December 13, 2013
Ernest Hemingway led a life one can only imagine in stories, but started from a rather boring town called Oak Park in Illinois. This life began on July 21, 1899. Perhaps his own stories are a place you can get an idea of this author’s life. Many critics say that he mirrored a lot of stories from his own life, and knowing a little about his real life, you can draw the parallels from fact to fiction.
Hemingway spent his summers in Michigan, in a small cabin in the woods next to the Ojibway Indians, whom he was very good friends with. His father, Clarence, taught him the way of nature, including how to identify plants, hunt and fish, among other ...view middle of the document...
However, he got a break about a year later when a position opened to drive ambulances for the Red Cross in Italy. Hemingway immediately applied and got the job. Not two weeks into it there was a raid and Hemingway was hit with hundreds of pieces of shrapnel in his legs. Not only this, but while attempting to save a soldier, he was shot in the knee.
One can imagine how this real life event can turn into a huge heroic tale; and he used it to his advantage. At this time he was not yet married and, upon returning to the United States, he told even larger stories of what a war hero he was to all the women.
Before returning to the United States, he was sent to a Red Cross hospital in France to recover. There he met Agnes, a beautiful nurse whom he immediately fell in love with. Despite his letters, which, in the words of Agnes were “champion love letters,” he could not win the heart of his nurse. And, according to her his writing was his only strong suit in the art of pursuing love.
This small event was used in a number of short stories, and the pain from it can be felt in others. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a great American novelist, learned from Hemingway that, “When you get the damned hurt, use it.” Hemingway’s own words support theories that he used this event to inspire his short stories.
Ernest Hemingway never stayed in one place for too long. He had homes in Spain, Cuba, Illinois, Florida, and Paris and Michigan. His first home with his first wife, Hadley, was located in Paris. This was during the roaring twenties, and there was a roaring crowd of writers, artists, poets and the like in Paris. Hemingway befriended them and began to hang around these influential people – F. Scott Fitzgerald one of them. This is how he met his second wife, Pauline. She worked for Vogue magazine in Paris. There were already tensions in his marriage with Hadley, and this just added to them, as he was extremely attracted to Pauline. Pauline was a bit of a home wrecker as well, so the blame can’t fall entirely on Ernest Hemingway. After his divorce, he was married to Pauline within a year. Pauline and Ernest also had a son together. With his constant moving around and desire to be alone to write, it doesn’t appear he was a very involved father.
Not only did he have many homes, but also he traveled frequently to other places. He spent a lot of time in Africa big-game hunting. In “The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” you can understand how Hemingway acquired his descriptions, and maybe even imposed some of his feelings into the story. Knowing how similar his life is to most of his stories, you may even wonder if he or...