Ernest Hemningway As A Paradox Essay

965 words - 4 pages

This sentence is a lie. Is the statement a lie because it states that it is? Or is the sentence true because it is lying about it being a lie? Is there even a correct interpretation of this sentence? This sentence is a paradox. A paradox is an expression or situation that contradicts itself without a defined answer or opinion. Many great writers like to use paradoxes because the reader thinks more about the text. One of the greatest writers of all time; Ernest Hemingway loves to use this in his works. Hemingway not only loves to use them but also Hemingway himself is a paradox. Hemingway is a paradox because he personifies his fatherly traits onto his characters, he makes true statements that are ironic, and because he uses excerpts of his life that contain these paradoxes.
Hemingway exemplifies his fatherly traits on his characters, in his literary works. He does this in “Indian Camp” in the situation between Nick and his father. Nick and his father start the book with a common relationship that all fathers share with their children. However, not much information is given on Nick’ father. Nick sees his father as someone who will protect him, however as the story progresses Nick realizes that his father isn’t as great as Nick had previously perceived him to be. Nick also grows as the story develops; he becomes more emotionally detached from his father, subtly in that he sits on the opposite side of the boat from his father on their return journey from the Indian Camp. Nick’s father thus becomes a paradox for what a proper father should be, perfectly replicating Hemingway’s own parenting style. Hemingway also personifies his traits on the relationship that Santiago and Manolin share. Santiago isn’t the birth father Manolin but still cares for him as if he were his own son. Santiago cares for the boy so much that he wants only the what’s best for Manolin; even if it means that Santiago sacrifices time with Manolin. This is a paradox because Hemingway himself was a good father: one minute he would do anything for his children, the next he wouldn’t care. This is most likely because Santiago isn’t based off of Hemingway rather his Cuban fisherman mentor. Yet one must wonder, why does Hemingway give his traits to his characters and then the characters themselves become their own forms of contradiction.
Hemingway is a paradox because he makes ironic statements throughout his works. When Hemingway uses these ironic statements, it shows not only the literal irony but also the symbolic irony that is Hemingway. In the book Old Man and the Sea, Santiago is trying desperately to defend his catch from the seemingly endless hordes of sharks. The quote, “‘I killed him in self-defense,’ the old man...

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