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The Characteristics of Hemingway's Works

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The Characteristics of Hemingway's Works

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  • March 31, 2010
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The Characteristics of Hemingway’s Works
Ernest Hemingway, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1954, occupies an outstanding position in the American literature. He is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Hemingway is famous for his distinct writing style and his “Code Hero.” In addition, his many great works are based on his experiences of war. Hemingway’s writing style is arguably the most distinctive characteristic of his works. The minimalist style is the core of Hemingway’s writing style. His writing style contrasts with William Faulkner’s meticulous writing style. Margaret Anne O'Connor and John Alberti described, “If Faulkner confuses readers because he offers so many details for readers to sift through in order to understand what's going on, Hemingway confuses by offering so few” (par. 8). Hemingway developed his simple writing style while he was a reporter for the Kansas City Star. The newspaper office supported Hemingway to learn “short sentences, short paragraphs, active verbs, authenticity, compression, clarity and immediacy.” Hemingway said, "Those were the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing. I've never forgotten them” (The Hemingway Resource Center par. 1). Hemingway developed “simple, direct, and somewhat plain” style. He seldom used adverbs or adjectives in his prose writing style. He eschewed using “direct statements and descriptions of emotion” and “place and things.” In addition, he wrote terse and clear dialogue (Cooper par. 4). If one of his sentences is compared with a sentence of William Faulkner, Hemingway’s distinct writing style can be recognized easily. In a novel A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway started the first paragraph as “In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains” (3). In contrast with Hemingway’s minimalist writing style, in a short...