Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hemingway's Life in His Work

First off, I have to admit that I am a sucker for all things Hemingway. I really feel there is a lot to be said for the fact that he wrote so simply. I have heard others criticize him for this fact, but to do so shows a certain level of misunderstanding regarding writing as well as art in general. Anyone can get out their thesaurus and write long, sweeping sentences with complicated language and tell a reader everything they want the reader to know. The beauty of Hemingway lies within the readers' ability to read between the lines in his writing. Because he does not spell much of anything out for us in "Hills Like White Elephants" we are forced not only to pay more attention than we would in most stories, but to really analyze the dialogue between the two characters. It was also interesting to see that much of the class either didn’t understand that the story was about abortion when they got to class or knew because they researched the story. This speaks to the complexity of the piece, even with the simple language.
As a reader of Hemingway, I can not help but to compare the male and female characters to him and his archetypal lover seen in much of his work. The female lover is usually a little older than the male, and a little more worldly. This proves to be the case with this couple, as the woman is seen making comments about the man not seeing much of the world. This leads us to believe that she has seen some more things than him and is possibly more mature. The fact that the male character insists on the abortion is also what would be expected out of a young male in a work by Hemingway. It makes sense because the “Hemingway man” is usually a traveler of some sort, and a child would only serve to tie him down, which would be a fate worse than death for the kind of man I picture the male character to be.

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