Ernest Hemingway

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  • Topic: Ernest Hemingway, American literature, The Old Man and the Sea
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  • Published : May 2, 2007
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Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was considered one of the great American authors of the 20th century. Hemingway's unique style of writing set him apart from other authors of this time and of today. He influenced many generations of authors with his style of using powerful, precise words. He used few adjectives, simple verbs, and short sentences in his works.

Hemingway believed that his writing should be based on knowledge that he had acquired on a particular subject through his own personal life. In a passage from Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, he wrote "If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them." This is in fact why Hemingway wrote most of his novels and stories in the first person point of view. Hemingway was also known for the dialogue he wrote between his characters. This allowed the reader to see his character's emotions and inner thoughts. Ernest Hemingway's style challenged readers to look below the surface for the meaning of his words. This was known as the "Iceberg Theory" because the tip of an iceberg is the only visible portion above the sea while the largest part is far below the sea. The "Hemingway hero", a male character who faces violence and destruction with courage, and the "Hemingway code", unemotional behavior in difficult and dangerous situations, were also trademarks of Hemingway's style. To better understand Ernest Hemingway as an author, one must first look at Hemingway as a person.

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 in Illinois. As a young boy, Hemingway enjoyed hunting and fishing at the family cabin in rural Michigan. These outings allowed him to gain appreciation for Mother Nature, and to look for adventure in many parts of the world. This love of the outdoors was reflected in many of his writings, such as The Green Hills of Africa published in 1935. During Hemingway's high school years, he was editor of the school newspaper. This was the beginning of his writing career. Shortly after graduation, Hemingway went into battle during World War I, where he was an ambulance driver. He became injured and returned to Illinois where he landed a job with the Toronto Star. He became a war correspondent, moved to Paris, and got the opportunity to interview many European political leaders, such as Mussolini. These two events influenced Hemingway to write his first best-seller, A Farewell to Arms, in 1929.Hemingway's job, a reporter and journalist, required him to write short and to-the-point articles, which was how he wrote as an author. In 1929, this style of writing led Hemingway to write and publish his first work, Three Stories and Ten Poems. Hemingway the author was born. Ernest Hemingway was married four times. The first two marriages failed because Hemingway was unhappy, the third failed because his wife was unhappy, and the fourth continued until the end of Hemingway's life. Hemingway never had a female as the main character in his works. In 1939, Hemingway's father committed suicide after battling high blood pressure and diabetes for many years. The painful experience of his father's death influenced the novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway moved to Cuba in 1945 where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, a novel about an old fisherman who battled a giant marlin and the sea. This novel won Hemingway a Pulitzer Prize. In 1954, this novel also won Ernest Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. He could not attend the ceremonies because of injuries he received in a near fatal plane crash. Hemingway was forced to move back to the United States in 1960 because of the communist movement led by Fidel Castro. Hemingway's health began to deteriate. His injuries from the plane crash prevented him from enjoying his love for the outdoors and his love for writing. Hemingway sank into a state of...
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