The central characters of Hemingway’s novels and some of the stories are very similar and got the collective name “Hemingway hero”. A much lesser role is played by the “Hemingway heroine” – an idealized image of a disinterested, complaisant woman, a beloved hero: the Englishwoman Katherine in “Farewell to arms”, Spaniard Maria in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, Italian Renata in Beyond the River, in the Shade of Trees. A slightly less clear but more significant image, which plays a key role in Hemingway’s works, is a person embodying what is sometimes called the “Hemingway Code” in matters of honor, courage, and fortitude.
The work of every true artist always has deep connections with the age, with the moral problems of this era. Hemingway has this connection with a special immediacy, his work can not be separated from his biography, although this biography, of course, appears before the reader artistically meaningful and artistically transformed. Hemingway was not a simple chronicler of his life. He wrote about what he knew well, saw it, lived it himself, but personal experience, on which he relied, served only as the foundation of the erected building of the creativity building. Hemingway himself formulated this principle in the following words: “To write novels or stories means to invent on the basis of what you know.
” When one manages to invent well, it is more truthful than when you try to remember how it really is. “The first serious book of Hemingway, which brought him some fame, was a collection of short stories “Nowadays” (1925), placed completely in this tone. In this collection, you can clearly see the first embodiment of Hemingway’s creative ideas, it is also false to see in the bud the circle of topics that excited the young writer and for many years determined the main directions of his literary interests. First of all, the unusual construction of the collection attracts attention – the narratives that are familiar in form alternate in it with the mini-heads, the smooth flow of the stories are interrupted by short, dazzling flashes. This was the author’s definite intention, as he himself explained, “to give a general picture, interlacing it in detail, as you look at something with a naked eye, say, passing a beret, and then consider it fifteenfold binoculars, or perhaps, rather, look at the shore from a distance, and then go and live there, and then leave and look again from afar. “The theme of the fragility of human happiness becomes the central theme of the novel “Farewell to Arms!”. But this time, this topic was decided by the writer, not in camera, but against the background of an event of a huge historical scale – the first world war.In this novel, Hemingway put all his hatred for a senseless and brutal war, where “the victims were very much like the Chicago carnage, only the meat here was simply buried in the ground.
” And inhumanity, the inhumanity of this massacre becomes especially relief when in the atmosphere of blood, suffering, the death of thousands of people, a bright feeling of love blossoms between the American lieutenant Frederick Henry and the nurse Englishwoman Catherine Barkley. Their love is permeated with a sense of tragedy. Catherine confesses to her lover; “It seems to me that the worst thing will happen to us.” There are only two in this world, and the whole world is against them.
Catherine says so. “After all, we are just two of us against all the others in the world.” If anything comes between us, we are lost, they will seize us. ” Other heroes of the novel are also affected by the tragedy.
Henry’s front-line friend, the military doctor Italian Rialdi, a man defending himself from this world with Cynicism, speaks of a warrior; “So it is impossible. They say to you: it’s impossible.” Darkness and emptiness, and there’s nothing else.
“There’s nothing else, do you hear?” They all have the consciousness of insanity that engulfs the world. Rialdi expresses this thought most vividly – referring to syphilis, he says: “This is for the whole world.”And if at the beginning of the novel, Henry does not really think about the meaning of the war, Hemingway shows that the Italian chauffeurs serving with him in one part understand this meaning much better than him, then the subsequent events are the rout of the Italian army under Caporetto, innocent people – convince him, he does not want to be the victim of a senseless, unjustified murder.
He does not know about himself the guilt and does not want to answer his own life for the stupidity of others. “I did not have any grudge against anyone, I just finished it.” The novel’s hero has no political ideas, he does not become a convinced opponent of the war, a man of action, ready to fight for swap beliefs. No, he is an individualist and thinks only of himself, of his beloved woman. The rest of humanity does not care. And Lieutenant Henry concludes a “separate peace”, he deserts and runs from Catherine to neutral Switzerland.
They live there in the mountains, enjoying peace and quiet. Katherine is waiting for the baby. But even earlier in the novel it was said: “When people bring so much courage to this world, the world must kill them to break down, and that’s why it kills them.” The world breaks everyone, and then only harder at the break. he does not want to break, he kills, he kills the kindest, and the most gentle, and the bravest indiscriminately. And if you do not either, or the other, the third, you can be sure that you will be killed, but without much haste. “The problem of honesty in creativity was for Hemingway inextricably linked with the ethical problem of the writer’s honest attitude to life. In the same book “Death after noon,” he wrote: “The most important thing is to live and work on the conscience.
