Ernest Hemingqay: A great Author

I. Ernest Hemingway's tough, Terse prose and short, declarative

sentences did more to change the style of written English that any other

writing in the twentieth century. II. Ernest Hemingway has had many

great accomplishments in his historical life but just one event has hardly

sticks out from the rest. The Old Man and the Sea is one of

Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in Language of great simplicity

and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, agonizing battle

with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts,

in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face

of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely

successful novel confirmed his power and presence in the literacy world

and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for

Literature. This novel also won the Pulitzer Prize award. III. July 21st,

1899, Ernest Hemingway was born. He was born to DR Clarence

Edmonds and Grace Hall Hemingway. He grew up in a small

conservative town called Oak Park, Illinois. His father, a practicing

doctor, taught him how to hunt and fish, while his mother, wished to

make him a professional musician. His upbringing was very

conservative and somewhat religious. He attended Oak Park and River

Forest High School, where he distinguished himself in English. His main

activities where swimming, boxing, and of course writing. In 1917,

turning his back on University, he decided to move to booming Kansas

City where he got a job as a cub reporter on the Kansas City Star. At

the train station, his father, who later on disgusted Ernest by committing

suicide, kissed his son tenderly good-bye with tears in his eyes. This

moment was eventually captured in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Hemingway wrote that he felt 'so much older than his father... that he

could hardly bear it'. The Star was the first to introduce Ernest to news

writing which demands brief, to the point sentences, that contain a

smooth easy following of ideas. He would later adapt this style to his

fiction. In May of 1918, Hemingway became an honorary second

lieutenant in the Red Cross. He could not join the army due to a

defective left eye (resentfully inherited from his mother). On his first day

of service across seas, he and other ambulance drivers were assigned

the horrific duty of picking up body parts from an exploded munitions

factory. Death, mostly of women, on such a scale was most definitely

another very shocking moment in Hemingway's young life. But he soon

recovered from this experience and became known as the man who

was always where the action is. He would often sneak cigarettes and

chocolate to soldiers on the Italian front. It was on one of these

occasions that he was severely wounded by an Austrian trench mortar.

Even with over a hundred pieces of shrapnel and an Austrian machine

gun bullet logged in his leg he managed to carry a wounded soldier a

hundred yards to safety. He got the Italian Medal of Valor for his

courageous action. He spent his recovery time at the Ospedale Croce

Rossa Americana, in Milan. It is there that he met and fell for a thirty

year-old nurse called Agnes Hannah. To Ernest's disappointment,

Agnes was not willing to embark in a relationship. Ernest, who had not

yet turned twenty, who was a war hero, a journalist and a wounded

soldier, was too young for beautiful Agnes . With the will to write fiction,

he moved to Chicago where most of his work was refused. He lived by

writing for the Toronto Star and working as a sparing partner for boxers.

It was in Chicago that Hemingway met Elizabeth Hadley Richardson.

She was an innocent young woman with graceful features and a strong

attraction for the eight year younger Hemingway. Not having much

income and wanting to marry Hadley, Ernest chose to move to Paris.

Hemingway managed to convince the Toronto Star to accept a series of

Letters from Europe. The young couple also received money from

Hadley's trust fund while Ernest continued to work as a sparing partner

for boxers. In Paris, Hemingway encountered many of the greats

(historically known as The Expatriates). He met Gertrude Stein, Ezra

Pound, James Joyce, Scott Fitzgerald , Ford Madox Ford and John

Dos Passos. It was Stein who took him under her wing. She had been

working to renew literary writing by removing useless gothic, Victorian

and archaic forms. She was the first to point Hemingway in the direction

of the 'simple declarative sentence', an attempt to make words

communicate concretely and efficiently. It was also during this period of

his life that Hemingway discovered the bull fight, the Pamplona bull run

and the famous San Fermin July Fiesta. He would later write several

books and short stories about bull fighting and the many events that

surround this tragic ritual. Among these are Death in the Afternoon and

The Dangerous Summer. Quickly after Patrick's birth, they moved on to

what would remain Hemingway's only true residence in the United

States-- Key West, Florida. It was there that a whole new world broke

itself open to the sportsman in Ernest. Fishing the deep sea for great

fish like the tarpon and the barracuda was his newest love. But even in

Key West, a heavenly earth, tragedy struck Ernest. His father, struggling

with diabetes and angina pectoris, had put a bullet through his head.

