American literature
of the 20c its trends.
Ernest Hemingway
His Life
 Born in Oak Park, Illinois
 Loved hunting, fishing,
and boxing
 Rejected from serviceWWI
 Moves to K.C.- Writes
His Life (cont.)
 Joins Red Cross
Ambulance Corps.
 Italian front- wounded
and falls in love with a
 Married four times
 Shot himself in 1961
Fun Facts
 Most widely imitated
author of the 20th century
 Friends with Castro
Writing Style
 Short, crisp, sensual sentences
 Iceberg Principal: "I always try
to write on the principle of the
iceberg. There is seven-eighths
of it under water for every part
that shows. Anything you know
you can eliminate and it only
strengthens your iceberg."
 Hemingway Hero - tough, lives
dangerously, loves sports,
 A Farewell to Arms
 The Sun Also Rises
 The Old Man and the Sea
 For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
 -American writer
 -Winner of Nobel Prize for
 -A legendary figure in
American literature
 Hemingway was born in Oak Park,
 His father was fond of hunting and
fishing, who often took young Ernest
with him on his trips.
 His style of living as an adult and the
fact that his books abound in sports
terms are partly traceable to his early
life (sports and primary writing).
 Later he hunted and explored in the African jungles,
and fished on the Cuban seas.
 During WWI, he served as an ambulance driver in
 During WWII, he first worked for the US navy and
then acted as a reporter with the British Air Force.
 He was wounded many times and suffered over a
dozen injuries to the brain. All these sports and war
experiences became his subjects and themes later.
 In World War I, Hemingway served as
an ambulance driver working with the
Red Cross in Europe. This led to the
crucial happenings of his life.
 He was the first American to be
wounded in that war.
 His shattering war experience
permanently affected his life and
 In some sense, all his life, he lived with
war emotionally and continued to write
about it in order to relieve and forget it.
 Back to America, he met Sherwood
Anderson, his stylistic mentor.
 Acting on Anderson’s advice, he
went to Paris, carrying Anderson’s
letters of introduction to Stein and
Pound, and he benefited a lot from
their schooling.
 As a journalist, Hemingway trained
himself in the economy of expression.
 His use of short sentences and
paragraphs and vigorous, positive
language, and the deliberate
avoidance of gorgeous adjectives are
the traces of his early journalistic
 In Paris, Hemingway’s distinct style
began to develop, with a Hemingway
theme and a Hemingway hero.
 All his life, Hemingway wrote about
one theme, “grace under pressure”,
and created one hero who acts that
theme out.
 In In Our Time (1925), Nick Adams is a
Hemingway protagonist, living in a
world of violence, disorder and death,
and learning the hard way about what
the world is.
 His psychological & emotional wound is
followed by a physical wound in the war.
He makes “a separate peace” with the
enemy and learns to endure as a man.
 Most of Hemingway’s later works are
a repetition of the Nick Adams stories.
 We feel perpetually assailed by a
sharp sense of anxiety and fear as we
subconsciously identify ourselves with
Nick in our reading.
 In 1926, he published The Sun Also Rises,
which painted the image of the Lost
 Lost Generation: Young people in the US
and the UK who were lost or disillusioned with
the world. They were cut off from old values
and could not come to terms with the new era
when civilization had gone mad.
The Lost Generation
The term “lost generation” was coined
by Gertrude Stein, a lost generation
writer herself, after World War I. It was
between the first and second World
Wars. Speaking to Ernest Hemingway,
she said, "you are all a lost generation."
The Lost Generation is a term used to describe a
group of American writers who were rebelling
against what America had become by the 1900’s.
Seeking the bohemian lifestyle and rejecting the
values of American materialism, a number of
intellectuals, poets, artists and writers fled to
France in the post World War I years. Paris was
the center of it all. The term stuck and the
mystique surrounding these individuals continues
to fascinate us. Full of youthful idealism, these
individuals sought the meaning of life, drank
excessively, had love affairs and created some of
the finest American literature to date.
Who are involved in the Lost Generation?
F. Scott Fitzgerald
T. S. Eliot
Ezra Pound
Gertrude Stein
Ernest Hemingway
John Dos Passos
T. S. Eliot
Ezra Pound
Gertrude Stein
Ernest Hemingway
 In his another major novel, A Farewell to
Arms (1928), the hero Fredric Henry goes to
the war and discovers the insanity and
unreason of the world. He becomes
disillusioned and “embarrassed by the words
sacred, glorious, and sacrifice.”
