Hemingway’s writing style

For Whom the Bell Tolls portrays typical Hemingway characters and addresses themes of machismo and womanizing. In this novel, as in many of his other works, Hemingway makes extensive use of what is known as the Hemingway Code. Numerous influences from various people and events in his personal life also had an effect on his writing.

Many people think that there has not been an American writer like Ernest Hemingway. A member of the “lost generation” of World War I, Hemingway was in many ways his best character. Whether as his childhood nickname of “Champion” or old “Dad,” Ernest Hemingway became a legend in his own lifetime. Although the drama and romance of his life sometimes seem to overshadow the quality of his work, Hemingway was first and foremost a literary scholar, writer, and book reader. This is often overlooked in all the talk of his safaris and hunting trips, bullfighting adventures, fishing and warfare. Hemingway liked being famous and he loved being the center of public attention. However, Hemingway considered himself an artist and did not want to be famous for the wrong reasons.

Hemingway was born in the quiet town of Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on July 21, 1899. His father was a physician, and Ernest was the second of six children born to Dr. and Mrs. Clarence E. Hemingway. His mother, a devout religious woman with considerable musical talent, hoped that her son would develop an interest in music. Instead, Ernest took on his father’s enthusiasm for guns and fishing trips in the woods of northern Michigan (Lynn 63).

Almost from the beginning of his writing career, Hemingway employed a distinctive style that drew comment from many critics. Hemingway does not give way to long geographical and psychological descriptions. It has been said that his style lacks substance because it avoids direct statements and descriptions of emotions. Basically his style is simple, direct and somewhat straightforward. He developed a forceful prose characterized by simple sentences and few adverbs or adjectives. He wrote concise and vivid dialogues and accurate descriptions of places and things. Critic Harry Levin noted the weakness of syntax and diction in Hemingway’s writing, but was quick to praise his ability to convey action (Rovit 47).

Hemingway spent the first part of his career as a journalist. In 1937 he traveled to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. After a few months in Spain, Hemingway announced his plan to write a book against the background of the Spanish Civil War. The result was For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Most of his early novels were narrated in the first person and locked into a single point of view, however, when Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, he used several different narrative techniques. He employed the use of internal monologues (where the reader is in the “mind” of a particular character), objective descriptions, rapid point-of-view changes, and a generally more flexible structure than in his earlier works. Hemingway believed that “a writer’s style should be direct and personal, his images rich and earthy, and his words simple and forceful. The best writers have a gift for brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars, and competent stylists (Magill 1287 ).

For Whom the Bell Tolls is Hemingway’s most serious and politically motivated novel. There are few comedic or light episodes in the entire book. For whom the bell tolls is an attempt to present in depth a country and a people that Hemingway loved very much. It was an effort to deal honestly with a very complex war made even more complex by the beliefs it inspired (Gurko 127).

Common to almost all of Hemingway’s novels is the concept of Hemingway’s hero, sometimes known as the “code hero”. When Hemingway’s novels were first published, they were readily accepted by the public. Part of this acceptance was due to the fact that Hemingway had created a character whose response to life strongly appealed to those who read his works. The reader saw in Hemingway’s hero a person with whom he could identify almost in a dream. Hemmingway’s hero was a manly man. He went from one love affair to another, participated in wild hunting, enjoyed bullfighting, drank insatiably, engaged in all the so-called manly activities that the typical American male did not engage in (Rovit 56).

Hemingway’s involvement in the war instilled in him deeply held political views. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a study of the individual involved in what was a politically motivated war. But this novel differs greatly from Hemingway’s earlier portrayal of the individual hero in the world. In this book, the hero embraces the people around him, not just a few select members of the Illustrious, but the entire community. The organization of this community is eloquently expressed in a quote from one of the poet John Donne’s sermons on the death of a close friend. This is the quote from which the book takes its title:

No man is an island, in himself, every man is a piece of the Continent, except Maine, if a bee of Clod dragged by the Sea, Europe is less, as much as if it were a Promontory, too. as if it were a Mannor of your friends or yours; the death of any man diminishes me, because I am involved in Humanity; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; fold for you

Thus, while the hero retains the qualities of the Hemingway Code, he has been edified by his oneness with humanity. In the end, he finds the world to be a “good place,” one “worth fighting for” (Curly 795). In his personal confrontation with death, Robert Jordan realizes that there is a greater cause than one man can think of to serve. In this he differs from Hemingway’s earlier hero. The insistence that the action and its form fall solely on an individual is still present, along with the need for the character to dominate that action. However, it is no longer about a single matador against a single bull, or an individual character against his entire entourage. The person is the “instrument of humanity” against the horrors of war. Therefore, the political themes of this book are not presented as a “contrast of black and white, but in shaded tones of reality” (Magill 491).

