Hemingway | Early Life
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Cicero (Oak Park), Illinois. To Clarence and Grace Hemingway. Hemingway lived in a conservative suburb of Chicago, but spent a lot of his childhood in northern Michigan, where they had a cabin. It was there he learned to appreciate the outdoors and learned how to hunt and fish.
Hemingway wrote for his high school newspaper, Trapeze and Tabula. Immediately after graduation, he went to work for the Kansas City Star as a journalist, gaining experience that would later influence his personal style of writing.
Hemingway went overseas during World War I as an ambulance driver in the Italian Army. He was awarded the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery. Hemingway was injured and was hospitalized in Milan. While he was in the hospital he met a nurse named Agnes Von Kurowsky, whom he fell in love with and proposed to. Agnes said yes, but, later left him for another man. He was devastated and wrote “A Very Short Story” and Farewell to Arms.
Hemingway was 20 years old and still recovering from his injuries when he returned to the United States. Spending time in northern Michigan he soon took a job at the Toronto Star.
While in Chicago He met Hadley Richardson, who became his first wife. Hemingway and Hadley moved to Paris, France where he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Star.
Hemingway in Paris
Hemingway soon became a key part of what Gertrude Stein called “The Lost Generation.” Stein became his mentor, and he met great writers and artists of his generation, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and James Joyce. Hemingway’s first son, John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway was born in 1923. Hemingway begins to frequent the famous Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain.
1925, Hemingway and Hadley join a group of British and American expatriates. Traveling to Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona would provide material for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, which examined the post-war disillusionment of his generation. Some consider this to be his best work.
It wasn’t long after the publication of The Sun Also Rises, that Hemingway and Hadley were divorced due to his affair with Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline would become his second wife as he continued to work on Men Without Women.
Pauline became pregnant and the couple moved back to America, settling in Key West, Florida and summering in Wyoming. In 1928, Patrick Hemingway was born, with his brother Gregory to follow in 1931. Hemingway finished his novel A Farewell to Arms. He spent much of the 1930’s chasing adventure, big game hunting in Africa, bullfighting in Spain and deep sea fishing. This marriage lasted until November of 1940.
In 1937 Hemingway met Martha Gellhorn, who would become his third wife while reporting as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway shortly thereafter wrote his next novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Hemingway and Gellhorn purchased a farm near Havana, Cuba which was their winter residence.
1941 The United States entered World War II. Again, he served as a correspondent covering several key moments like the D-Day landing. He met Marry Welsh, another war correspondent who he would later marry after divorcing Martha Gellhorn.
In 1951 Hemingway wrote The Old man and the Sea. Which would win him the Pulitzer Prize that had eluded him up to this point. The Old Man and the Sea was perhaps his most famous book.
Hemingway | Conclusion
Through the years he had acquired many injuries physically while in Cuba, Africa and even survived multiple airplane crashes. As he aged he suffered not only from the injuries he had acquired early in life, but now he was beginning to suffer from high blood pressure, liver disease and depression.
In 1954 Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He continued writing, publishing A Movable Feast, a memoir of his years in Paris. Finally, he permanently retired in Idaho. There he continued to battle with his mental and physical health. Early on the morning of July 2 1961, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in his Ketchum home.
Note: To be fair, since none of us were there to witness the event, Hemingway’s wife claimed that he did not commit suicide, but that it was a horrible accident. She was adamant that the shotgun went off while he was cleaning it.
Ernest Hemingway’s story truly came to a tragic end. If we look at his life over all, I think Hemingway showed us through the example of his own life, how to live. We can be and do anything we want if we only put our minds to it. He showed us no matter what our desires may be, we too can live out our dreams of being a big game hunter, deep sea fisherman, war correspondent, journalist, world traveler, or even an author. Through his writings and example of his life, he leaves a legacy that nothing is out of our reach. The only thing standing in our way is our own fear and doubt. His message to us is, we all should live our lives to the fullest measure. In conclusion, I feel we should celebrate his life and accomplishments, not focus upon his death.
A Few of Earnest Hemingway’s Novels:
The Sun Also Rises
Published in 1926 to explosive acclaim, The Sun Also Rises stands as perhaps the most impressive first novel ever written by an American writer. A roman à clef about a group of American and English expatriates on an excursion from Paris’s Left Bank to Pamplona for the July fiesta and its climactic bull fight. A journey from the center of a civilization spiritually bankrupted by the First World War, to a vital, God-haunted world in which faith and honor have yet to lose their currency. The novel captured for the generation that would come to be called “Lost”, the spirit of its age, and marked Ernest Hemingway as the preeminent writer of his time.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from “the good fight,” For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal.
The Old Man and the Sea
The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the most enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.
A Farewell to Arms
Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.