Ernest Hemingway

One of the best American authors: Ernest Hemingway

One of the best American authors who had a big impact on American literature is Ernest Hemingway. He is a hero, and his writings continue to be widely used in contemporary literature and to have a significant impact on a number of poets and story writers. In 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park. He was an American author and short story writer. He penned numerous poems throughout his life, such as "The Fight on the Hilltop" and "The Chauffeurs of Madrid." His writings had a major influence on the 20th century and the modern world. The stories he wrote when he started his writing career are “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Old Man and the Sea”. Tyler indicates that Hemingway’s career as a journalist significant molded him to become a good writer. Hemingway worked as a newspaper writer for Kansa City Star Company. Later on, Hemingway worked as a reporter in Canadian and American newspapers. More importantly, his work as a reported aided in developing his writing skills and prose style which many modern writers have emulated. Also, he worked as soldiers and for this reason, his works majorly feature the war experiences (Haugen and Musser, 2). As such, the enduring legacy and influence of Hemingway’s works will continue to be significant in the American literature.

Influence of Hemingway on the American Literature

Some people suggest that Hemingway personal life and the move to commit suicide should automatically disqualify him from being an iconic American figures who had great influence on the American literature. For example, Steve cites that people view Hemingway’s alcoholic nature, the many affairs he had along with his mental state to be solid reasons to preclude him as being one of the influential writers (Steve). However, these allegations are highly refutable basing on the immense contribution that Hemingway had to the American literature. Everyone who comes across Hemingway’s works will recognize that he was absolutely a great figure of the 20th century. Even though his works feature a functional genre, they were a perfect reflection of his life experiences together with the places and people he met during his life. Boon writes that Hemingway is an outstanding person whose works “are included in anthologies and studied as world masterpieces major English authors and great American writers” (Boon 17). He was one of the most prominent people in literature, and his works depict a man of courage. His legendry style of writing greatly impacted on key writers such as Getrine Stein and Ezra Pound. For this reason, Tyler states that Hemingway is the “father of the Lost Generation and a subcategory of the modern American literature” (Tyler 6).

Undisputedly, Hemingway has modeled many modern writers

Undisputedly, Hemingway has modeled many modern writers through his style of writing and remained to be one of the admirable figures in literature. In the 20th century, American literature took a different dimension due to the emergence of iconic writers such as Ernest Hemingway. He first did his publication in 1929 on a story called A Farewell to Arms. Moreland states that this is one of the works that made him attain a worldwide fame and recognition. A Farewell to Arms was a story that was read widely and marketed him in the global spheres. Also, his book called The Old Man and the Sea was honored, and it featured in a Hollywood movie.

The outstanding style of writing that Hemingway portrayed

The outstanding style of writing that Hemingway portrayed in his variety of works is a notable factor that impacts on the American literature. Many modern writers have tried to emulate his spirited writing style. Eby cites that the realm of prose stylistic skill that many of his stories showcase was a remarkable feature (Eby 13). Stories that depict the prose style of writing include The Old Man and the Sea. As Eby reports, the prose style has been one of the most outstanding features in his works that makes his works fascinating and exemplary. Hemingway has been cited to be one of the best prose writers to have existed in the United States. Hemingway learned to write in an approach that was engaging the reader. Indeed, the power of Hemingway’s literacy skills cannot be left unrecognized when one reads his stories. The prose style along with the well-written grammatical structure makes Hemingway’s works to be metric and exhibit a natural flow. Many readers find his story called A Farewell to Arms to be uniquely written embracing the prose style. Hence, many writers that emerged after his death including Burhans, Jr. and Clinton S. have always attempted to adapt the prose writing skills to enhance their literacy skills. Notably, the feature of prose that Hemingway employed blended with the storyline and thus made him be a successful writer worth emulating. His writing is said to be a tersely descriptive literature with tough masculinity, and every word in his work is carved in granite. His style forces the reader to read between the lines. For example, in the story of “Death in the Afternoon” Hemingway states that "If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. And the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them" (Ove 6). His big work called The Sun Also Rises published in 1929 brought him prominence.