” In his next book, The Green Hills of Africa, where almost diary entries of a hunting trip across Africa interspersed with reflections on literature and writing, Hemingway, listing all that the writer needs, along with such concepts as talent, self-discipline, speaks of, that “one must have a conscience, the same absolutely unchanged, as the meter-standard in Paris.”In general, I must say that the novel “Farewell to Arms!” – the history of love at the level of individual fates, but also the narrative about the search for meaning and confidence in the world. This book can be considered to a certain degree religious, and although it does not give a religious interpretation of events, it is inspired by a clearly religious problem.The next significant stage in the work of Hemingway, developing and deepening the trends that appeared in the “Fifth Column,” was the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1940). This novel is also devoted to the civil war in Spain, and his hero is also a young American who voluntarily came to Spain to fight fascism.
The plot of the novel is simple. His hero, Robert Jordan, is assigned the task of crossing the front line and, when the Republican army begins the offensive, using a partisan detachment to blow up the bridge in the rear of the fascists, to prevent them from sending reinforcements. It would seem that the plot is too simple and uncomplicated for a big novel, but Hemingway in this novel solved a number of moral problems, solved them for himself in a new way. And, first of all, it was the problem of the value of human life in relation to a moral duty, voluntarily assumed for the sake of a high idea.
The novel is permeated with a sense of tragedy. With this feeling lives his hero Robert Jordan. The threat of death hovers over the whole partisan detachment in the form of fascist planes, then in the guise of fascist patrols appearing in the order of the detachment. But this is not a tragedy of helplessness and doom in the face of death, as it was in the novel “Farewell to Arms!”.Realizing that the task can end in ruin, and for him and for the conductor, the old man Anselmo, Jordan, nevertheless, argues that everyone must fulfill his duty and from the fulfillment of his duty depends much – the fate of the war, and maybe even more. “It’s a shame to think so, he told himself, are you special, are there any special people with whom nothing should happen?.
There is an order, an order is necessary, and it’s not invented by you, and there is a bridge, and this bridge may prove to be the pivot around which the destiny of mankind will turn and everything that happens in this war can be such a pivot.You have one task, and you must fulfill it. ” So in place of the individualism of Frederick Henry, who only thinks about that. to save their lives and their love, the new hero Hemingway in the conditions of a warrior, not imperialistic, but revolutionary, the main thing is the sense of duty to humanity, the high idea of ??the struggle for freedom. And love in the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” rises to other heights, interwoven with the idea of ??public debt. Robert Jordan tells the girl Mary; “I love you the way I love everything that we fight for, I love you the way I love freedom and human dignity and the right of everyone to work and not starve.” I love you, how I love Madrid, which we defended, and how I love all my comrades who perished in this war, and many of them died.
Many, you do not even know how much, but I love you as much as I love what I love most in the world, and even I love you very much, hare, stronger than you can tell. “The idea of ??duty to people permeates the whole work. And if in the novel “Farewell to Arms!” Hemingway, with his city’s mouth, denied the “high” words, “I am always embarrassed by the words” sacred, ” glorious, ” sacrifice, “and the expression” accomplished “… There were many such words that it was already disgusting to listen to, then in the application to the war in Spain, these words regain their original value. Recalling the headquarters of the International Brigades and the headquarters of the 5th Regiment, which was created and directed by the Communists, Jordan thinks: “In both of your headquarters you felt yourself part of the crusade, the outcome.
” This is the only suitable word, although it has been worn out and shattered so far that the true meaning of it already long ago erased … It was a sense of duty assumed by all the oppressed world …
It defined its place in something that you believed unconditionally and recklessly and to which you owed a feeling of fraternal affinity with all those who participated in it so same as you “.The tragic sound of the novel gets its end in an epilogue – Jordan performs the mission, the bridge is blown up, but he himself is seriously injured. And again the theme of each person’s duty sounds. Jordan says to himself: “Everyone does what he can, you can not do anything for yourself, but maybe you can do something for others.” He remains on a certain death, deciding to cover up the retreat of his comrades. Looking into the eyes of death, Jordan sums up the experience. The second result is life-affirming; “For almost a year I fought for what I believed in. If we win here, we will win everywhere, the world is a good place, and it’s worth fighting for, and I really do not want to leave it.
” And you were lucky, he told himself, you there was a very good life … You had a better life than everyone because it had these last days. “It’s not for you to complain.” Such a light chord Hemingway ended the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. In an epigraph to the novel, he took the lines of John Donne, an English poet of the seventeenth century, who very accurately expressed the humanistic orientation of the novel, the lines that spoke about the lasting value of each human life, the fusion of each person with the destinies of all mankind: “There is no man who would be like an island, on its own: every man is part of the continent, part of the Sushi .
.. the death of every Man diminishes me, for I am one with all of Mankind, and therefore do not ask ever, but whom the bell tolls: he is ringing for you.
