Early Life and Education
Ernest Hemingway was born on the 21st of July in 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. He was a bright son of Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, a physician and his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, was a musician. He received his early education in various public schools. He was an outstanding student writer. Strangely, after leaving school in 1917 he did not attend college for further education. He wanted to join military services but his defective eyesight led to repeated rejections. However, he managed to participate in World War I as an ambulance driver. His early life experiences coupled with love and war rigors became settings for most of his future writings.
Ernest Hemingway married Mary in 1946. Unfortunately, the family suffered health problems and mishaps in the years following the war: Hemingway and Mary had some serious accidents as well as deaths of literary friends like Ford Madox Ford, William Butler Yeats Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. These tragedies threw him into the hell of depression. Despite all these challenges, the couple remained faithful to each other.
Some Important Facts of His Life
- He won Pulitzer Prize in May 1952 for his novel, The Old Man and The Sea.
- He received Nobel Prize in Literature in October 1954.
- His wife, Mary Hemingway, established the Hemingway Foundation in 1965, and in 1970s, she donated Hemingway’s papers to the John F. Kennedy Library.
- Several prizes have been established in his honor including Hemingway Award and Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.
Ernest Hemingway started writing at a young age and his lucid and succinct writing style exerted a powerful influence on world literature. He became a published writer in 1925, when his first important book, In Our Time, got published in America. Later, in 1926, his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, enabled him to score the first solid success. The novel deals with the purposeless expatriates in Spain and France. His next work, The Torrents of Spring, also appeared in 1926. His reputation as a master of shorter fiction skyrocketed with the publication of Men without Women that published in 1927. This well-received work followed by another notable publication, A Farewell to Arms, that came up in 1929. The novel accounts for his real war experiences as a young soldier in Italy; he successfully infused war stories into a love story. He fictionalized his passion for bullfighting and unbound love for Spain in his next publication, Death in the Afternoon. Weaving the considerable experiences of Spain in peace and war, he came up with his next finest work, For Whom the Bell Tolls. His other notable works include The Old Man and the Sea and Across the River and Into the Trees.
After establishing his career as a writer, Ernest Hemingway earned huge success in life. He gained immense popularity on account of his thoughtful ideas and unconventional style. Using his unique simple style of writing, he has shed light on the horrors of warfare, biting loneliness, and the horrible sadness of losing loved ones. By applying techniques like irony, contrast, and autobiographical details, he talks about the emotions people experience in life. His works deal with simple yet complex diction to enhance the unique perspective presented to the readers. Ernest Hemingway intentionally used this distinct style to separate himself from other writers. The recurring thematic strands in most of the writings are love, war, wilderness, and man versus nature. Regarding literary devices, he often turns to metaphors, foreshadowing, imagery, and similes to create a unique style.
Some Important Works of Ernest Hemingway
- Best Novels: Some of his best novels include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea.
- Other Works: Besides writing novels, he tried his hands in other areas, too. Some of his best short stories include “Indian Camp”, “True at First Light”, “The Killers,” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,”, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy.”
Ernest Hemingway’s Impacts on Future Literature
Ernest Hemingway was a dynamic writer who started his writing career at a young age and became popular in his life. His unique writing style and literary qualities of his masterpieces brought praiseworthy changes to the world of literature. Also, he had a significant influence on a diverse range of writers and critics and other influential figures. He expressed his thoughts and ideas in his literary pieces so well that even today writers tend to imitate his style, considering him a role model for producing simple fiction.
- “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” (A Farewell to Arms)
- “You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.” (A Moveable Feast)
- “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.” (The Old Man and the Sea)
- “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” (Men Without Women)