Ernest Hemingway: His Escape By Destruction

1161 words - 5 pages

Ernest Hemingway's dire need for escape was characteristic of most modern authors, although he may have taken it to the extreme. Modernists express an interest in escaping the abruptly changing and even depressing nature of the modern world. The topic of social breakdown or the loss of confidence in society's foundation is a reoccurring theme. Marriage, with examples from Hemingway's love life, is a prime exaple. Hemingway was a man of adventure, which led to the destruction of all of his marriages. His constant urge to escape from the constrictions of modern life may have been significant as well. Hemingway was eager to go to war; loved drinking, women, hunting, and gambling. These activities can easily be associated with the escape from ordinary life, and Hemingway was one of the few authors to radically act out on his views. Maybe the most radical action being a self inflicted gunshot wound, where he departed from the constrictions of life at age 61. Hemingway's first marriage was to a woman by the name of Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. He met her at a friend's apartment and they went on to get married just a short time later. They lived frugally in a depressing apartment, surviving off of her trust fund. Hemingway escaped from his job by quitting, but occasionally sent in articles to the Toronto Star. Hemingway, with his powerful need to experience and see the world, destroyed his marriage. He demanded that he go to Constantinople to cover the war between Greece and Turkey. Hadley, as his wife was called, was furious about this proposition. Ernest brought her back exotic necklaces of ivory, which made things a little better. Next, he and his wife went to Spain where they witnessed amazing bullfights and the famous running of the bulls. This trip inspired his novel The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway gave up journalism after he fell in love with the novel, and the two moved back to Paris with their newly born son. Five years into the marriage, Hadley separated from Hemingway after she found out about an affair he was having with an editor of Vogue magazine, Pauline Pfeiffer. Ernest Hemingway let his sense of escape and adventure get the best of him, and it cost him his first wife and family. Hadley had insisted that in order for Hemingway to gain a divorce from her, Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer were to live apart for six months and if, after that time they were still in love, she would give him a divorce. While enduring this six-month period, Hemingway became depressed and felt guilty. To escape from the pain he was going through he wrote Pauline telling her he was planning on taking his life because "it would be better for both of them if he simply died and went to hell". Soon after he and Pauline were married. Hemingway injured his foot during their honeymoon in Grau-du-Roi, a small fishing port in France and was unable to write. He went into depression again. The couple had two children and settled in Key West, where...

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