Ernest Hemingway


“All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.”

Biography of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21 1899 in Oak Park Illinois. He graduated from Oak Park High School and became a writer for the Kansas City Star. In 1918 he enlisted in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps during World War 1 and was injured in Italy on July 8th . In the hospital in Milan, he met his future wife Agnes Van Kurowsky who was his nurse and also six years older than him. Agnes will be the nurse he speaks about in his book he later writes in A Farewell to Arms. In 1920 he began writing for the Toronto Star. In 1923 he published his first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems. Hemingway’s style of writing was that the stories were mostly true. He made up a good portion, as if he had been there but he believed this way of writing made a better story. In 1954 Hemingway took a trip to Africa with his wife and survived three near fatal accounts. He was on a plane that hit a telegraph wire and the plane’s propeller bent. They were forced to make a quick landing. Another pilot offered to fly the Hemingway’s back to Entebbe but they would have a bumpy runway. Halfway down the runway, the engines caught fire and they were trapped in the plane. Hemingway had severe injuries that would require him to stay in the hospital for a while. Many presumed he had died and even wrote his obituaries. However, he managed to survive. About a month later he went with his son at a fishing camp off the Kenyan coast and a brush fire broke out. Hemingway attempted to help put out the blaze but was still too weak and fell on the fire and was seriously burned over most his body before he was dragged to safety. In 1954 Hemingway was the fifth American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Unfortunately he could not go to Sweden to receive it because he was still recovering from his injuries. Hemingway did not ever fully recover. He eventually developed writers block, and ultimately took his life.

Best Selling Novels


A Farewell to Arms (1929)

A Farewell to Arms was Hemingway’s second novel, and is also known as The War of the Words. Hemingway's controversial use of words in this book raised concern in his generation. In this story of love and war, Hemingway has written a realistic fictional story of his encounter with the war in World War 1 and his relationship with Agnes his military nurse and future wife. This was one of the first books written to actually show the true colors of war. “It was Hemingway’s generation that first refused to sugarcoat the horrors of war.” "It speaks about the education of its protagonist, Frederic Henry, and as readers we vicariously live his life and learn from his hard lessons how to live." The education it speaks of is not a school taught program, but merely lessons taught through life experiences.

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

For Whom the Bell Tolls is Hemingway’s third novel. This time the story takes place in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. This novel is about a young college professor named Robert Jordan, who is a demolisionists specialist and has volunteered to fight for the loyalist cause in the war against Franco. Robert Jordan is a young man who is sent to blow up a bridge in a cave, along the way he meets and falls in love with Maria a Spanish woman that has been raped by enemy soldiers.

The Old Man and the Sea (1951)

In 1953 Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for this novel. It is said to be one of his best works of all time. It is one of the last major works of fiction written by Hemingway. This story is about an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago who has gone 84 days without catching any fish. On the 85th day he decides to go further out into the gulf where he finally hooks a giant 18 foot marlin which drags him further out to sea. After three long days of struggling with the fish he finally catches it and kills it. Santiago is on his journey back to shore when sharks follow the trail of blood left in the water by the marlin. Santiago is able to kill five sharks, however many more are attracted to the blood. Before he can make it to land the sharks eat most of the marlin leaving only the skeleton, head and tail.

More published novels
“Indian Camp” (1926)
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” (1935)
A Moveable Feast (1964)
True at First Light (1999)


Hemingway’s Style of Writing

“Hemingway is a master of swift, terse dialogue, and often casts whole scenes in the form of conversation. As if he were a closemouthed speaker unwilling to let his feelings loose, the narrator of a Hemingway story often addresses us in understatement, implying greater depths of feeling than he puts into his words.” (151). Hemingway’s style of writing includes both short and long sentences. He often referred to his writing as the "iceberg theory" meaning "the facts float above water; the supporting structure and symbolism operate out-of-sight". Most of his writing is based upon realistic fiction. "A few things I have found to be true. If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless. The test of any story is how very good the stuff that you, not your editors, omit." One of his famous quotes has been that "All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened".

Relevance to our world today
Hemingway’s novels are still relevant to our world today. Hemingway’s war novels expose the horrendous daily encounters that a soldier encounters in their life abroad, and in the midst of war which is similar to the daily accounts a soldier is faced with today.
Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J., Giola, Dana. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Eleventh Edition. Pearson. 2010. Print.
Lewis, Robert W. A Farewell to Arms: The War of the Words. Twayne Publishers, 1992. Print.
Lynn, Kenneth S. Hemingway. Simon & Schuster, 1987. Print.
McDaniel, Melissa. Ernest Hemingway Writer. Chelsea House Publishers. 1997. Print.
Meyers, Jeffrey. A Biography. Harper & Row, Publishers. 1985. Print.
Pratt, Paula Bryant. The Importance of Ernest Hemingway. Lucent Books. 1999. Print.

Images Cited Ernest Hemingway 1950 A.E. Hotchner "photos taken from book cover"

From: Kelly Denton
I always loved reading about Hemingway. The content and organization is interesting. I like the images and design. My only opinion is to keep track of all of the research sources. I read so much on my jtopic that I am now retracking my readings to make sure I included all my works cited. Goodluck.

Tasha Pratt's review of JoLynn Gertson's Wiki page
I really like the section where you summarized some of his work. I would add more to this section. Maybe more of his work or add more to each summary. Your biography is very good but that section is only supposed to be 30% of your page. Your organization is very good. I really like the way that your page is set up. Your opening is good and I really like the way you used a quote of his at the very beginning. The order of your page is good but you might want to put his writing style before the summaries. I did not see any repetition throughout your paper. The overall look is very good. Your page is easy to follow and I like the use of pictures. You might want to make the font a little bigger so it is easier to read. I know this is just a rough draft but don't forget about your work cited. Good job and good luck with finishing up!

Amanda Blanton's review of Hemingway by JoLynn Gertson
Your biography of Hemingway is very interesting, great job on the timeline. Good job on discriptions of your novels, I guess I would only change the length of information of each novel though. Atleast to have more than the biography. I think your organization is really good. Good Luck.