Hemingway was very ashamed of this. He had always felt that life was

for the testing of death. Suicide was the surrendering of life to death.

This was forbidden in his code of courage. From that day on, Ernest

turned his back on his father. 1929 marked the release of A Farewell to

Arms. It was instantly accepted as a great work by critics and the public.

With the success of this novel, Hemingway became a true American

writer. To many, he also became a hot headed fool. He would make

loud remarks about some of his fellow writers. He would make

proclamations about artistic integrity that he himself would often not

respect. He clearly was no longer the shy young journalist he had been

for the Kansas City Star. He had become Papa. Even with the beautiful

surroundings of the Key West, Hemingway still longed for Spain. At the

time he was tediously working on Death in the Afternoon, a marvelous,

intriguing and powerful look at the bullfight. Although at times overdone,

Death in the Afternoon will capture greatness and power in the minds of

its readers, even those that are most disgusted by the bullfight. After

Ernest finished Death in the Afternoon and Pauline gave birth to another

boy, they set off for Africa. It was there that Hemingway hopped to find

the true meaning of heroism. Three stories would result from the events

of Africa. The Green Hills of Africa, which lacked effective meaning and

carried a false tone of masculine hunting spirit, was the least successful.

The Snows of Kilamanjaro was a much more potent tale about the hunt.

Arguably one of Hemingway's best, it drew from the troubles of a broken

Scott Fitzgerald to depict the guilt of a talented yet unacomplished artist

as he faced death. The last short story to result from Africa was The

Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber, which seeks the meaning

of courage. The Spanish Civil War became official in July, 1936.

Hemingway was offered a liaison's job by the North American

Newspaper Alliance (NANA). He accepted, much to Pauline's

opposition. Being a newsman, officially he remained neutral throughout

the war. Despite this, Hemingway could often be overheard raising

funds at social gatherings in America to fight the fascists back in Spain.

In 1940, after the end of the Spanish Civil war Hemingway published

For Whom the Bell Tolls. His long divorce with Pauline came to an end,

and he married Martha Gellhorn. This would turn out to be the shortest

and least understandable of his four marriages. During the Second

World War, he equipped the Pilar with grenades and sub conning

towers for the purpose of hunting Nazi submarines. This got it

recognized as an official Q-ship. Of course its unshaven crooked crew

never sunk a sub, they simply spent their days fishing off the Cuban

coast. Martha, who was very involved in the war, was as always quick to

criticize Ernest. She accused his personal navy of fraudulent use of

gasoline rations. One night, when returning form a drunken party,

Hemingway had a severe car accident. He was hospitalized with

serious head trauma . Martha returned from the front to see him. Instead

of comforting the banged up Ernest, she simply laughed at his sad state

as he lay in the hospital. In June 1944, Hemingway finally set foot in

Normandy. He made his way to the front, compiling a small army of

undesirables by his side. With his small guerrilla force and a few bottles

of scotch Hemingway marched in to Paris on the 25th of August, five

days before the city was officially freed. He proceeded, by his own

authority, to liberate the Traveler's Club and the Ritz, in which he took a

room as well as the bar. He was eventually awarded the Bronze Star for

his part in the invasion. On another occasion, while Mary was staying

with him at the Ritz, he shot a portrait of her husband. He placed the

frame over the toilette in his room at the Ritz and discharged his hand

gun into it. This flooded the room and several floors below it. Mary got a

taste of Hemingway's madness. Yet, in 1946, they were married. The

war was over and they returned happily to La Finca. Across the River

and into the Trees was the fist of a fictional three part saga about earth,

sea and air. It takes place in Venice. It is about an old soldier, who is no

longer at war and who falls for the sweet beauty of the much younger

contessa Renata. Some said that this novel had a strong

Shakespearean quality, many others only saw a pathetic tale about an

old man infatuate with a young lady. Hemingway outdoes himself with

charming descriptions of Venice in this book. Yet he fails in making his

protagonist soldier sympathetic, a sign that he was self-conscious of his

boisterous behavior. This book marked a turning point in Hemingway's

life, it stood for his passage into middle age, something he had not

been willing to accept easily. In 1950, after having been dubbed as a

burnout, Hemingway put himself to work on his greatest story ever. The

Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952. It was a very touching tale

about an old man who finds grandness of life and death while battling

the great marlin. He is ready to heal down before the fish, when it finally

gives in. While towing the animal back to shore, it's beauty is destroyed

by sharks. The humility of the old man, his handshake with grandeur, all

make this tale truly beautiful. The Old Man and the Sea was

Hemingway's second entry in his triad about land, seas, and air. It got

him the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1954, the greatest literary award of all, the

