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Ernest HemingwayThe Lost GenerationA Clean, Well-Lighted PlaceHao Guilian, Ph, D.Yunnan Normal UniversityFall, 2009
Background of the AuthorHemingway was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.He was the second of six children and had four sisters and one brother.His father was a doctor and also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.Hemingway fishingHemingway Family
In High School, Hemingway played football and learned to wrestle
During this time he also incurred permanent eye damage. This caused him to be rejected by the Army during WWI
Hemingway was also the editor of his high school newspaper, The TrapezeHemingway, Junior in High SchoolHemingway at 17 with his family
Hemingway after high schoolAfter graduating, Hemingway went to Kansas City and became a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star
In 1918, Hemingway joined the Red Cross and was an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I
This experience provided background for the book A Farewell to Arms
While serving on the Italian front, Hemingway was seriously wounded
The war experiences (the cruelty and endurance it requires) forms a major part of Hemingways writing.
Military photo, prior to injuryDriving an ambulanceHemingway recoveringfrom his injury
After the warAfter the war, Hemingway settled in Paris, the literary capital of the world
He worked as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star.
During this time, he became acquainted with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and Sherwood Anderson, all American expatriates.
Hemingway soon became a spokesman for the Lost Generation writers and other artists disillusioned by the war.
From 1944-1945, he was a war correspondent on the Western Front during World War II
Literary Relationships : Gertrude SteinGertrude Stein was an experimental modernist writer.Hemingway respected her professional expertise, and readily accepted her as a mentor. From her he learned much about the rhythm of words and the power of repetition and unembellished direct statement.The term Lost Generation was coined by Gertrude Stein to refer to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris.
Literary Relationships : Ezra Pound Ezra Pound was a poet by profession, but he was a generous adviser by instinct, and many a writer, among them T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, benefited from his artistic counsel, encouragement, and editing. From Pound, Hemingway learned "to distrust adjectives" and received valuable guidance in how to compress his words into precise images.
Many years later, Hemingway called Pound "a sort of saint" and said he was "the man I liked and trusted the most as critic."
Literary Relationships : F. Scott Fitzgerald Despite Hemingway's relative obscurity, Fitzgerald had sent a favorable letter to his editor in which he wrote: "This is to tell you about a young man named Ernest Hemmingway, who lives in ParisI'd look him up right away. He's the real thing.
Literary AwardsHemingways novel The Old Man and the Sea, published in 1952 won him a Pulitzer and Nobel PrizeHemingway receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature
Personal Life: four marriagesElizabeth Hadley Richardson was the first, and eight years older than HemingwayPauline Marie Pfeiffer was a well-educated, devout Catholic with a huge trust fundMartha Ellis Gellhorn who was the only of his wives to leave himMary Welsh was his fourth wife, a journalist from Minnesota, who married him in 1946 and was with him until his death
Hemingway moved from one exotic locale to another including; Spain, Cuba, Africa, and Key West, FloridaHe cultivated a reputation as a tough, hard-drinking mans manHemingway trying his hand at bullfighting in Pamplona, Spain
Hemingway showing off his marlin catch with his friend, American bullfighter Sidney Franklin (in beret)
On July 2, 1961, Hemingway died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound in Ketchum, OhioIt is said that in the last few years of his life, Hemingway was a very troubled man. He even received rounds of electro-shock therapy shortly before he killed himself
Main worksThe Sun Also Rises (1926) A Farewell to Arms (1929)To Have and Have Not (1937)For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
In Our Time (1925) Men without Women (1927) Winner Take Nothing (1933)
The Lost Generation The term Lost Generation was first used by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), one of the leaders of this group. It included the young English and American expatriates as well as men and women caught in the war and cut off from the old values and yet unable to come to terms with the new era when civilization had gone mad.It means this generation had lost the beautiful sense of the calm and tranquil past. Steins comment suggests the ambiguous and pointless lives of expatriates as they aimlessly wandered about the Continent, drinking, making love, traveling from place to place and from party to party. These activities seem to justify their search for new meanings to replace the old ones.
Yet in fact, being cut off from their past, disillusioned in reality, and without a meaningful future to fall on, they were lost in disillusionment and existential voids. They indulged in hedonism in order to make their life less unbearable.
Hemingways HeroesHemingways heroes live adventure-filled lives that are driven by courage and limited by fearThey hide a sensitive heart under a tough exteriorGrace under pressure is their mottoHis heroes are hemmed in by forces beyond their control
Hemingways StyleSimplicity is the key to Hemingways styleShort sentences, carefully selected words, and realistic dialog are all Hemingway trademarks
For a true writer each book should be a new beginningwhere he tries again for something that is beyond attainment.He should always try for something that has never been doneor that others have tried and failed.Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.
Hemingway upon receiving the Nobel Prize in literature, 1954
Iceberg TheoryI always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesnt show.
There is seven-eights of it (iceberg) under water for every part that showsThe dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water."
I sometimes think that my style is suggestive rather than direct. The reader must often use his imagination or lose the most subtle part of my thoughts 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 had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water."
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
The main focus of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is on the pain of old age suffered by a man that we meet in a cafe late one night. Hemingway contrasts light and dark to show the difference between this man and the young people around him, and uses his deafness as an image if his separation from the rest of the world. Near the end of the story, the author shows us the desperate emptiness of a life near finished without the fruit of its labor, and the frustration of the old man's restless mind that cannot find peace. Throughout this story stark images of desperation show the old man's life at a point when he has realized the futility of life and finds himself the lonely object of scorn.
The most obvious image used by Hemingway in this story is that of the contrast between light and dark. The cafe is a "Clean, Well-Lighted Place". It is a refuge from the darkness of the night outside. Darkness is a symbol of fear and loneliness. The light symbolizes comfort and the company of others. There is hopelessness in the dark, while the light calms the nerves. Unfortunately for the old man, this light is an artificial one, and its peace is both temporary and incomplete. "... the tables were empty except where the old man sat in the shadow of the leaves of the tree that moved slightly in the wind."
What is Hemingways purpose for repeating, so many times, the word nada?Another tool used by Hemingway in this story is the image of Nothing. Nothing is what the old man wants to escape. The older waiter, who sometimes acts as the voice of the old man's soul, describes his adversary: "It was all nothing, and a man was nothing, too...Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it was nada y pues nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada nada be thy name thy kingdom nada they will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee...
The Nothing is a relentless monotony, unbroken by joy or sorrow. It is unending emptiness without comfort or companionship of man or God. It is the senselessness of each heart-beat that is just like the last and refuses to give in to death. The old man's loneliness is empty. His days of retirement without useful work or purpose are empty. The emptiness of a life without progress of meaning is Nothing, and this Nothing afflicts the old man with a powerful grip. The only escape from this Nothing is blissful unconsciousness, permanent only in death.This story is filled with images of despair. The contrasts between light and dark, youth and age are harsh and well defin