The theme of war that Hemingway strived to embed in his works

The theme of war that Hemingway strived to embed in his works was defining to the 20th-century literature. This theme has been significant in showcasing the anti-war message in literature. Hemingway’s pacifist views on war have been significant in communicating to the modern writers that literature can be used to castigate the wrong facets of the society. He was a soldier, and he noted that the Second World War was quickly shaping the world. He took a great note of this factor and represented this in his writing (Haugen and Musser 45). He indicated that war was a detrimental aspect of many nations and he took a bold stand to this in his poems. Vast literature have branded him to have been an iconic symbol of war resistance during his time. His books such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms coin around the theme of war. The bold move that he took in criticizing war tells the modern writers that they should be able to identify what goes around them and put this into writing and serve as a reference for future generations. Hemingway inspirational message found in A Farewell to Arms cannot be discerned, and the influence is evident in the thematic form of anti-war. Hence, the antiwar thematic influence has been critical to many writers who find Hemingway’s works to be inspiring. For instance, the story of The Hunters written by James Salter explores the Korean War and he is one of the writers who valued Hemingway’s works. Also, James Ellroy the author of the Novel Confidential depicts the anti-war theme where he accounts for the allied officers in the France and Italy trenches. Ove states that the two writers, James Salter and James Ellroy are among the many American writers who copied Hemingway’s anti-war theme. Also, Border Trilogy which is written by Cormac McCarthy features cowboys who are Hemingway's characters. The characters of Hemingway in the anti-war works confront violence essentially portraying that the society cannot flourish if it is grounded in war.

The short but efficient writing style

The short but efficient writing style was a remarkable style employed in his works. Hemingway’s artistic integrity created a radically modern approach to the American writing style. The repetitive words, prepositional phrases along with present participles in his works created emphasis. Hemingway’s writing also has a combination of short and long sentences which contain clause connection and short phrases which are captivating. Chandler and Salter, for example, are the modern writers who mimic Hemingway’s approach. The short style of writing portrayed a new generation of writers during the 20th century who communicated a huge message to the readers without the need to use long and detailed work. The short form of writing thus evidenced a straightforward and great writing that makes him be a hero of his kind and became highly recognized.

Hemingway's modernist literary cycle

Hemingway’s modernist literary cycle influenced many writers on the moral code he illustrated. His style portrayed the truth of the situation. Writers such as The Subterranean and Jack Kerouac along with the Beat Generation have emulated his style. The moral code and the aspect of truth attest in his novels. In his story called A Moveable Feast, Hemingway explains that “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say" (French 12). The truth is projected to be a metaphor for his experiences and this idea makes him be a legendary figure in literature. Moreland elucidates that this is acknowledged to be one of the greatest influence in the American literature. The aesthetic of simplicity comprising of "basic struggle for absolute accuracy in his words correspond to experience" (Waldhorn 14). The truth nature propels reality rather than making him appear as a construct of imaginations. He had “self-discipline, and when he sought to write about something, he would stick to the story” without going out of the main idea (Haugen and Musser 17). The self-discipline nature that he depicted in his works was attributed to the career he had as a journalist. For example, Death in the Afternoon showcases the moral code of truth which is the moral lesson in the story. Hemingway’s writes in his book that "What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad about" (Whiting 9). Moreover, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is a novel that explores the sense of dignity and a moral code that many writers have found to be educative. Notably, his central theme on the ideas of morality influences many writers and has been a central idea that readers seek in his works. Hemingway’s pragmatic voice on the need for moral values in the society enriches his works and illustrates that truth and dignity in literature are aspects that have to be taken into consideration.