Nobel Prize. Hemingway had three true phobias in his life: telephone

conversations, the taxman, and public speaking. Yet he wrote a very

touching speech that was read. It was at that moment that the end had

begun for Papa Hemingway. Before the Nobel Prize in 1954, Ernest

and Mary had sought out his fifth African safari. This time he was much

less boisterous. He maintained a clear mind. He shot very well, and

demonstrated great ability. Yet the safari ended badly with two plane

crashes. The first had not been too serious. The second, although, had

distraught Hemingway quit badly. His injuries included concussion,

paralysis of the sphincter, first degree burns on his face, arm and head,

a sprained right arm and shoulder, a crushed vertebra, and a ruptured

liver, spleen and kidney. He was in continuos pain for quite a while. It

was in Pamplona that Hemingway celebrated his sixtieth birthday. Mary

had spent two months preparing for the event. She ordered champagne

from Paris, Chinese foods from London, codfish from Madrid. She hired

a shooting booth, fireworks specialist, flamenco dancers, waiters,

barmen and cooks from all over the world. Guests included General

C.T. Lanham from Washington, Ernest's old Paris pals, Italian Royalty

and the Maharajah of Behar. The party went twenty-four hours strait,

from noon of July 21st to noon July 22nd. Seeking a calm place to

recuperate and continue work on The Dangerous Summer, Ernest and

Mary relocated to their cabin in Ketchum. But for Hemingway, Idaho was

a far cry from the comforts of Cuba. His eyes were failing him to the

point of not being able to write anymore. Even if he did manage to put

down words, they often were incoherent, lacking any logical meaning.

He could not drink anymore due to his kidney injury. Slowly but surely

Ernest degenerated physically and psychologically. Even while still living

in Cuba, Ernest began showing signs of paranoia and delusion. He

would often say that FBI agents were following him. Although he had

large enough savings to cover any immediate financial problems, he

was constantly afraid of being hunted down by the IRS for tax evasion. It

soon became evident to those around him that psychiatric help would

be necessary. They managed to convince Ernest to institutionalize

himself. Fearing he would refuse, it was agreed upon to tell him that the

treatment was for his high blood pressure (Hemingway had always

been wary of his blood pressure). On November 30th in 1960, Ernest

Hemingway was committed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

During the month of December he was given electroshock therapy. In

January of 1961, Ernest was released. At first all seemed well again.

He had even managed to write a few coherent words for the jacket of

George Plimpton's new book: On April 23rd, Ernest Hemingway tried to

take his life for the first time. He had tried to put a shotgun to his head. It

had failed the first time but he then later went on to put that one tragic

bullet in his head. IV. My opinion of this book is phenomenal. It taught

me a sensational amount of interesting facts about Ernest Hemingway.

He went through so much in his life. A lot of events in his life interested

me which made me keep on reading the book! Hemingway had may

happy events but yet he went through some really hard times. All this

added up in which he followed in his father's foot steps and killed

himself. Overall Ernest Hemingway should be a world figure for his

excellence and commitment to writing. V. V. 1. In 1926 Ernest wrote the

novel The Sun Also Rises. 2. In 1929 Hemingway wrote the novel A

Farewell to Arms. 3. In 1932 Ernest wrote the novel Death in the

Afternoon. 4. In 1940 Hemingway wrote the novel For Whom the Bell

Tolls. 5. In 1950 Ernest wrote the novel Across the River and into the

Trees. 6. In 1953 Hemingway wrote the most famous of his novels

called The Old Man and the Sea. 7. In 1953 Ernest Hemingway won the

Pulitzer Prize for is novel The Old Man and the Sea. 8. In 1954 he won

the Nobel Prize in Literature. 9. On November 30th in 1960, Ernest

Hemingway was committed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

During the month of December he was given electroshock therapy. 10.

In 1961 Ernest Hemingway took his own life by committing suicide.

Related Essays on Other Essays