 This book caught the mood of the post-war
generation, and brought international fame to
young Hemingway. He was the speaker and
describer of the Lost Generation.
 The Hemingway hero’s break with
society becomes extreme in his books
Death in the Afternoon (1932), Green
Hills of Africa (1935) and For Whom
the Bell Tolls (1940).
 In Hemingway’s chaotic and
meaningless world, man fights a
solitary struggle against a force he
does not understand. The awareness
that he must end in defeat, no matter
how hard he fights against it, engagers
a sense of despair.
 But the Hemingway hero possesses
“despairing courage”. It is this
courage that enables a man to
behave like a man, to assert his
dignity in face of adversity. This is the
essence of a code of honor in which
all the Hemingway heroes believe.
 Between 1940 and 1950, critics all
agreed that Hemingway’s talent was
 But The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
helped restore his literary image, which
led to his winning of the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1954.
 It is about an old fisherman Santiago
and his battle with a giant marlin fish.
Santiago hooks the fish in the sea; in
the following desperate struggle, he
manages to kill the fish, but he has to
fight a more desperate battle with
sharks, which eat up the marlin and
leave only a skeleton. The old man
brings it home, totally exhausted.
 In Santiago we see again the spirit of the
tragic but noble Hemingway hero,
contending with a force he knows it is futile
to fight with. He believes that “a man is not
made for defeat…A man can be destroyed
but not defeated.”
 However, the old man eventually
realizes that he has met his doom, and
he feels good to be in the human and
natural world. This feeling of
brotherhood and love for both his
fellowmen and fellow creatures in
nature shows that Hemingway’s world
view has undergone a profound change.
Hemingway -- a legendary figure
 -He was a glamorous public hero,
whose style of writing and living was
probably more imitated than any other
 -He acted out the theme of his books,
and his public image was one of a
tough guy whom even an air-crash
could not kill.
 During the 1930s and 1940s his non-
literary activities were widely publicized.
 During World War II, he worked for the US
navy in Cuba and then served with the
British Air Force as a reporter.
 He took part in the landing of the Allied
Force (盟军) on the French coast.
 He was injured many times and survived
three automobile accidents and two air
crashes. From wounds in the war, 237 steel
fragments were taken out of his body.
 In his later years he often behaved in an odd
manner. Possibly because he could not write
any more, or because he could not act out
his code, or because of his ill health, he shot
himself on July 2, 1961. With his death, an
era came to an end.
 All his works dramatize this concept: life
is dangerous and always ready to
defeat and destroy you, but if you stand
on your principles, you may win on your
own terms, though you get nothing
except the knowledge that you have
played well.
 The typical Hemingway situations are
usually characterized by chaos and
violence, by crime, death, sport, hard
drinking and sexual promiscuity.
 The typical Hemingway hero is one who,
wounded but strong and sensitive,
enjoys the pleasures of life (sex, alcohol,
sport, etc.) in face of ruin and death,
and maintains, through some code of
behavior, an ideal of himself.
 In the latter years of his life, he was
known as “Papa Hemingway.” This
compliment refers mainly to his
contribution to the development of a
new style—the colloquial style.
 Commentators all agree on the
simplicity and naturalness of his prose,
and its effect of directness, clarity and
 He always chose common, specific, Anglo-
Saxon, casual and conversational words. And
he employed them in short, simple sentences,
which are patterned, conversational, and
sometimes ungrammatical.
 But his stylistic simplicity can often be
deceptive, as it is highly suggestive and offers
layers of undercurrents of meaning.
 Hence Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”-- 1/8 is
above the water and 7/8 is hidden below.
 Reading him, we experience the
immediacy and directness of a person
wounded by a bullet and trying to talk
before he dies.
 Hemingway’s influence as a stylist was
neatly expressed in the praise of the
Nobel Prize Committee:
 “his powerful style-forming mastery of
the art” of writing modern fiction.
Some important books of
1925: In Our Time; The Torrents of Spring
1926:The Sun Also Rises
1928: A Farewell to Arms
1932: Death in the Afternoon
1935: Green Hills of Africa
1937: To Have and Have Not
1938: The Fifth Column
1952: The Old Man and the Sea
He also wrote a lot of short stories.
Warm-up questions:
 1. What do you think of Hemingway himself and
his books, plots and characters?
 2. Can you imagine the old man’s appearance,
character and life? When you read the following
passage, think of three to five words to describe
Main works
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

Ernest Hemingway (1899