Ernest Hemingway


Word Count: 2210

Ernest Hemingway was one of the greatest writers of the century. He was born at the close of the old century but was able to see the Disorders of the new century. Hemingway was marvelous in bringing about his pictorial effects for his readers even in his drunken state. Hemingway was skilled in the way he presented the “real” and “concrete” to be the first essentials in his writing. He put life back on the page so that we could see the grim reality of the truth. Hemingway’s style brought minute details to the surface so that the readers would understand his meanings. In the stories that I have chosen the critics have analyzed the story. In this paper I intend to prove that Ernest Hemingways writing in “Soldiers Home” and “Hills Like White Elephants” influenced American writing styles through Symbols, Themes and writing techniques.
In several of Hemingway’s short stories, he uses one or more animals as symbols around which the story revolves. As central symbols, Hemingway’s animals are the manifestations of the psychological states and emotional desire of the main characters in the stories. He uses the symbols to enable the reader to comprehend the often not stated psychological forces that motivates them. Hemingway’s use of symbolism is a contribution to the richness of his characters. It provides the reader with a vehicle through which they can associate. Without them the stories would lose much of their color and clarity. In the short story “Soldiers Home,” Majorie Smelstor said “ the title of this story suggests a familiar American landmark and symbol, The soldier’s home, a place for retired military to live and relive their war experiences“ In this tale, however, the soldier’s home is neither a haven for ex-soldiers nor an environment for reminiscing” (MaGill 2170). Another symbol is the lies that Kerb lives with every day. Marjorie Smelstor said “For the townspeople do not want to hear the truth about the atrocities of battle, preferring, instead, lies about the heroics of war” (MaGill 2170). Marjorie Smelstor said In the end of the story “Mrs. Kerb’s reasserts her maternal role, reminding her son that she held him next to her heart when he was a tiny baby, Reducing kerb’s to the juvenile lie:” “I know, mummy… I’ll try and be a good boy for you” (MaGill 2171).
The other story that I have chosen is “Hills Like White Elephants” it has many different symbols that relate to peoples lives. Hal Hollady said “The name of the girl (Jig) is a symbolic name. “It is a name of a lively dance”. “The name implies that she may change her mind about the abortion [at any time] (MaGill 1020). This story does not come out and tell you what is going on between the man and the woman. The symbols relate to what is happening. “One of the important symbols is the bamboo bead curtain [that hangs] across the doorway of the station bar room” (Gilmor 47 ). The curtain[according to the critics] represents the man’s desire to maintain the status quo in their relationship. “The curtain represents their emotional separation as well, for they regard it differently as they do the more familiar symbol of the hills” (Organ 11). “Hills refer to the shape of the belly of a pregnant woman, and white elephant is an idiom that refers to useless or unwanted things” (Organ 11). Making more specific symbol of the bead curtain, Elliot thinks that when jig takes hold of the two strain’s of beads they represent the rosary beads and her also being a catholic. When Jig plays with the beads the man thinks that she is playing with a child’s toy, thus the curtain may symbolize the unborn child. “The abortion is not merely a perfectly natural or simple operation to her, it is a symbolic act. Jig thinks this will cut her off irrevocably from what is good and alive in the world (MaGill 1019).
[Towards the end of the story] the landscape takes on a powerful [picture]. It describes where the couple waits for the train. “The country is “brown and dry”. The girl feels that the dry is a representation to herself as