Ernest Miller Hemingway

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Ernest Miller Hemingway

Государственное общеобразовательное учреждение гимназия № 11








на тему:



Ernest Miller Hemingway









Самойлов Станислав Андреевич



Тоисеева Ирина Вадимовна




2007 г.





A table of contents:

1. The introduction…………………………………………………   2

2. Life of Ernest Hemingway……………………………………...    2

3. Hemingway`s social viewpoint……………………………........    4

4. Hemingway`s ideas regarding literature and writers……………   5

5. Hemingway`s style of writing…………………………………..    6 

6. The conclusion…………………………………………………..   7

































Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961)



The introduction


   Ernest Miller Hemingway was one of America`s foremost writers, and a classic of American and world literature of the 20th century. He influenced the American short story, and his novels “A Farewell to Arms”, “To Have and Have Not”, “For Whom the Bells Tolls”, “The Old Man and the Sea” are world known. He took part in the First World War, Civil War  in Spain and  in the Second World War, and fought actively against fascism and war.

Hemingway was a man of great talent. An American critic, Carlos Baker, in his book “Ernest Hemingway A Life Story” writes that Hemingway was a perpetual[1] student, a profound[2] reader, a brilliant naturalist and a keen observer [3] of life around him. Hemingway won the hearts of his readers with his stories and novels and attracted people by his personal qualities ― his honesty and courage above all. He was much interested in fishing, hunting, boxing and the national Spanish sport corrida.


Ernest Miller Hemingway was born at eight o'clock in the morning on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. In the nearly sixty two years of his life that followed he forged a literary reputation unsurpassed[4] in the twentieth century.  In doing so, he also created a mythological hero in himself that captivated[5] (and at times confounded[6]) not only serious literary critics but the average man as well.  In a word, he was a star.

Born in the family home at 439 North Oak Park Avenue (now 339 N. Oak Park Avenue), a house built by his widowed[7] grandfather Ernest Hall, Hemingway was the second of Dr. Clarence and Grace Hall Hemingway`s six children; he had four sisters and one brother. He was named after his maternal grandfather Ernest Hall and his great uncle Miller Hall.

Oak Park was a mainly Protestant, upper middle-class suburb[8] of Chicago that Hemingway would later refer to as a town of "wide lawns and narrow minds."[9] Only ten miles from the big city, Oak Park was really much farther away philosophically. It was basically a conservative town that tried to isolate itself from Chicago's liberal seediness[10]. Hemingway was raised with the conservative Midwestern values of strong religion, hard work, physical fitness and self determination; if one adhered[11] to these parameters, he was taught, he would be ensured of success in whatever field he chose.

 His father, a keen sportsman and ethnographer, was a doctor. His democratic views influenced Ernest greatly. He taught his son first and foremost to be a man, and to love and understand nature His mother was a successful opera singer. Ernest took to reading books at an early age. His nurse recalled that she had been warned not to let him read in bed but that after “I`d tuck him in, he`d say good night, as sweet as could be, then in the morning I` d find books stuffed under the mattress, in the pillow-case, everywhere. He read all the time ― and books far beyond his years”

At school Ernest was recognized as an exceptionally good football player and boxer. Ernest took part in all school activities. But he was adventurous and twice he ran away from home, working at farms as a day-labourer, or as a waiter, or as a sparring partner for boxers. He was also a good fisherman and was very fond of hunting. He used to hunt in the woods of  northern Michigan. Among his friends were Indian boys.

Later at school he began to show a fondness[12] for literature, started writing articles for two school periodicals, and became the editor of the school`s  weekly paper.

When he left school, he took a job on the paper Kansas City Star as a cub reporter[13]. On the Star he got his first experience in writing for the press.

In 1918 the United States entered the First World War. Hemingway was rejected for service because of a bad eye. The following year he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross and was badly wounded on the Italian front. He was hospitalized in Milan, where 227 shell fragments were removed from his body in the course of twelve operations. He was twice decorated by the Italian Government for his military services.

