Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His unique writing style left a deep impact on the 20th-century fiction and culture. Hemingway witnessed various European conflicts. He joined the military and experienced the horrors of war, which are reflected in his works as well.

His two major works are ‘A Farewell to Arms’ which focused on World War 1 and ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ which centered on the Spanish Civil War. In 1953 Hemingway won the Pulitzer award and in 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Early Life and Career

Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21st, 1889 in Cicero, Illinois. His parents were Clarence and Grace Hemingway. He grew up mostly in Chicago’s suburban area. However, his family also had a cabin in the North Michigan where he learned hunting and fishing.

In his high school days, Hemingway wrote for his school newspaper which was called Trapeze and Tabula. He mainly focused on sports news. After graduation, he joined the Kansas City Star. This earned him valuable experience as a writer which had a deep impact on his prose style.

Military Days

In 1918 Hemingway went abroad and participated in the World War 1. He worked as an ambulance driver in the Italian Army. Hemingway was awarded the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery for his service, but eventually ended up getting injured and was transported to a hospital in Milan.

This was where he met Agnes von Kurowsky. She was a nurse. Hemingway proposed to her and Agnes accepted his proposal but she left him for another man. His works such as ‘A Very Short Story’ and ‘A Farewell to Arms’ are a reflection of the sadness he felt because of the betrayal. At the age of 20, he returned to the USA and after spending some time in the Northern Michigan area, he joined the Toronto Star.

Hemingway’s Life in Europe

In Paris Hemingway met Gertrude Stein who became his mentor. Through her he became acquainted with his generation’s famous artists/ painters such as James Joyce, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. In 1923, Hemingway’s son John Hadley was born. During this period, he frequently visited Spain’s Festival of San Fermin which also appeared in his novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’.

The Sun Also Rises

In 1925 Hemingway along with his wife joined a group of expatriates and went to a Festival in Spain, which became the base of The Sun Also Rises novel. This novel is regarded as one of Ernst Hemingway’s best work. It examined the post-war period. Soon after the publication of his story, Hemingway and Hadley divorced.

The reason behind this was his affair with Pauline Pfeiffer. This was when he started working on his short story collection ‘Men Without Women’.

Struggle and Suicide

In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize. However, by this time, his body and mind had started deteriorating. He developed high blood pressure, liver malfunctions and various other conditions.

He also became depressed. After writing a memoir called ‘A Moveable Feast’ which was a tribute to his years in Paris, Hemingway retired and moved to Idaho. On July 2nd, 1961, Hemingway committed suicide at his home.