“They only want to kill when they’re alone. Of course, if you went in there you’d probably detach one of them from the herd, and he’d be dangerous (Hemingway).” This quote, from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, was one of his many pieces of work that helped light the way for new authors. Hemingway believed that minimal details created a better story, leaving mysteries for readers to solve on their own. Hemingway described his style as the Iceberg Theory. Hemingway deserves to be in the literary canon because he is a master of diction, his stories are unique and original, and he developed a new writing style that many authors still use today.
Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His mother was very repressive and protective whereas his father, a physician, was very masculine. As a child, Hemingway spent a lot of time outdoors where his father often took him fishing and hunting. Hemingway often went with his father on professional calls as well. These early experiences introduced Hemingway to an adventurous life style which he continued throughout his entire life. The influence of his father’s masculinity eventually led to an obsession to prove his own masculinity and bravery (Gale, 1).
When the United States entered World War 1, Hemingway joined the Red Cross medical service and served on the Italian front as a medic. He performed an act of heroisms during a mortar bombardment. One of the bombs exploded near Hemingway leaving his knee badly injured from the shrapnel, but he managed to carry a wounded soldier to an aid station. Afterwards he was decorated for his bravery and rejoined the Italian army as a soldier (Gale, 1). He also served in World War 2 in a division that captured Paris, his favorite city. It is said that the first thing he did when he entered Paris was to re-open a previously shut down bar and invited all the soldiers to drink and celebrate. These experiences gave him a larger than life appearance, going above and beyond what was expected, daring to do what most men would not. All of which relates back to his early childhood experiences with his dad. Hemingway portrays this image through his characters which can only be described as larger than life. “Typical characters, they are usually tough men, experienced in the hard worlds they inhabit, and not given to emotional display or sensitive shrinking (Warren 3).”
The best way to describe most of Hemingway’s characters would be the perfect image of a man. When confronted with a challenge, they would fight through or go down on their own terms. Hemingway’s characters where in a way the spitting image of him. In many of his books Hemingway’s characters followed a code, “If they are to be defeated, they are defeated upon their own terms; some of them have even courted their defeat (Warren 3).” When Hemingway grew older, he thought he was losing his ability to write. When the day finally came when he thought he had lost all his...