Earnest Hemingway: Life and Works


Earnest Miller Hemingway is considered one of the most famous American novelists, short story writers, and a journalist. Born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, U.S., He was the second child and first son of Clarence Edmonds Hemingway and Grace Hall Hemingway. His father, Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, was a physician and his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, was a musician. Earnest Hemingway learned to play the cello. When he was young, he learned to fish and hunt from his father. He also camps in the lakes of Northern Michigan.

Earnest Hemingway
Earnest Hemingway

Earnest Hemingway was a good athlete. He was involved in many sports, such as boxing, water polo, football, etc. He had received excellent grades in English classes at his school. He edited the Trapeze and Tabula (school newspaper and yearbook) during the last two years in his school; here, he had imitated the spot writer’s language using the pen name Ring Lardner Jr. journalist was Hemingway’s profession before the novelist. After leaving high school, he started working as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star. Though he worked there only for six months, he relied on the star’s Style guide as a foundation for his writing.

Hemingway wanted to be a U.S. army soldier but was rejected because of poor eyesight in 1917. In 1918, he answered a Red Cross recruitment effort and signed on to be an ambulance driver in Italy. He wrote a non-fiction book, Death in the Afternoon, in 1932. He was highly wounded on July 8, 1918, in a mortar fire while bringing chocolates and cigarettes from a canteen for the men. Though he was wounded, he served in the Italian army and got the Italian War Merit Cross, the Croce al Merito di Guera. Hemingway Followed the mindset of abandoning a wife before she abandoned him.

He came back home in 1919. He has written a short story, Big Two-Hearted River. The fishing trip inspired this short story by his high school friends. He got a job in Toronto and later served as a freelance and staff writer for Toronto Star Weekly. In 1920, he moved to Chicago and became an associate editor of the monthly journal Cooperative Commonwealth. Here he met with a famous novelist Sherwood Anderson.

Hemingway married Hadley Richardson on September 3, 1921. In the same year of his marriage, he was offered a job as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, so they moved to Paris. Hemingway died on July 2, 1962, in Ketchum, Idaho, U.S.

Life in Paris

In Paris, Hemingway got an opportunity to meet some influential authors such as Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Ezra Pond, etc. They helped the young writer Hemingway to up the rungs of his career. Hemingway also met with some influential painters like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Juan Gris, some others. He became a friend of Henry Strater, who drew two portraits of him.

Hemingway’s first 20 months in Paris were dedicated to writing stories for the Toronto Star newspaper. He gave them a total of 88 stories in 20 months. In September 1923, they moved back to Toronto, and their first son John Hadley Nicanor was born on October 10, 1923.

Writing Style

Hemingway’s writing style was a little different from others. His stories are exciting and sometimes give a message. The Sun Rises is an engaging story. It is written in spare and tight prose, which made him famous and changed American writing. He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1954 for literature. He influenced the contemporary writing style.

According to Henry Louis Gates, Earnest Hemingway’s writing style was “in reaction to his experience of world war.” According to Baker, Hemingway had learned to get the most from the least. Hemingway coined the term iceberg theory for his writing style. The iceberg theory is also known as omission. It is a writing technique in which the deeper meaning of a story would not be evident on the surface, but it would shine through simplicity.


Earnest Hemingway includes the theme of love, war, travel, loss, wilderness, and many others in his writings. His works sometimes bring a message to the reader that Hemingway often uses women and death as the central theme in his works. We also find emasculation as a central theme in his stories.


  • Big Two- Hearted
  • In Our Time, 1925
  • The Sun Also Rises, 1926
  • A Farewell to Arms, 1929
  • To Have and Have Not, 1937
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1940
  • The Old Man and the Sea, 1952


  • Bronz Star Medal in 1947
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953
  • Nobel Prize for literature in 1954

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