Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway

Although many people see Ernest Hemingway as a; drunk, depressed author whom committed suicide, Ernest Hemingway was actually a very successful author who won the Pulitzer Prize, 1953, for The Old Man and the Sea. His amazing novels became part of history, for their literate style and passion of wars and happiness.

Ernest Hemingway born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. He was a American author and journalist. Because of his distinctive writing style many of Ernest Hemingway's novels where a reflection of his life and opinions, they popularized Ernest Hemingway rapidly. As a child Ernest Hemingway was dressed as a female by his own mother. He has always had a passion for hunting wildlife and writing. Ernest Hemingway suffered the tragic loss of his father, Clarence E. Hemingway. His father was a drunk man whom committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Ernest Hemingway was educated in the public schools and began to write in high school, where he was active and outstanding. He graduated from high school in 1917, he did not enter college instead he moved to Kansas City, where he was employed as a reporter for the Star newspaper. He was repeatedly rejected by the military service because of a defective eye, but he later on managed to enter World War I as an ambulance driver. On July 8, 1918 not yet nineteen years old, he was injured on the Italian front lines. He was hospitalized in Milan. He fell in love with a Red Cross nurse, Agnes Von Kurowsky, who declined to marry him. These were experiences he was never to forget.

After recuperating at home, Hemingway renewed his efforts to writing, for a while worked at odd jobs in Chicago, and sailed to France. He began to see non-journalist work appear in print there, and in 1925 his first important book, a collection of stories called IN OUR TIME, was published in New York City. This book deals with a group of aimless expatriates in France and Spain. Hemingway's THE TORRENTS OF SPRING, also appeared in 1926. The writing of books occupied Hemingway for most of the postwar years. He remained based in Paris, but he traveled widely for the skiing, bullfighting, fishing, and hunting that became part of his life and formed the background for much of his writing. Among his finest early stories are THE KILLERS, THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF FRANCIS MACOMBER, and THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO.

One of Hemingway's first works of writing was a novel called, A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1929) this novel reached back to his experience as a young soldier in Italy, Hemingway developed a grim but lyrical novel of great power. Fusing love a story, with a war story. It connected with him greatly of when he was rejected by the nurse he fell in love with, this novel was about him falling in love with her, named as Catherine, and getting her pregnant, however, in his story the baby and Catherine died in labor; and he is left desolated at the loss of the great love of his life. The novel A FAREWELL TO ARMS, "is a reflection of Hemingway's hopes and dreams while he was recovering in the hospital in Milan, he hoped that the nurse, Agnes, would marry him..." (Scriber).

One of Hemingway’s famous novels was, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Following the war in Europe, Hemingway returned to his home in Cuba and began to work again. He also traveled widely, and, on a trip to Africa, he was injured in a plane crash. Soon after (in 1953), he received the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for The Old Man and the Sea (1952), a short heroic novel about an old Cuban fisherman who, after an extended struggle, hooks and boats a giant marlin only to have it eaten by voracious sharks during the long voyage home. When The Old Man and the Sea was first published, it received wide acclaim- even being compared favorably to earlier novels like Moby Dick. This book, which played a role in gaining for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, was as praised as his previous novel. The "deceptively simple" story by Hemingway seemed to entice the minds of critics with the possibilities that it embodied. Later on, some critics posited that there was nothing more than met the eye in Hemingway's classic. Such was the dichotomy that one critic, Philip Young, praised this work in 1952 and denounced it as a meaningless novel fourteen years later. Despite the mixed critical reaction to The Old Man and the Sea, there is little disagreement about the central meaning of novella. It has been viewed by most critics on its most basic level as a story of “one man's courage and, by extension, of human beings' heroic quest and attendant struggle with nature.” (Cengage)However, it has been pointed out, nature, as symbolized in one form by the fish, is not a malignant force but one that is to be respected for its power.

At first glance, "IN ANOTHER COUNTRY," refers to the fact that the American narrator is indeed in a foreign land--Italy. Yet he is also a visitor to another realm--the "country" of the sick and injured. In Hemingway’s novel, IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, he writes about a wounded American soldier that is recuperating from his injury. His Doctor is very optimistic and promises that the soldier’s knee and leg will recover well enough to play football again. Although Nick, the injured soldier is doubtful about the therapies given by a machine, he makes conversation with some other soldiers there also taking therapy. The other four soldiers brag a lot about their medals won in battle. Nick meets a Major and realizes that he does not brag at all, but later on find out that the major’s wife has just died at a very young age. The story is a puzzle to many readers and critics. “It is easy to forget the story is not about the narrator’s opinions, but about the character’s bravery, courage, and death” (Scriber)

Something was seriously wrong with Hemingway. In the fall of 1960 Hemingway flew to Rochester, Minnesota and was admitted to the Mayo Clinic, ostensibly for treatment of high blood pressure but really for help with the severe depression his wife Mary could no longer handle alone. After Hemingway began talking of suicide his Ketchum doctor agreed with Mary that they should seek expert help. He registered under the name of his personal doctor George Saviers and they began a medical program to try and repair his mental state. The Mayo Clinic’s treatment would ultimately lead to electro shock therapy. Ernest Hemingway received "between 11 to 15 shock treatments that instead of helping him most certainly hastened his demise." (Jefferey Meyers Hemingway). One of the sad side effects of shock therapy is the loss of memory, and for Hemingway it was a catastrophic loss. Without his memory he could no longer write, could no longer recall the facts and images he required to create his art. Writing, which had already become difficult, was now nearly impossible.

Hemingway spent the first half of 1961 fighting his depression and paranoia, seeing enemies at every turn and threatening suicide on several more occasions. On the morning of July 2, 1961 Hemingway rose early, as he had his entire adult life, selected a shotgun from a closet in the basement, went upstairs to a spot near the entrance-way of the house and shot himself in the head. It was little more than two weeks until his 62nd birthday.

A consummately contradictory man, Hemingway achieved a fame surpassed by few, if any, American authors of the 20th century, and as well helped form the history of the ROARING TWENTIES. The virile nature of his writing, which attempted to re-create the exact physical sensations he experienced in wartime, big-game hunting, and bullfighting, in fact masked an aesthetic sensibility of great delicacy. He was a celebrity long before he reached middle age, but his popularity continues to be validated by serious critical opinion.

From his childhood, of being treated as a female and hating his father, to his guilt of his father’s death and eventually becoming depressed thus committing suicide. Ernest Hemingway was one of the most intelligent authors of the 1900’s, his own dark, guilty and yet popular, background formed the foundation of his stories. Which are now recognized as some of the most historical writing in the world’s history, over all of humanities history. Hemingway’s stories shaped humanity.



MARCH 15, 2012

BLUE 6-8

Works Cited

Baker, Carlos. Hemingway and His Critics, an International Anthology;. New York: Hill and Wang, 1961. Print.

Cengage, Gale. "The Old Man and the Sea.", 2000. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

 "Ernest Hemingway Biography  ~ The Last Days." Ernest Hemingway Biography  ~ The Last Days. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

Hemingway, Ernest M. In Another Country. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1931. Print.

Hemingway, Ernest. Old Man and the Sea. Hong Kong: Art's Pub., 1995. Print.

Miksanek, Tony. "Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database." What's New. 12 May 2004. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

YoungEd, Philip. "Ernest Hemingway Biography." A&E Networks Television, 1994. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

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