Hemingway And Alcohol Essay

2775 words - 12 pages

An Analysis of the Presence of Alcohol in Ernest Hemingway's Short Stories Alcohol and Desperation: An Analysis of the Presence of Alcohol in Ernest Hemingway's Short Stories Throughout the short stories of Ernest Hemingway, alcohol inevitably lends its company to situations in which desperation already resides. In an examination of his earlier works, such as In Our Time, a comparison to later collections reveals the constant presence of alcohol where hopelessness prevails. The nature of the hopelessness, the desperation, changes from his earlier works to his later pieces, but its source remains the same: potential, or promise of the future causes a great deal of trepidation and lament ...view middle of the document...

The manner in which they choose to live out their lives becomes paramount in the stories, and alcohol often remains integral to the characters' lives. In moving from the earlier stories of In Our Time to stories published in later collections, the shift in the attitude of the characters toward potential and promise becomes clear."Indian Camp" in In Our Time, depicts Nick Adams a small boy, exposed to death for the first time. This story does not describe desperation nor does it include alcohol; rather, it demonstrates the promise held in the possibilities of life in Nick's final thoughts: "In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die" (Hemingway 95). Despite the events he witnesses in the camp, Nick's future seems boundless, as well as endless. Potential has no limits, and the pressures of fulfilling potential are, as yet, unknown to him. This first story in Hemingway's first published collection serves as a fitting point of departure for the descriptions of desperation that follow; Nick is free from the weight of potential, and judging by his enjoyment of the idyllic setting that surrounds him, it seems that he looks forward to the promise of life."The Three-Day Blow" offers the reader one of the first opportunities to observe the trepidation and fear of future potential. The story happens to feature Nick Adams, but as other stories are examined, different characters will also exhibit the same desperation. "The Three-Day Blow" directly follows "The End of Something," save a vignette, and it seems to allude to the break up described therein. As Nick and Bill begin drinking, their talk includes baseball, fishing, the nature of drunks, and eventually Marge. The discussion of girls and relationships inevitably leads to a foreboding of the future. "'Once a man's married he's absolutely bitched,' Bill went on. 'He hasn't got anything more. Nothing. Not a damn thing. He's done for…'" (Hemingway 122). Nick quietly agrees with Bill's sentiments, but he still longs for Marge. The pleasant memory of the past is stalled by the fear of what the future could hold for his relationship with Marge. The alcohol, in this case, serves to numb the collision between the hopeful past and the hopeless future. The effects of the alcohol leave Nick free of his uncomfortable fears for a while: "None of it was important now" (Hemingway 125). After experiencing this heartbreak in his youth, a little alcohol is enough to clear the trepidation from Nick's mind."Cross-Country Snow" presents Nick Adams working through a fear of responsibility, again with alcohol in hand. Within the text of the story, it becomes clear that Nick is involved with a girl who will give birth to a baby in the summer. Nick's feelings toward this event are illustrated in his desire to forget the life he has in the States and to stay and ski in Europe. Over a bottle of wine, Nick and George discuss the joy of...

Find Another Essay On Hemingway And Alcohol

Biography of Ernest Hemingway Essay

623 words - 2 pages married, he moved to Cuba. In 1941, Hemingway participated in World War II by being an anti-submarine scout. He received more awards for his bravery. Hemingway's 4th major novel received the Nobel Prize in 1954. He couldn't attend the ceremony due to his head and stomach injuries suffered in a plane crash. In 1959, Hemingway moved to Idaho where he suffered from depression and use of alcohol. Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961 by a

About American author Ernest Hemingway Essay

1119 words - 4 pages heavily. He was involved in a car crash that his wife attributed to the influence of alcohol (Hemingway Bio).He died on July 2, 1961. His last years of life were marked by increasing depression and alcohol abuse. Owing to his plane crash injuries, Hemingway was no longer able to engage in robust outdoor pursuits. The shock treatments that he underwent for his depression made it impossible for him to concentrate on writing. A shadow of his physical

Ernest Hemingway’s Writings and Wartime Experiences

2450 words - 10 pages pieces of shrapnel in his legs.  Many thought Hemingway would not survive through his injuries, including the priest who, during his routine go around of anointing the dead and dying, anointed Hemingway along with the rest (Stirling 243).  During this little war trip, Papa developed a drinking problem that caused physical and psychological harm to his body as well.  He believed that alcohol killed giants, and all his life turned to it in a

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway

1543 words - 6 pages ." "Otro loco mas," said the barman and turned away." "A little cup," said the waiter. The barman poured it for him (Hemingway 5). Hemingway uses the symbolism of alcohol in the story as a means for the characters to find the courage to allow themselves to let go of their worries, even if the effects of the alcohol are brief. Hemingway places a little bit of his persona in the characters in this story. He himself consumed monstrous amounts of alcohol

Ernest Hemingway: Do The Writings Mirror the Man?

