A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Miller Hemingway was a man who loved what he did, and that was

writing. Not only that, he lived what he wrote, although many of the

stories embellish the truth. In fact "it's difficult not to confuse

him with the heroes of his books" who lived and loved hard, exactly

like Hemingway did (Sussman 21). This attitude was present all through

his many experiences from growing up, going through war, living

abroad, and writing through it all.

Author Ernest Hemingway entered the world on July 21, 1899 as the

second child of Dr. Clarence Hemingway and his wife Grace. Born in the

small town of Oak Park, Illinois, his birth seemed trivial to the rest

of the world. Yet, there would come the day when he would be known as

one of the most important writers in America, an icon in his own right

(Harmon 91). Before that came to pass, however, he was just a small

boy attending grade school with his "twin" Marcelline in Oak Park. His

sister Marcelline was not actually his twin but their mother raised

the two that way, for reasons unknown. Besides that confusing

situation, young Hemingway and his siblings grew up in a fairly

average home. As a high school student he participated in sports and

wrote constantly for the school paper. His family spent their time

during the summer hunting and fishing in Michigan, where they had a

cottage. He seemed to be growing up like any other average boy, "yet

there were signs of the determinedly self-defined man that he would

become."(Koster 16). One defining moment came when he took a boxing

class and as a result got banged up. He did not quit, but came back

for more. It was this "determination to face fear and pain"(Koster 16)

that allowed Hemingway to find a silhouette for his many heroic


A year after that encounter Ernest Miller Hemingway graduated from

high school, and in spite of his parents' wishes for him to attend

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