Depiction of Nature in Ernest Hemingway's Unfinished Story, The Last Good Country
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The Depiction of Nature in Ernest Hemingway's Unfinished Story, The Last Good Country
Ecological criticism in the 1990s has declared many works, including Ernest Hemingway's novels like The Old Man and the Sea, and many of his nonfiction works and short stories as nature-oriented masterpieces. "The Last Good Country," one of Ernest Hemingway's later short stories, however, still remains to be reinterpreted as more than merely, "a metaphor for childhood innocence" (Werlock 131), and his usual "imaginative use of the natural world" (Fleming 2).
Unlike other short stories in Hemingway's early days, this unfinished story has a unique background on writing. No other Nick Adams story had previously been planned to be a form of novel. But Hemingway left the draft halfway in order to concentrate on another mythical tale of romance, The Garden of Eden. Since 1990 when Mark Spilka opened up a revolutionary "quarrel" over Hemingway's sexual ambivalence in the novel, modern critics have frequently referred to a hypothetically incestuous relationship between Nick and his younger sister Littless in "The Last Good Country" as an indication that Hemingway in his later days was fascinated with the androgynous characters.*1
Meanwhile, originating with Malcolm Cowley's reference to the primitivism of Hemingway's fictional heroes in the 1940s, environmentally conscious arguments have gradually become the mainstream of critical support for Hemingway's nature writings. Ranging from the early collection of short stories, In Our Time, to the later masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway's landscapes provide the natural resources for his heroes as Western archetypes to heal their wounds or the settings in which they manifest their male...
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...ll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 1996. 204-22.
Spilka, Mark. Hemingway's Quarrel with Androgyny. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1990.
---. "Original Sin in 'The Last Good Country': Or, The Return of Catherine Barkley." The Modernists: Studies in a Literary Phenomenon. Ed. Lawrence B. Gamache and Ian S. MacNiven. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson U P, 1987. 210-33.
Sylvester, Bickford. "The Sexual Impasse to Romantic Order in Hemingway's Fiction: A Farewell to Arms, Othello, 'Orpen,' and the Hemingway Canon." Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives. Ed. Frederic J. Svoboda and Joseph J. Waldmeir. East Lansing: Michigan State U P, 1995. 177-87.
Werlock, Abby H. P. "Women in the Garden: Hemingway's 'Summer People' and 'The Last Good Country'." Ernest Hemingway: The Oak Park Legacy. Ed. James Nagel. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1996. 124-44.