Autobiographical Connections between Hemingway and his Works

Essay by coolah829High School, 10th grade August 2007

download word file, 11 pages 4.2

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most revolutionary American writers in history, rivaled only by Mark Twain. He was one of the only "super-celebrity" authors of America, creating the standard for all things "macho" and sportsmanlike. His façade of machismo is well summarized by Scott Donaldson when he wrote: "Like T.R., he was one of the great legend builders. The myth became pervasive: Hemingway the macho man, warrior-lover-sportsman-writer-drinker-expert, tough as nails Papa in his beard at bullfights." (Contemporary Literary Criticisms 412) His unconventional manner was completed by his unique writing style, that was entirely new to literature. His short, succinct sentences that got straight to the point, were characteristic of journalism, and indeed, reflected his background as a reporter. Ernest Hemingway was known for his jaunts in foreign countries on vacations that often displayed his extreme masculine nature. Wilfred M. McClay said on Hemingway: "Everyone knows Ernest Hemingway. Or, at least, they think they do.

It is hardly possible not to, for Hemingway is one of the inescapable presences of our century…" (Contemporary Literary Criticism, p428)Although Hemingway is one of the most famous writers of our century, there is still great debate over who the "real" Hemingway was. Scholars have looked for clues into his mind through his lifestyle, personal letters, and his many relationships. In addition to this, they have used his novels and stories to provide insight into his troubled life. Many of Hemingway's novels are an extension of his past that closely mirror his prior experience and reveal unknown internal conflict within him. They sometimes almost seem autobiographical, and quite commonly contain many of his own experiences, in a fictitious form. Alfred Kazin clearly shows this in an excerpt from his literary criticism on Hemingway: "Even Before he became a legend and began to play it...