“In the postwar years, Hemingway felt the need to comprehend and artistically consolidate his impressions of the war that had just ended, expressing his attitude to the political course of the United States government. For the sake of this, he postponed a large work, conventionally called “The Great Book” about the war, and wrote the novel “Beyond the River, in the Shadow of the Trees”.The choice of the hero and the plot situation was also affected by the severe trauma Hemingway had received on the hunt in Italy, which threatened him with loss of sight and, it was thought, perhaps even death, and the diseases that had overcome him, and the feeling of approaching old age. The hero of the novel was an elderly Colonel of the American Army Cantwell, a man who had been through many wars, not only seriously wounded, including in the First World War, in the same region of Northern Italy, where an eighteen-year-old Hemingway was injured. Death, like inevitable fate, is hovering over Cantwell – he has already suffered two heart attacks, and doctors have warned him. that the third attack would be fatal for him.
The invisible presence of death painted and the last love of Cantwell. bitter and beautiful, to the nineteen-year-old girl Renate, his farewell to his beloved city “Venice.The plotline allows Hemingway to speak about the past war through the words of Colonel Cantwell.
Tell a fragmentary, not drawing a wide realistic canvas. Cantwell talks with his beloved now and then returns to war – he reminisces about his friends who died at the front, scornfully talks about incompetent generals-politicians who threw people into slaughter for their military illiteracy, stupidity, callousness, does not hide that for the American command the war was primarily a big business.The novel clearly shows the disgust that fed Hemingway to the postwar policy of the United States government. Colonel Cantwell says bitterly that now, as a soldier obeying orders, he should not hate the fascists, that the ruling circles of the United States inspire their army that their future enemy is the Russians, “so that I, as a soldier, may have to with them to fight. ” But Cantwell has his own view of the Russians – “they personally are very right to me, I do not know the people nobler, the people who are more like us.
“The next book by Hemingway, the story “The Old Man and the Sea,” turned out to be a major event in literary life, both in terms of artistic skill and its problems.This small in volume, but extremely capacious story stands apart in the work of Hemingway. It can be defined as a philosophical parable, but in doing so, its images, rising to symbolic generalizations, have an emphatically concrete, almost tangible character.It can be argued that here for the first time in the work of Hemingway, the hero was a working man, who sees in his work a vital vocation. Harry Morgan from the novel “To have and not to have” can hardly be considered the predecessor of the Cuban fisherman Santiago, as he lives not by work, but by criminal adventures.
The old man Santiago says of himself that he was born to be a fisherman. This attitude to his profession was peculiar to Hemingway himself, who often said that he lives on the ground in order to write.Santiago knows everything about fishing, as all Hemingway knew about her, who lived in Cuba for many years and became a recognized champion in the hunt for large fish. The whole story of how an old man manages to catch a huge fish, how he leads with a long, debilitating struggle, how he defeats it, but, in turn, is defeated in the fight against sharks that eat his prey, written with the greatest, to the finer points , knowledge of the dangerous and difficult profession of a fisherman.The sea appears almost like a living being in the story. “Other fishermen, younger, spoke of the sea as space, as a rival, sometimes even as an enemy.” The old man, however, constantly thought of the sea as a woman who gives great mercies or refuses them, and if she allows herself to be rash or bad deeds – what can you do, this is her nature.
“In the old man Santiago, there is a real greatness – he feels equal to the mighty forces of nature. His struggle with the fish, growing like the pursuit of the White Whale in Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, to apocalyptic proportions, acquires a symbolic meaning, becomes a symbol of human labor, of human effort in general. The old man talks to her like an equal being.
“Fish,” he says, “I love and respect you very much, but I will kill you before the evening comes.” Santiago is so organically merged with nature that even the stars seem to him living beings. “How good,” he says to himself, “that we do not have to kill the stars! Imagine a man that does not try to kill the moon day, but the moon runs away from him.”The courage of the old man is extremely natural – there is no affectation of the matador playing a deadly game before the public or the satiety of a rich man who is looking for a thrill in Africa (the short story “Francis Macomber’s short-lived happiness”). The old man knows that his courage and fortitude, which are an indispensable quality of the people of his profession, he has proven thousands of times. “Well, so what?” He says to himself, “Now we have to prove it again, every time the account begins again: therefore, when he did something, he never recalled the past.”The plot situation in the story “The Old Man and the Sea” is tragic – the Old Man, in fact, is defeated in an unequal battle with the sharks and loses his prey, which he received so dearly, – but the reader does not have any sense of hopelessness and doom, the tone of the narrative in supremely optimistic.
And when the old man says the words embodying the main idea of ??the story, “Man is not designed to endure defeat.” A person can be destroyed, it can not be defeated, “then this is by no means a repetition of the idea of ??the long-lived story” The Undefeated. ” Now this is not a question of the professional honor of an athlete, but the problem of human dignity.The story “The Old Man and the Sea” is marked by the high and human wisdom of the writer. It found its embodiment of the true humanistic ideal that Hemingway sought throughout his literary path. This path was marked by searches, delusions, through which many representatives of the creative intelligentsia of the West passed.
As an honest artist, as a realistic writer, as a contemporary of the 20th century, Hemingway sought his answers to the main questions of the century – as he understood them – and came to this conclusion – Man cannot be defeated.