While Jordan is the epitome of the hero in his actions, he is also in command of himself and his circumstances to a far greater extent than Hemingway’s earlier heroes; he is driven to face reality by deep emotional needs. Jordan’s impulses in the novel seem to be a direct reflection of Hemingway’s, for Hemingway had also been deeply affected by the suicide of his own father (Kunitz 561). Ironically, suicide as an escape from reality is a violation of Hemingway’s own code. The doubt and fear that such an act provokes in the children of a person who commits suicide is a well-known psychological result. Perhaps that is why the pain of his fears makes Hemingway’s heroes avoid “thinking” at all costs. Because “thinking” too much can prevent a person from reacting. And without something to react to, the hero confronts his inner fears (Magill 474). Death is also used by Hemingway at the end of the novel to resolve the dramatic conflicts that the story establishes. The theme of death is also seen in other parts of the book, such as when the characters express concern about dying during the attack on the bridge. As in other works after his father’s suicide, Hemingway confronts his characters with death. He admires those who face death bravely and without expressing emotion. For Hemingway, a man does not truly live life until he personally analyzes the meaning of death (Brooks 323).

In contrast to Hemingway’s heroes are his female characters. Hemingway’s approach to women in his works is particularly masculine. They are seen and valued in relation to the men in his stories to the extent that they are absolutely feminine. Hemingway does not go into his inner world except insofar as this world relates to the men with whom he relates. The reader comes to see them as love objects or anti-love figures (Whitlock 231). Part of the reason Hemingway had this opinion of women was because of the way he viewed her mother. He believed that her mother was manipulative and blamed her in part for her father’s suicide. “The qualities that he considered admirable in a man – ambition and independent point of view, defiance of his supremacy – became threatening in a woman” (Kert 103).

Hemingway’s heroines almost always personify the physical appearance of the ideal woman in their beauty. But in her personality they appear as two types: the “all-woman” who gives herself entirely to the hero and the “femme fatale” who holds back and prevents the hero from possessing her completely. The “every woman” is acceptable from Hemingway’s point of view because she submits to the hero. She wants no other life than with him. By succumbing to the hero, she allows him to dominate her and affirm her manhood. The “femme fatale” is usually a more complex character than the “all-woman” (Lynn 98). While she may or may not be unpleasant, she does not submit to the hero and hurts him and all the men around her mainly because they cannot handle her and thus cannot assert her manhood through her. But despite Hemmingway’s portrayal of women, she generally makes them fall into the same basic category as men. The heroine, like the hero, obeys the “Hemmingway Code.” She sees life for what it is even when she yearns for something more. She is basically brave in life, choosing reality over thought, and stoically facing death. In practically all cases, there has already been some tragic event in her life -loss of a lover, violence- that has given her the strength to face life in this way (Lynn 102).

For Whom the Bell Tolls “is a living example of how, in modern times, epic quality should be projected” (Baker 132). Heroic action is an epic quality, and For Whom the Bell Tolls contains this element. The setting is simple and the emphasis is on the basic virtues of uncomplicated people. The men involved in the conflict are willing to sacrifice their lives; they are exceptional for their acts of daring and heroism (Baker 94).

Behind the conception of this idea of ​​the hero is the disillusionment of the American public, the disillusionment caused by the First World War. The impressionable man realized that the old ideas and beliefs rooted in religion and ethics had not helped save man from the catastrophe of the First World War. As a result, after the war ended, Hemingway and other writers began searching for a new value system, a value system that would replace old attitudes they believed to be worthless. The writers who embraced these new beliefs came to be known as the “lost generation.”

The “lost generation” was a name instituted by Gertrude Stein and meant the post-war generation and the literary movement produced by the young writers of the time (Unger 654). Her writing reflected her belief that “the only reality was that life is hard” (Bryfonski 1874).

Much has been written about Ernest Hemingway’s distinctive style. Since he began writing in the 1920s, he has been the subject of much praise and sometimes harsh criticism. It has not been ignored.

Explaining Hemingway’s style in a few paragraphs in a way that will satisfy those who have read his articles and books is almost impossible. It is a simple, direct and modest style. Hemingway’s prose is unadorned as a result of his refraining from using adjectives as much as possible. He tells a story in the form of straight journalism, but since he is a master at conveying emotion without embellishing it, the product is even more enjoyable.

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