To Have And Have Not Essay

829 words - 3 pages

Hemingway's To Have and Have Not Unlike the novels we have read up to this point, To Have and Have Not is a "man's novel". (I realize this idea seems sexist, but it is common to think of gunfights, swearing, and drinking as "man stuff".) The action scenes in this novel were never far apart and one thing the book could never be called is slow. Something that seemed to be lacking in the book though, were believable relationships between the men and women and the way sexual characteristics were portrayed. I have heard something about Hemingway's writing in the past being gender-bias, but it wasn't until this novel that I could see some element of male and female relationships missing and odd ways of defining gender-based qualities used. When I read about Hemingway's poor portrayal of characters in the past it referred to only women and pointed out that their little use as main characters echoed the problems Hemingway had in his own relationships with women and this explained why his writing ability failed in this area. I don't know if this is true about Hemingway's past influencing characters, but I feel that the inaccuracy in character traits includes both men and women and is best seen in Harry and in his relationship with his wife. The main character, Harry, is portrayed as a man who loves his family and wants to care for them. He is also portrayed as a murderer, a man who drinks in every scene, a bully, a criminal, and in general, a tough guy. Hemingway tries to make Harry the only "real" man in the book by making him tough and contrasting him against other male characters who were even "worse" than him. The other males were drunks, mass murderers, unfaithful, weak men who allowed themselves to be pushed around, and arrogant. Characters like the bank robbers, the rummies, and the tourists were supposed to make Harry seem like a human being with direction. Harry may have been more noble than a few drunks and some heartless killers, but he still wasn't a believable male character, because he was one sided.We never see Harry as a caring person. If Harry was a "good...

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