or happy to do without material things. Ernest, always haunted by memories of his mother, would not go to her funeral when she died in 1951.

He admitted that he hated his mother’s guts. Ernest wrote The Old Man and the Sea in only two months. He was on top of the world, the book was printed by Life Magazine and thousands of copies were sold in the United States. This novel and A Farewell to Arms were both made into movies. In 1953 he went on a safari with Mary, and he was in heaven hunting big game. Though Ernest had a serious accident, and later became ill, he could never admit that he had any weaknesses; nothing would stop him, certainly not pain. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Toward the end, Ernest started to travel again, but almost the way that someone does who knows that he will soon die. He suddenly started becoming paranoid and to forget things. He became obsessed with sin; his upbringing was showing, but still was inconsistent in his behavior. He never got over feeling like a bad person, as his father, mother and grandfather had taught him. In the last year of his life, he lived inside of his dreams, similar to his mother, who he hated with all his heart. He was suicidal and had electric shock treatments for his depression and strange behavior.

On a Sunday morning, July 2, 1961, Ernest Miller Hemingway killed himself with a shotgun. Ernest Hemingway takes much of the storyline of his novel, A Farewell to Arms, from his personal experiences. The main character of the book, Frederick Henry, often referred to as Tenete, experiences many of the same situations which Hemingway, himself, lived. Some of these similarities are exact while some are less similar, and some events have a completely different outcome. Hemingway, like Henry, enjoyed drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Both of them were involved in World War I, in a medical capacity, but neither of them were regular army personnel. Like Hemingway, Henry was shot in his right knee, during a battle. Both men were Americans, but a difference worth noting was that Hemingway was a driver for the American Red Cross, while Henry was a medic for the Italian Army. In real life, Hemingway met his love, Agnes, a nurse, in the hospital after being shot; Henry met his love, Catherine Barkley, also a nurse, before he was shot and hospitalized. In both cases, the relationships with these women were strengthened while the men were hospitalized.

Another difference is that Hemingway’s romance was short-lived, while, the book seemed to indicate that, Henry’s romance, though they never married, was strong and would have lasted. In A Farewell to Arms, Catherine and her child died while she was giving birth, this was not the case with Agnes who left Henry for an Italian Army officer. It seems to me that the differences between the two men were only surface differences. They allowed Hemingway to call the novel a work of fiction. Had he written an autobiography the book would probably not have been well-received because Hemingway was not, at that time, a well known author.

Although Hemingway denied critics’ views that A Farewell to Arms was symbolic, had he not made any changes they would not have been as impressed with the war atmosphere and with the naivete of a young man who experiences war for the first time. Hemingway, because he was so private, probably did not want to expose his life to everyone, and so the slight changes would prove that it was not himself and his own experiences which he was writing about. I believe that Hemingway had Catherine and her child die, not to look different from his own life, but because he had a sick and morbid personality.

There is great power in being an author, you can make things happen which do not necessarily occur in real life. It is obvious that Hemingway felt, as a young child and throughout his life, powerless, and so he created lives by writing stories. Hemingway acted out his feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness by hunting, drinking, spending lots of money and having many girlfriends. I think that Hemingway was obsessed with death and not too sane. His obsession shows itself in the morbid death of Miss Barkley and her child.

Hemingway was probably very confused about religion and sin and somehow felt or feared that people would or should be punished for enjoying life’s pleasures. Probably, the strongest reason for writing about Catherine Barkley’s death and the death of her child was Hemingway’s belief that death comes to everyone; it was inevitable. Death ends life before you have a chance to learn and live. He writes, in A Farewell to Arms, “They threw you in and told you the rules and the first time they caught you off base they killed you. … they killed you in the end. You could count on that.

Stay around and they would kill you. ” Hemingway, even in high school, wrote stories which showed that people should expect the unexpected. His stories offended and angered the principal of his school. I think that Hemingway liked shocking and annoying people; he was certainly rebellious. If he would have written an ending where Miss Barkley and her child had lived, it would have been too easy and common; Hemingway was certainly not like everyone else, and he seemed to be proud of that fact. Even the fact that Hemingway wrote curses and had a lot of sex in his books shows that he liked to shock people.

When his publisher asked that he change some words and make his books more acceptable to people, Hemingway refused, then was forced to compromise. I think that the major difference between Hemingway and Henry was that Henry was a likable and normal person while Hemingway was strange and very difficult. Hemingway liked doing things his way and either people had to accept him the way he was or too bad for them. I think that Hemingway probably did not even like himself and that was one reason that he couldn’t really like other people.

Hemingway seemed to use people only for his own pleasure, and maybe he wanted to think that he was like Henry who was a nicer person. In the book, Twentieth Century Interpretations of A Farewell to Arms, Malcolm Cowley focuses on the symbolism of rain. He sees rain, a frequent occurrence in the book, as symbolizing disaster. He points out that, at the beginning of A Farewell to Arms, Henry talks about how “things went very badly” and how this is connected to “At the start of the winter came permanent rain”. Later on in the book we see Miss Barkley afraid of rain.

She says, “Sometimes I see me dead in it”, referring to the rain. It is raining the entire time Miss Barkley is in childbirth and when both she and her baby die. Wyndham Lewis, in the same book of critical essays, points out that Hemingway is obsessed with war, the setting for much of A Farewell to Arms. He feels that the author sees war as an alternative to baseball, a sport of kings. He says that the war years “were a democratic, a levelling, school”. For Hemingway, raised in a strict home environment, war is a release; an opportunity to show that he is a real man.

The essayist, Edgar Johnson says that for the loner “it is society as a whole that is rejected, social responsibility, social concern” abandoned. Lieutenant Henry, like Hemingway, leads a private life as an isolated individual. He socializes with the officers, talks with the priest and visits the officer’s brothel, but those relationships are superficial. This avoidance of real relationships and involvement do not show an insensitive person, but rather someone who is protecting himself from getting involved and hurt.

It is clear that in all of Hemingway’s books and from his own life that he sees the world as his enemy. Johnson says, “He will solve the problem of dealing with the world by taking refuge in individualism and isolated personal relationships and sensations”. John Killinger says that it was inevitable that Catherine and her baby would die. The theme, that a person is trapped in relationships, is shown in all Hemingway’s stories. In A Farewell to Arms Catherine asks Henry if he feels trapped, now that she is pregnant. He admits that he does, “maybe a little”.

This idea, points out Killinger, is ingrained in Hemingway’s thinking and that he was not too happy about fatherhood. In Cross Country Snow, Nick regrets that he has to give up skiing in the Alps with a male friend to return to his wife who is having a baby. In Hemingway’s story Hills Like White Elephants the man wants his sweetheart to have an abortion so that they can continue as they once lived. In To Have and Have Not, Richard Gordon took his wife to “that dirty aborting horror”. Catherine’s death, in A Farewell to Arms, saves the author’s hero from the hell of a complicated life.

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