On returning to America Hemingway began writing articles for newspapers in Toronto(Canada). In 1921 he went to Europe as a traveling correspondent. Until 1928 he lived mainly in Paris and was in the centre of European political life all the time. Hemingway was always in the right place at the right time to get the biggest news. He covered important conferences (Genoa, Lausanne), interviewed leading statesmen, wrote on the coming revolution in Spain and followed the anti-fascist movement. In Paris he made friends with many writers. He toured many countries: he absorbed[14] people, places and life like a sponge. He devoted 36 years of his life ( from 1920 to 1956) to journalism and may well be considered one of the most experienced journalists of the 20th century. He made it his principle to write the absolute truth. He learned to write in a clear and lucid [15] manner. Later he used his news accounts in many short stories and novels. In 1920 he covered the Graeco-Turkish War as a journalist. “I remember”, he said thirty years later, “coming home from the Near East… absolutely heartbroken at what was going on and in Paris trying to decide whether I would put my whole life into trying to do something about it and be a writer.” He decided to become a writer  and quit his job as reporter. This immediately told on him materially. He described his condition as being “bellyempty[16]” and “hollow hungry” [17]. In Paris he even caught pigeons in parks to have some food. For a long time he had no money. His first book “Three Stories and Ten Poems” was given a limited publication in Paris in 1923. His short-story book “In Our time” was published in 1924. His first novels on the so-called “lost generation”, “The Sun Also Rises” and “The Torrents of Spring”, were published in 1926. The year of 1929 was marked by the publishing of  his famous novel “A Farewell to Arms”. From 1928 to 1938 the writer lived in Key West, Florida. He traveled a lot in France and Spain, wrote the best book on corrida that had appeared anywhere in the world, “Death in the Afternoon” (1932). He also took part in the first African safari (big game hunting), which he later described in the book “Green Hills of Africa” (1935). The short-story book “Winner Take Nothing” was published in 1933. “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” (1936) and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936) belong to the most prominent[18] of his short stories. In 1935 Hemingway published in the New Masses a pamphlet on the death of war veterans, whom the American Government had sent to work on reefs in the sea during a hurricane, thus causing their death.

The Civil War in Spain was a turning-point in the writer`s life. He was eager[19] to help the republicans and did everything he could. He bought some ambulance cars and took an active part in the fight against fascism as a correspondent and writer. Hemingway wrote the film script for the movie “The Spanish Earth” (1938), in connection with which he said: “…when men fight for the freedom of their country against a foreign invasion, and when these men are your friends, some new friends and some of long standing, you know how they were attacked and how they fought at first unarmed, you learn, watching them live and fight and die, that there are worse things than war. Cowardice is worse, treachery[20] is worse, and simple selfishness[21] is worse.” He raised money for Spain. In June 1937 he made a speech at the Second Congress of American writers in defense of the Spanish Republic. The experience he got in Spain helped him to write the play “The Fifth Column” (1938), some short stories (“The Chauffeurs[22] of Madrid”, “Old Man at the Bridge”, “The Butterfly and the Tank”, “On the Americans Dead in Spain” and others), the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1940), and to complete his novel “To Have and Have Not”.

When Hemingway learned about the invasion of the Soviet Union by German troops, he addressed a telegram to our country expressing his support of the heroic struggle of our people.

For some months in 1942-1943 he voluntarily patrolled the Cuban coast in his boat Pilar chasing[23] submarines in the Caribbean Sea. From 1942 on, he lived much of the time in Cuba. His short novel “The Old an and the Sea” was a tribute[24] to a simple man ― a Cuban fisherman. It was after writing this book that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

While traveling in Africa in 1954 he had two narrow escapes[25] in successive air crashes. His health began to deteriorate[26]. The last years of his life he was seriously ill. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961. He was buried at Ketchum. His house in Cuba was converted into museum by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba. In 1966 a memorial was erected to his memory with the following words on it:

                                      Best of all he loved the fall

                                      The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods[27]

                                      Leaves floating on the trout[28] streams

                                      And above the hills

                                            The high blue windless skies

                                            …Now he will be a part of them forever.

P.S. Hemingway was married four times.


