Ernest Hemingway Biography Known for his works, full of masculinity and adventure, Ernest Hemingway became one of the greatest writers of the twenty-first century, he wrote novels and short stories about outdoorsmen, soldiers and other men of action, all of these, characteristics of his own persona. Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, to Clarence Edmunds and Grace Hemingway, both strict Congregationalists (Smith).
Hemingway’s early years were spent largely in combating the repressive feminine influence of his mother and nurturing the masculine influence of his father (Hemingway). He spent the summers with his family in the woods of northern Michigan, where he often accompanied his father on professional calls (Hemingway). He started writing when he was a teenager, penning a weekly column for his high school newspaper (Smith). During this period, he also began to write poems and stories, some of which were published in his school’s literary magazine (Smith).
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
After graduating high school in 1917, Hemingway started his career as a reporter for the Kansas City Star, covering city crime and writing feature stories (Smith). The position helped him develop a journalistic style, which would later become one of the most identifiable characteristics of his fiction (Smith). When World War I broke out, he volunteered as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy (Smith). Hemingway next enlisted in the Italian infantry, served on the Austrian front until the armistice, and was decorated for bravery by the Italian government (Hemingway).
Like many of his compatriots of the Lost Generation, Hemingway left America for Europe, where he joined the group of literary expatriates in Paris, including Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Smith). He lived in Paris for the next seven years, working on his fiction and serving as a European correspondent for American newspapers (Smith) From 1937 to 1938, he covered the Spanish Civil War (Smith). Seventeen months after that war ended, Hemingway completed For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) (Hemingway).
His most ambitious novel, it describes an American professor’s involvement with a loyalist guerrilla band and his brief, idyllic love affair with a Spanish girl(Hemingway). Hemingway deliberately avoided having the book used as propaganda, despite its strained attempt at an affirmative resolution, by carefully balancing fascist atrocities with a heartless massacre by a peasant mob (Hemingway). When For Whom the Bell Tolls was published, it was regarded by the public and the critics as one of his best works (Smith).
During the middle of the century, the public began to envision Hemingway as the personification of his heroes???a hard drinking, forceful American, who could stand his ground on the battlefield, in the boxing ring, and on safari (Smith). During the 1950s, a life of alcohol abuse and rough living took a toll on his health (Smith). His health problems, compounded by his three failed marriages and periods of creative stagnation, resulted in a mental breakdown in 1960 (Smith).
Scornful of an illness which humiliated him physically and impaired his writing, he killed himself with a shotgun on July 2, 1961 (Hemingway). Works Cited “Ernest Miller Hemingway. ” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 274-277. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. “For Whom the Bell Tolls. ” Novels for Students. Ed. Jennifer Smith. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 22-39. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Oct. 2011.