The Life and Work of Ernest Hemmingway
Author: Hemmingway, Ernest
Works to be analyzed:
“Hills Like White Elephants”, “The Sun Also Rises”
Ernest Miller Hemmingway was born on July 21, 1899 in what is now called Oak Park, Illinois. According to an article written by John Walsh in The Independent News Paper, Hemmingway’s parents were physically and mentally abusive to him stating that his father, “Clarence Hemingway was a barrel-chested, six-foot bully, a disciplinarian who beat his son with a razor strop” and his mother was controlling and mentally abusive by often dressing him like a girl, “She referred to him, in his cute lacy dress, as "Dutch dolly". (Walsh2011) He also states that “she also praised him for being good at hunting in the woods and fishing in the stream in boys' clothes. It was too confusing for a sensitive kid”. (walsh2011) Walsh believes that this treatment of young Ernest was the cause for a chronic identity crisis. “Henceforth he could be warm and generous or ruthless and overbearing. His friendships were often unstable (he could turn vicious or cruel, even with supposedly close pals) and his relations with women were full of conflict”. (Walsh.2011) So he spent most of his life thrill seeking so as to seem more masculine, and having problems with all relationships throughout the rest of his life. This also shows in his stories, with the characters’ relationships with women always tumultuous, somewhat like his own relationships.
In 1918, during World War I, Hemmingway served in the Italian Army as an ambulance driver where he was injured and wound up in a hospital in Milan. There he fell in love with a nurse and became engaged, but then she left him for another man. This devastated him but laid the groundwork for “A Very Short Story” and more famously known “A Farewell to Arms”. He went back to the United States to finish recovering from his war injuries and eventually took a job at the Toronto Star. While in Chicago he met his first wife Hadley Richardson and they moved to Paris where he started working as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star. (A&E Network. Ernest Hemmingway Biography.2014)
In Paris Hemmingway joined a group of other writers and artists of his generation that were referred to as the “Lost Generation”. In 1923 Hemmingway and his wife Hadley had a son and by this time he also began going to the famous “Festival of San Fermin” in Paloma, Spain. In 1925 he and his wife along with a group of British and American expatriates went to the festival. This trip and their adventures is what gave him the idea of his first novel “The Sun Also Rises” which is now considered to be his greatest work. It portrays the life style of postwar disillusionment of his generation. Soon after he wrote his first novel he and his wife divorced due to his cheating with another woman, who would soon become his second wife. This eventually becomes a common pattern throughout his life, going from one woman to the next,...