Hemingway's influential poetry

Again, Hemingway wrote many poems that have been influential in literature. The poems that he wrote carried powerful messages to the society. Besides, he employed many literary devices which helped him to pass the underlying theme to the readers. His poems such as The Soul of Spain, Advice to a Son and To Good Guys Dead along with Valentine are among his great writes in poetry. Perhaps, the many stylistic devices he employed such as imagery, metaphor, personification, and symbolism are what make his poems interesting. These styles have been a center of focus for many writers. Hemingway understood the importance of employing these devices in his works in order to make them captivating and at the same time convey the underlying message. Eby stipulates that Hemingway was a skillful poetic writer and he understood the ways of delivering the message in literature with precision. According to Eby, the modern poetry entails many of the many aspects that Hemingway explored (Eby 5). Through this facet, Hemingway was able to evoke his readers with the emotional aspect of the poems. Again, his poems feature wide aspects of life including civilization and war.

Hemingway's lasting influence

French in his book entitled 20Th-Century American Literature states that “No other writer has equaled Hemingway in portraying a cultural image that links the time-honored masculine virtues of power, honesty, and fortitude” (French). There is no doubt that Hemingway’s writings demonstrated a committed writer to literature and the integrity of his crafting style crowns his legacy. His works capture a sense of human experiences which is not sophisticated but rather a modest, direct and pleasing style. French goes ahead to allude that Hemingway’s metaphoric add-ons have influenced many reporters in almost large aspects of writing including in magazines, newspapers, and television. The refinement of his writing style illustrates a poetic heroic individual whose works have remained to have a lasting influence in the American literature.


Many of Hemingway's works are taught in numerous universities and colleges. Notably, his lean style and the effort he made in describing life as an experience rather than as a filter through literary allusions make his works a masterpiece in literature. The adaptation to be taught in institutions portrays how Hemingway's works are a great influence on American literature. He also focused on honor and behavior and not just on intellectual subtleties. He was a popular writer of the 20th century, and his influence is still vivid in the modern world. Hemingway’s works are exemplified in wide spheres of life and have significantly been influential in American literature. This is evident in areas such as the prose style of writing, his anti-war theme, and the influence in poetry. Indeed, Hemingway’s seminal works are masterpieces of the modern writers. He knew how to attract the attention of his readers and at the same time create a tranquil environment in poetry that encouraged the readers. Hemingway’s poems, short stories, as well as novels, depict a powerful mastery of literacy skills of a brilliant writer. He is a heroic figure who will remain a celebrated person in American literature for many generations to come.

Works Cited

Boon, Kevin Alexander. Ernest Hemingway. Tarrytown, NY, Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008,.

Eby, C. P. "Reading Desire: In Pursuit Of Ernest Hemingway." American Literature, vol 73, no. 1, 2001, pp. 202-203. Duke University Press, doi:10.1215/00029831-73-1-202.

French, Warren G. 20Th-Century American Literature. Macmillan, 2002.

Haugen, David M, and Susan Musser. War In Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway, Ernest. Hemingway On War. New York, Scribner, 2012,.

Moreland, Kim Ileen. "Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference (Review)." The Hemingway Review, vol 23, no. 1, 2003, pp. 111-116. Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/hem.2004.0011.

Ove G. Svensson. "Ernest Hemingway And The Nobel Prize For Literature." The Hemingway Review, vol 27, no. 2, 2008, pp. 118-122. Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/hem.0.0005.

Steve King. The Hemingways and Suicide. Today in literature. (Accessed on 15 November, 2017).

Tyler, Lisa. "Hemingway Lives!: Why Reading Ernest Hemingway Matters Today By Clancy Sigal." The Hemingway Review, vol 34, no. 2, 2015, pp. 132-135. Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/hem.2015.0005.

Waldhorn, Arthur. A Reader's Guide to Ernest Hemingway. Farrar, Straus And Giroux, 2009.

Whiting, Jim. Ernest Hemingway. Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2006.

Works Cited

French, Warren G. 20Th-Century American Literature. Macmillan, 2002.

Waldhorn, Arthur. A Reader's Guide to Ernest Hemingway. Farrar, Straus And Giroux, 2009.

Whiting, Jim. Ernest Hemingway. Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2006.

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