An icon of 20th-century, a surprisingly sensitive soul, and one of literature’s most appealing characters, Ernest Hemingway was also one of the finest novelists of all time. Despite his relatively short lifespan, Hemingway’s life was dramatic, driven by ambition, and marred with blood. True love may even be able to stave off the inevitable. To struggle to love, and to be incapable of doing so, is to struggle with two sides of the same coin.
Early life of Ernest Hemingway
His mother wanted twins so badly that she became obsessed. She called them her “beautiful Dutch dollies,” and she got her wish when she made little Ernest appear like his sister. The little boy his mother had called Ernestine favored the masculine roles.
As a young man, Ernest Hemingway saw the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914. He enlisted with the Red Cross in France. He later joined the United States Army in 1917, and drove an ambulance throughout his service. In July 1918, while serving in Italy, Hemingway was injured by shrapnel from an Austrian mortar shell, which marked the beginning of his spectacular climb to literary prominence.
His time in Italy greatly influenced the writing of “A Farewell to Arms,” one of his most acclaimed works. If you asked someone to imagine Hemingway in Paris at its peak, the city probably wouldn’t have come to mind. Hemingway lived in the city during the events of his last novel, A Moveable Feast, which is a fantastic evocation of the era. Many notable locals made friends with Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, and James Joyce were some of the names. His marriage to Hadley ended in 1927 when she learned of his romance with fashion writer Pauline Pfeiffer. Finally, Ernest Hemingway and Hadley divorced, and Hemingway remarried Pfeiffer.
Pauline and Ernest Hemingway uprooted their life and came to Key West, Florida, in 1928. Mutts and cats that live with their aging owner: The Paternal Hemingway Tourists go to Florida to see the Hemingway Home. Pauline’s uncle Gus made the first purchase of the landmark home on Whitehead Street. When visitors first arrived at the Hemingways’ extravagant mansion in the 1920s, they were greeted with many of the same pieces of furniture and artwork that still decorate the home today. Hemingway’s descendants, the six-toed mutant tomcats, may live here, along with artifacts from his travels and a quiet spot to write.
His Political Struggle
In 1937, Ernest Hemingway went to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. It was a brutal struggle between the governing Republicans and Franco’s fascists. He had to help out and help others out. It was alleged that Hemingway supported the fascist cause. He helped pay for the transport of ambulances to Spain to support the Republican struggle. He also narrated a documentary that favored the Republican side. Pauline, Hemingway’s devoted Catholic wife, and a Nazi sympathizer had marital difficulties throughout the war. He fell madly in love with his future wife, Martha Gellhorn, shortly after meeting her. After his traumatic divorce from Pauline, Hemingway married Martha, and the couple settled in a house outside Havana.
Absurd conflict to Hemingway, World War II was more interesting than World War I because of its unique characters. His first order of business was to consult with the American ambassador to Cuba about the feasibility of establishing a surveillance network to track out and record Nazi sympathizers living in Cuba.
His secret group included servers, fishermen, prostitutes, aristocrats, priests, and others. Soon after, Hemingway ordered from the embassy a supply of weapons (including bazookas, hand grenades, machine guns, and radio equipment). So that he might use his fishing boat to go against German submarines in the Caribbean. As Martha Gellhorn recounted, Hemingway and his “Rough Riders” failed in their goal to destroy a U-boat. She dismissed the whole thing as an excuse for the authors to waste gasoline money and get drunk. A few days after the Germans had departed Paris, Hemingway drove up to the bar of the Paris Ritz. In a jeep, machine gun in hand, he demanded admittance and placed an order for fifty-one dry Martinis.
His End Life
Ernest Hemingway and his second last wife, Mary, whom he wed after divorcing Martha during the war, went back to Cuba to present the Nobel Prize to someone who deserved it. In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, the highest accolade in his field. His “great, style-forming command of the craft of contemporary storytelling,” as the New York Times put it, was on display in his most recent work, The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway and Mary eventually left Cuba after six years and settled in Idaho. It was the end of his life, and he had finally arrived.
Throughout the 1960s, Ernest Hemingway experienced a dramatic deterioration in his mental and physical health. His paranoia and anxiety worsened when he sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic, where he received electroshock therapy. Not much changed, which is unfortunate. On July 2, 1961, Hemingway took his own life after suicidal thoughts continued after further “therapy” at the clinic. Hemingway had written seven books. He had married four women, served in three wars, and been in two aircraft accidents at the time of his death. In Ketchum, Idaho, he was buried after passing away. He was a man whose life was more spectacular and dramatic than anything he wrote about having endured.