Hemingway was a democrat and humanist. All his life he fought against war and fascism and criticized the so-called “American way of life”. the First World War influenced him a great deal. He saw the horrors and tragedy  suffered by both soldiers and civilians. In the preface[29] to a collection of war stories “Men at War” (1942) he wrote about the First World War that  it had been “the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged[30] butchery that has ever taken place on Earth”. He was convinced that after the First World War the world was on the way to revolution: “In those days we who believed in it, looked for it at any time, expected it, hoped for it, ― for it was the logical thing.” A series of stories on this subject make up the book “In Our Time” (1924). Hemingway said: “The only way to combat the murder that is war, is to show the dirty combinations that make it and the criminals and swine that hope for it and the idiotic way they run it when they get it so that an honest man will distrust it as he would a racket and refuse to be enslaved into it.” His participation[31] in the First World War, the Civil War in Spain, the Second World War taught him to see the real nature of war. In the preface to the novel “A Farewell to Arms”, published after the Second World War, he wrote: “I believe that all the people who stand to profit[32] by a war and who help provoke it should be shot on the first day it starts by accredited representatives of the loyal citizens of their country who will fight it. The author of this book would be very glad to take charge[33] of this shooting if legally delegated by those who will fight…”

He was one of the first to warn against the fatal danger of fascism. Hemingway`s first feature-articles on fascism were written at the beginning of the twenties. Having traced the development of fascism in Italy, he wrote in his article called “Italy`s Fascists” that first it was an organization of counter-attackers against the communist demonstrations, then it became a political party, and now it is a political and military party that is enlisting[34] the workers of Italy and invading the field of the labour organizations. In his article “Genoa Conference” he noted that the fascists “were under the tacit[35] protection of the government, if not its active support”, that “they had a taste of unpenalized[36] lawlessness, unpunished murder, and the right to riot[37] when and where they pleased”. He said that Mussolini was the biggest bluff[38] in Europe. For Hemingway fascism meant war first of all. “There has been war in Spain, now for two years,” he wrote in an article “Programme of US Realism”. “There has been war in China for a year. War is due in Europe by next summer at the latest.” His prediction was right. He was also fully aware[39] of the danger that fascism meant for literature: “There is only one form of government that cannot produce good writers, and that system is fascism. For fascism is a lie told by bullies[40]. A writer who will not lie cannot live or work under fascism.”



Hemingway didn`t consider himself a theoretician but he made some important contributions[41] to theory. He was of the opinion that art and literature play an important role in the world: “A work of art endures[42] forever.” Hemingway stressed the role of the writer: “Trying to write something of permanent value is a full-time job even though only a few hours a day are spent on the actual writing. A writer can be compared to a well[43]. There are as many kinds of wells as there are writers. The important thing is to have good water in the well and it is better to take a regular amount out than to pump[44] the well dry and wait for it to refill.” He paid much attention to a writer`s qualifications: “First there must be talent, much talent. Talent such as Kipling had. Then there must be discipline, the discipline of Flaubert.[45] Then there must be…an absolute conscience[46] as unchanging as the standard meter in Paris, to prevent faking…” He said that a writer should be a man of knowledge and experience: “There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring[47]. There are the very simplest things and because it takes a man`s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is costly and the only her has to leave.” Rich experience enabled[48] him to make the following conclusion: “The hardest thing in the world to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject: then you have to know how to write…Books should be about the people you know, that you love and hate, not about the people you study up about. If you write them truly they will have all the economic implications[49] a book can hold.”

Hemingway stressed the importance of truth in fiction[50]: “A writer`s job is to tell the truth. His standard of fidelity[51] to the truth should be so high that his experience, should produce a truer account than anything factual can be.”

Hemingway made a careful study of both American and European literary and cultural traditions. He thoroughly studied the works of many writers, among them Flaubert, Stendhal[52], Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Maupassant, Dante, Virgil and many others. Hemingway considered among his “teachers” many painters and composers as well. The writer  said he learned as much from painters about how to write as from writers, and that “what one learns from composers and from the study of harmony and counterpoint[53]” should be obvious[54]. He repeatedly stressed the importance which Russian literature had had for him.