2763 words - 11 pages handing aroundbottles of anis and cognac...drinking themdown like wine. Those that did not drinkfrom the bottles of liquor were drinkingfrom leather wineskins....To kill gives muchthirst"(Pg.115)In this scene of the book Hemingway writes about what he knows very well for he has tasted many wines and he has drank cognac amongst other liquor, it is rumored that Ernest Hemingway had a alcohol abuse problem, along with his problem with women. He was

Hemingway's Personal Life and its Influence on his Short Story, Hills Like White Elephants

1441 words - 6 pages Hemingway's Personal Life and its Influence on his Short Story "Hills Like White Elephants" "Hills like White Elephants" is not the normal story where you have a beginning, middle and end. Hemingway gave just enough information so that readers could draw their own conclusions. The entire story encompasses a conversation between two lovers and leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Ernest Hemingway was a brilliant writer

The Old Man and His Sea by Ernest Hemingway

1787 words - 7 pages The Old Man and His Sea by Ernest Hemingway Cuba, Ernest Hemingway's haven for writing literature, fishing for marlin and basking in it's tropical weather. Cuba played a key role in Hemingway's life and literature. He spent many days and nights writing famous lines and passages for his well known novels such as Old Man in the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Islands in the Stream. Born Ernest Miller Hemingway on July 21, 1899, he was


990 words - 4 pages and “the man” while they wait at a train station between Barcelona and Madrid. However, a closer look reveals the story is more about a life changing decision the couple face regarding abortion. Hemingway effectively uses symbolic imagery to develop and reveal the relationship and tension shared between the couple due to their conflicting views about the abortion. The terrain, hills, railroad station and even the baggage they carry and alcohol

The Curse of the Hemingways

720 words - 3 pages The Curse of the Hemingways “Can someone be predisposed to be suicidal?” That is the question that plagues many Hemingway scholars, and indeed it seems that it exists in the Hemingway lineage. Ernest Hemingway’s family tree is dotted with suicides and sudden tragic deaths, too many occurrences for one to merely disregard such tragedies as coincidence. Some believe that there exists the so- called “curse of the Hemingways,” a way to explain

Discussion of Stereotypes in a Farewell to Arms

1530 words - 6 pages fellow nurses, the important ones being Miss Van Campen and Helen Ferguson. Miss Van Campen is an older nurse that constantly nags Henry for having alcohol, and after he gets jaundice, has his leave revoked for “producing self-inflicted jaundice with alcoholism” (Hemingway, 144). Miss Van Campen only fits into Hemingway’s stereotype in that she is a nurse. Other than her matronly job, she is fierce, going openly head to head with Lieutenant Henry

Ernest Hemingway

2432 words - 10 pages just depicting his characters as he saw the typical American in the 1920’s. In his mind this meant a people filled with melancholy denial. Hemingway became the chief reporter of what became known as the “Lost Generation”. This phrase is attributed to Gertrude Stein, a friend of Hemingway’s, who meant youth, angry with life itself after the war; drowning themselves in alcohol; sleeping away the days and sharing their beds with a new partner each

Similar Essays

Three Generations In One: A Clean Well Lighted Place

1592 words - 7 pages staying that he “wouldn’t want to be that old” (Hemingway 495). In addition the young waiter feels that the old drunk man “should have killed [himself] last week” (Hemingway 494) because he did not want to waste his time serving him more alcohol. The young waiter, like most young people, is a short-term thinker that has not even thought about the possibility of death. Hemingway implies that just like the youthful waiter, the drunken old man, and

The Anti War Novel Essay

1140 words - 5 pages (Analysis 1). When reflecting on the novel, a blogger writes, “A Farewell to Arms is a war novel, not in the sense that it glorifies the war, but as all know, it describes the cruelty, madness of the war which deprives human life and happiness” (Analysis 1). During the novel, Hemingway displays his anti-war message by showing how the characters indulge in distractions to escape the reality of war. Love and sex, alcohol, and religion are all ways

Ernest Hemingway: His Escape By Destruction

1161 words - 5 pages the marriage between he and Martha Gelhorn was over. Hemingway and his mysterious off the wall activities drastically changed his life once again. He fell into a period of sever alcohol abuse due to the reoccurring feelings of guilt, escaping once again. His marriage to Mary Welsh was a blurry mess, as those were the last days of his life. He didn't travel as much during this time, for his only adventures and escapes were in a bottle

The Thoughts Of A Writer Essay

877 words - 4 pages Ernest Hemingway portrays many of his views through the characters in his stories. Hemingway has found a way to deliver many different themes in his writing. He includes personal experiences, thoughts and opinions to convey his way of thinking to the reader. Hemingway's writing can be interpreted in many ways, but as countless readers have observed, Ernest Hemingway is a sexist. Hemingway is viewed as a sexist because of the way he writes about