Biography of Ernest Miller Hemingway Essay

Biography of Ernest Miller Hemingway Essay

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Biography of Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist, journalist, writer of short stories, and winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize for literature. He created a distinguished body of prose fiction, much of it based on adventurous life. He was born on July 21, 1899, the second of six children, in Oak Park, Ill., in a house built by his widowed grandfather, Ernest Hall. Oak Park was a Protestant, upper middle class suburb of Chicago. He died on July 2, 1961.
Early Years
Hemingway stated in Green Hills of Africa that civil war is the best war for a writer. Both of his grandfathers fought in the Civil War and the family was proud of its military traditions. The Hemingway children were brought up on heroic tales of the Civil War. Ernest was also fascinated by the wars and heroes at the turn of the century: the Spanish-American War (1898);, the Goer War (1899-1902); and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), which inspired him to collect military cartoons. Ernest loved to read the Old Testament when he was a boy because it was so full of battles. (Meyers 3)
Ernest Hemingway's maternal grandfather was Ernest Hall, who was injured in the Civil War. He tried to shoot himself when he was near death, but Hemingway's father had removed the bullets from his gun. Ernest was six years old at the time, and thought his father shouldn't have prevented his grandfather from committing suicide.
His paternal grandfather was Anson Hemingway. He was a formal, serious, and deeply religious man who was active in the temperance movement. He established a prosperous real-estate business. Both families were prosperous.
Hemingway's parents were Clarence Edmonds "Ed" Hemingway and Grace Hall. They had a fairly happy marriage although they were very different. Grace was the dominant one in the marriage.
Hemingway was an active, imaginative, and fearless youngster. He said at an early age that he wasn't afraid of anything. He was aggressive, self-confident, and had a tendency to exaggerate. His mother said that he delighted in shooting imaginary wolves, bears, lions, buffalo, etc., and liked to pretend he was a "soldser". She also said he threw temper tantrums if he didn't get his way. (Meyers 9)
Hemingway's mother, Grace was an accomplished singer and at one time wanted a career on stage. She settled for being a wife and mo...


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...wn the carpeted stairway. He went down into the basement and unlocked the gun storage room. He chose a double-barreled Boss shotgun, took some shells from one of the boxes, climbed back upstairs to the front foyer, slipped in two shells, lowered the gun butt carefully to the floor, leaned forward, pressed the twin barrels against his forehead just above the eyebrows, and tripped both triggers. (Baker 563-64)
After the electric-shocks his memory was fried by attempts to burn the depression out of his brain. With memory went insight and motivation to write. A whole universe of mourning descended. A depression that couldn't be killed by electrical pulses. Only the double fisted thud of lead would do. He couldn't write any more. His guard was down. The last punch was a knockout.
He loved to drink, hunt, and gamble. He loved beautiful women and moments of purity. He loved the company of trusted friends. He loved bullfights, boxing, rivalry and rebellion. He loved so many things so deeply. He overflowed, spilling them onto the page - through his fingertips - he inhaled life and exhaled words. They were the same to him. Now he's holding his breath forever. (Hoerman 2-3)

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