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Ernest Hemingway Essay

945 words - 4 pages

Elizabeth Hein
English 232
Module 4 Essay - 1900-1945 Fiction
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author during the 20th Century, and many of his writings are a staple of American literature. Hemingway's was such a successful author because the characters he created in his work seemed real to the reader and could be related to. Among his works he published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime; also three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published after his death. (Nobel Prize) During his lifetime, he was awarded with, Silver Medal of Military Valor in World War I, Pulitzer ...view middle of the document...

Because Hemingway does not show these themes on the surface of his writing, when the reader realizes them they are more easily remembered and used in life. Also, his simple writing style reflects his themes in that the themes are also not complex. They are ideas that are basic, yet powerful. However, the major disadvantage to this writing style is that these meanings often go unnoticed because the reader is unable to catch them. When Nick Adams disembarks from the train and looks at the remnants of the town of Seney, he does not see a town falling apart or slowly losing coherence, since the town and its surroundings have already been destroyed by a great fire. As Hemingway simply puts it, "There was no town, nothing but the rails and the burned-over country." (Belasco, 980)
However, we are then told of the town that had been there, a place with thirteen saloons and a hotel, a place where Nick had come to before with friends who he would fish with. But, we are told, the town is gone, with "even the surface burned off the ground." (Belasco, 980) This description is a parallel for Nick himself: he has already been burned away, already passed through many corrosive and destructive events. The place's present state of existence, or lack of a state of existence, is summarized, as is Nick's, through the fire-scarred foundation of the Mansion Hotel, where even "the stone was chipped and split by the fire." (Belasco, 980) Nick's fishing trip to the river is a journey of implied introspection after the damage has already been done, and Hemingway shows this as soon as Nick steps into the blackened and barren world of Seney. Nick has already survived his personal decay, and must now learn to live with what is left or perhaps look to rebuild...

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