17. února 2008 v 17:05 | yellow
Ernest Hemingway is one of the most popular and the best - known writers. He was born on 21st July 1899 in Oak Park in Illinois like second of six children in very strict and religious family. His father taught to love the nature so Ernst spent much time ourdoor. He caught his first fish at the age of three. He got his first shotgun when he was twelve. His mother taught him to love music and art. At school he was very good in English. He wrote to the school newspapers. He graduated in 1917 but he didn't go to university. He went to the Kansas City where he worked as a journalist. He spent there six months. Then he went to the war, where he worked like ambulance driver. He wanted to be a soldier but he couldn't because of his poor seesight. He lived in the USA, in France (in Paris he was encouraged by american writer Gertruda Stein) and Cuba, making a number of hunting trips in Africa (Green Hills of Africa) and travelling all his life long. Being a newspaper reporter he was deeply interested in public events.
He used to take an active part in these: in World War I he served in an ambulance group, during the Spanish Civil War he stayed in Spain and reported on it. Being keen on hunting Hemingway had great respect for courage. His brave characters do not always survive but they lived their lives to the fullest.
His strong autobiography task gives roughly realistic picture of destiny of a person on historic background. He belonged to a group of American intellectuals who called themselves "the lost generation". They felt that having lived through one disaster - the war they could expect another, still worse catastrophe.
Being verbally gifted he developed a striking style, very simple, and yet very emotional. His characters are usually men looking for strong experiences like love, hunting, adventure and travelling and also for danger. They are looked out for self - sacrifice because of the others. Motto of his task is the faith that people through their vulnerability could not be knocked down by history or nature. His style of writing contributed to the international popularity and influence of his fiction, his most widely read book being "A Farewell to Arms", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and " The Old Man and the Sea".
His personal life wasn's so succesful. He was fourtimes married. He had problems wiht drinking and he suffered from depression. In 1928 his father commited suicide. He shot himself with a shotgun. In 1954 Hemingway survived two plane crashes.
In 1953 he was honoured with Pulitzer Award, next year he got the Nobel Prize of literature. During his last years he suffered from a depression of his still worsening health that led to his suicide. Ernest Hemingway shot himself with shotgun on 2nd July 1961. He was 6 years old.
He first won popularity with the book "The Sun Also Rises" (1926). Then he wrote the novel "A Farewell to Arms" (1929), one of the best American novels related to World War I, in which he describes a moving love of an American lieutenant (Henri Frederick) and an English nurse (Catherine).
International democratic solidarity in the fight against fascism in Spain is the theme in the novel "From Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940). Robert Jordan, the main character in the novel, a capable, conscientious American, comes to Spain to help in the fight against fascism. When he is dying, he realizes, what a beautiful place the world really is, and how much it is worth fighting for.
In the short novel "The Old Man and the Sea" (1952), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954, Hemingway shows the eternal fight between nature and man, which must lose if he fights alone.
The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago, a poor old Cuban fisherman, was used to go fishing with a boy as a helper. But for 40 days they had bad luck and caught no fish, so the boy was ordered by his parents to go in another, "luckier" boat. The unlucky old man was then forced to go out to sea alone, and each day he would come back with his boat empty.
Finally, after 84 days of bad luck, Santiago went out farther then usual and succeeded in hooking a very big fish. After a long fight he killed it (though he doubted whether he would be able to) and made it fast to the boat. Soon, however, the first shark appeared. "He must have caught the smell of the fish's blood in the sea, " Santiago thought and prepared harpoon. When the shark hit the fish, Santiago killed it but, at the same time, lost the harpoon. Then he lashed his knife to the end of one of the oars and when the next shark came. He used it as a weapon. Unfortunately, when he killed the fourth shark, the knife broke and Santiago was left unarmed, and though both his hands were bleeding, he still went on fighting the sharks as best he could by hitting them with a piece of an old broken oar. But his fight was in vain. By the time he reached his home port, there was nothing left of the fish but its skeleton.
Santiago is a typical character in Hemingway's novels: He must have known he would be beaten in his battle against the forces of nature, but he fought on even when he knew the fight was useless. "Man is not made for defeat," says Santiago after losing his harpoon, "a man can be destroyed but not defeated."