Hemingway`s aim to write absolute truth induced him to create a new style. He avoided conventional narration [55]in his stories. He tried to make readers understand his ideas about nature, labour, and war by sketching in vivid scenes his own experience in war, and tell his readers about the peasants and fishermen by presenting real scenes of hard toil[56]. Leaving out many unnecessary details Hemingway mastered a new short-story form. Some of these short stories he used for his novels. That`s the way all my novels got started,” he said.

The language of Hemingway`s works is of bare[57] simplicity; it is in keeping with the characters he wanted to portray[58]. It is surprising how he reveals[59] the inner[60] world of his personages in short dialogues and colloquial phrases. Plain words in simple declarative[61] sentences bring out the sensations of the central characters and at the same time make the reader participate in the events of the story. “I use the oldest words in the English language.” Hemingway said.

Hemingway was the inventor of the so-called “theory of an iceberg”: he wrote that“…if a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about , he may omit things that he knows, and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things, as strongly as though the writer has stated them. The dignity[62] of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

The conclusion


Leo Lania, Hemingway`s biographer, wrote: “Many serious and important authors have learnt from him; from  his incorruptible objectivity, his exceptional gift of observation; from his language, as clear as the mountain stream which reveals each single pebble[63] on the bottom. He has done more than anybody else to strip American literature of  sentimentality and free American prose from bombast[64] and artificial pathos. He has shown a complete generation of authors how to write natural and unliterary  dialogue with a rhythm and authenticity[65] which few other, contemporary novelists have equaled.”





































The used material:

1) “English and American Literature”. A course of lectures. Л.Н. Утевская. 2004

2) «Эрнест Хемингуэй. Биография и творчество». Артуро Паскаль. 2006

3) The internet:

[1] perpetual―бесконечный                                                                                                            

[2] profound―глубокий

[3] a keen observer―острый наблюдатель (критик)

[4] unsurpassed—бесподобно

[5] captivated―очарованный

[6] confounded―проклятый

[7] widowed―овдовевший

[8] a suburb―пригород

[9]  “wide lawns and narrow minds”―«широкие лужайки и узкие умы»

[10] a seediness―захудалость

[11] adhered―придерживаемый

[12] a fondness―любовь, нежность

[13] cub reporter ― a young and inexperienced journalist, a beginner

[14] to absorb―поглощать

[15] lucid―ясный

[16] belly empty―пустой живот

[17] “ hollow hungry”― «голодная пустота»

[18] prominent―видный

[19] eager―нетерпеливый

[20] a treachery―предательство

[21] a selfishness―эгоизм

[22] a chauffeur―шофёр

[23] to chase―преследовать

[24] a tribute―дань

[25] a narrow escape―спасение по счастливой случайности

[26] to deteriorate―ухудшаться

[27] a cottonwood―тополь

[28] a trout―форель

[29] a preface―предисловие

[30] mismanaged―неумело проведенная

[31] a participation―участие

[32] a profit―прибыль

[33] a charge―обвинение

[34] to enlist―вербовать

[35] tacit―молчаливый

[36] unpenalized―не оштрафованный

[37] a riot―бунт

[38] a bluff―блеф

[39] to aware―знать

[40] a bully―хулиган

[41] a contribution―вклад

[42] to endure―выдерживать испытание времени

[43] a well―колодец, родник

[44] a pump―насос

[45] Flaubert Gustave (1821-1880) ― French realist writer, author of the novel “Madame Bovary”.

[46] a conscience―совесть

[47] an acquiring―приобретение

[48] to enable―позволить

[49] an  implication―значение

[50] a fiction―беллетристика

[51] a fidelity ―верность

[52] Stendhal ― pen-name of Henri Beyle (1783-1842), French novelist..

[53] a counterpoint―контрапункт

[54] obvious―очевидный

[55] a conventional narration―обычное повествование

[57] bare―голый

[58] to portray―изображать

[59] to reveal―показать

[60] inner―внутренний

[61] declarative―описательный

[62] a dignity―достоинство

[63] a pebble―галька, камешек

[64] a bombast―напыщенность

[65] an authenticity―подлинность

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