Ernest Hemingway is an American Writer

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“Ernest Hemingway is an American writer of short stories, novelist and a winner of literature’s Nobel Prize of the year 1954. He started his writing career at the age of seventeen years when he worked for a newspaper office located in Kansas City. Apart from being a writer, Ernest Hemingway was also a journalist. His economical style, the iceberg theory, presented a great influence in the 20th century’s fiction. Much of his prosaic writing was based on his adventurous life as well as his public image which accorded him admiration from the generations that came after him. When America joined the First World War, Ernest volunteered to work in the ambulance unit affiliated to the Italian Army (Curley, 2016). He was wounded in the process and had to spend a significant amount of time in hospitals under the care of the Italian government. He later returned to America where he began his journalism career reporting for both American and Canadian newspapers. This paper discusses the personal life of Ernest Hemingway, his writing career and the contributions he made to the American nation.

Hemingway was born on the 21st day of July, the year 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois to Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hall (Hemingway, 2015). His father was a doctor and was very strict when it came to discipline matters. Ernest’s mother was a singer who did not get the opportunity to show her career on stage and was permissive in upbringing her children. His father loved nature and so taught Ernest how to lit a fire and cook in an open place, how to improvise a shelter among other things. His early life was highly influenced by numerous wars that were taking place in America. His two grandfathers were involved in the Civil War, bringing pride to the family due to the military traditions they set in place. Ernest was inspired by the American-Spanish War that took place in 1898, the Goes War that happened between 1899 and 1902 as well as the Russo-Japanese War that lasted for one year since 1904. This made him develop more interest in the Bible’s Old Testament that narrates about so many battles.

Ernest Hemingway inherited his mother’s temperament and artistic talent but took the looks and sporting skills of his dad. His parents did not entertain any form of disorder or untidiness. He went to a high school in Oak Park where he got the opportunity to write for the school magazine and also reported for the weekly newspaper. While at school, he played both football and basketball and also enjoyed swimming. Upon graduating in the year 1917, he turned down his father’s call for him to join college immediately. He instead spent his summer time doing farming in Michigan before joining Kansas City Star as a reporter in October. In his childhood, his father had taught him how to fish along the shores and also hunt in the forests around Lake Michigan where the family mostly spend their summer. What he did not know was that nature would be core or rather the touchstone of his work and life in general. While in school, he always longed for the summer to come so that they could go to Wallon Lake and as usual play, swim, fish and hunt.

At the time Hemingway was graduating from high school, World War I ongoing in Europe although American was not involved. In April 1917, the United States decided to join the Allies in fighting the German and Austrian armies. At the age of eighteen years, Ernest Hemingway expressed his decision to join the army but was unsuccessful due to vision condition he inherited from his mother (Cirino, 2017). A chance came along where the Red Cross was looking for volunteer ambulance drivers and Hemingway signed for the opportunity. In December 1917, he was accepted as a volunteer in the ambulance unit. He left his job at Kansas City Star in April 1918 and traveled to Europe for the new role. He took with him stylistic lessons from Kansas City Star which he notes that they later influenced his fiction. The newspaper taught him how to make clear short sentences and paragraphs authentically using active verbs.

On his arrival to Europe, Ernest Hemingway was assigned to an ambulance unit in Sohio as a driver. Unfortunately, he got serious wounds from Austrian explosion just a few weeks after his arrival while serving the Italian forces with chocolates in the front lines. The explosion left Hemingway unconscious killed one of the Italian soldiers and blew off the legs of another soldier. Despite his critical condition, Hemingway managed to assist a wounded soldier to the nearest first aid station showing his sacrifice for others. This kind of sacrifice made him earn the Italian Medal for Valor.

Ernest was highly attracted to women and could not be satisfied by one woman (Waldhorn, 2002). An American nurse by the name Agnes Kurowsky was Ernest’s, first love. They met while he was recovering from his wounds in Milano. They, however, parted after Ernest went back to America and Agnes fell for someone else. Hemingway was working as an editor in Chicago when he met Elizabeth Richardson whom she married in September of 1921. In October 1923, they got a baby boy and named him John Hadley Hemingway. In the year 1925, he fell in love with Pauline Pfeiffer, and after two years, Pauline became Ernest’s wife after Elizabeth divorced him. They got two sons together; Patrick and Gregory. Ernest then met Martha Gellhorn and became great friends before later falling in love together. The affair led to the divorce between Ernest and Pauline. In 1940, Ernest married Martha. As if that was not enough, Ernest met another woman named Mary Welsh and developed an interest in her. They fell for each other and started a relationship that made Martha divorce Ernest in the year 1945. Ernest then took Mary Welsh as his wife in 1946 and stayed with her till his death in 1961, although he was still seeing other women.

Besides his personal life, Ernest Hemingway wrote several novels. He wrote his first novel in 1926 titled “The Sun Also Rises” and talked about the adventures of expatriates in both France and Spain who were led by a journalist named Jake Barnes. In 1929, he wrote “A Farewell to Arms” which popularized his prose. He dealt on his experiences of the war sequences as well as the amatory episodes. In a fictionalized manner, he remembers his American nurse in Milano; Agnes Kurowsky. In 1937, he did another novel named “To Have and Have Not” followed by another one titled “For Whom the Bell Tolls” published in 1940. In this latest novel, he expressed his personal experiences in the Spanish Civil war. “The Old Man and the Sea” was published in 1952 and narrates about a fisherman who faces hardships in conquering the gigantic marlin but ends up losing his prize to the sharks during the journey. These are just a few works of the works that Ernest Hemingway did.

As noted in the highlighted works, Hemingway based most of his work on an adventure which was part and parcel of his life. He used to live in Paris, Cuba and Key West but frequently traveled to Africa and Europe. In 1933-1994, Hemingway made a great adventure in Kenya as well as Tanganyika where he derived the content for the nonfictional “Green Hills of Africa” of 1935. Also, his adventure to Africa triggered two short stories; “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and also “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” of 1936 (Hemingway, 1995). In 1952, his “The Old Man and the Sea” was awarded the Pulitzer fiction Prize of the year. He was involved in a plane crash where the injuries made it impossible for him to travel to Sweden for the 1954 Literature Nobel Prize and instead accepted it in absentia. Hemingway’s health began to deteriorate in the year 1959 as he developed a kidney infection, blood pressure, and serious mental impairment. He sought treatment in Mayo Clinic for the shock treatments before the doctors discharged him. He committed suicide using a shotgun in June 1961.

In conclusion, Ernest Hemingway deeply loved several things. He loved hunting, drinking, cute women and trustworthy friends. He believed that nothing was difficult for him. He was interested in joining the army to fight in the wars like his grandfathers, but his poor vision denied him the chance. He instead joined an Italian ambulance unit serving the Italian forces. He showed his sacrifice for other people when he carried a wounded soldier to a medical camp even though he was also injured. His love for adventure formed the basis for most of his great work.”

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Ernest Hemingway is an American Writer. (2021, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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