Hemmingway Short Stories

ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) "You really ought to read more books - you
know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side." F.

Scott Fitzgerald, 1927 This is a paper about Ernest Hemingway's short stories

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the

Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933). However,
to understand Hemingway and his short stories I find it necessary to take a
brief look at his life and background first. It is not easy to sum up Ernest

Hemingway's adventurous life in a few paragraphs, but I've tried to focus on the
most important things before I started on the analysis of the five short
stories. Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in oak Park, Illinois, July 21st 1899,
and committed suicide July 2nd, 1961. In his lifetime Hemingway managed to write
some of the best known novels of our century, including books such as The Sun

Also Rises, (1926) A Farewell to Arms (1929), Death in the Afternoon (1932) and

For Whom the Bells Toll (1940). Hemingway's first published work was Three

Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and then In Our Time (1924), before his fame grew
with the publication of The Sun Also Rises in 1926. By that time Hemingway was
married and had a child, and he was working as a news correspondent in Paris. At
the age of 18 Ernest Hemingway signed up for the army to fight in World War I,
but because of his poor vision he was not accepted in the fighting forces. After
a short span as a reporter in Kansas City, he joined the Red Cross as an
ambulance driver. Three weeks after his arrival at the front, Hemingway was
wounded and spent nearly six months in convalescing before he returned home to

USA and a hero's welcome. Hemingway's experiences in Italy, his wounding and
recovery, later inspired his great novel A Farewell To Arms, and also explains
some of the dark, pessimistic spirit one can trace trough much of his later
work. After the return from Europe, Hemingway worked as a reporter for the

Toronto Star Daily and in 1921 he moved to Paris as the paper's European
correspondent. Hemingway's background as a reporter is clearly shown in most of
his work, and the rules inflicted in the newspaper, advocating short sentences,
short paragraphs, active verb, authenticity, compression, clarity and immediacy
follows him throughout his career. He later said: "Those were the best
rules I ever learned for the business of writing. I've never forgotten
them." (Wilson) He lived, worked and wrote in Paris for the next six years,
until he moved back to the US in 1928. Hemingway was an eager hunter and fisher.

He went on many hunting safaris to Africa and was a passionate deep sea fisher.

Hemingway's love of nature and hunting is shown in many of his novels and short
stories, most clearly in the book The Old Man and The Sea from 1952. The
struggle between the man and the marlin is a brilliant description of courage
and stamina, and the old man seems to be the prime example of the Hemingway
hero, a culmination of a lifetime of writing that comes together in the
character of Santiago. Hemingway settled in the US in 1928 and wrote much of his
best work in the next ten-fifteen years. He worked as a correspondent in the

Spanish Civil War in 1937, and covered the Normandy invasion and the liberation
of Paris among others in the final face of World War II. Hemingway received the

Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. The stories I have chosen for this essay, The

Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain
(1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933), have many
things in common, but are also distinct in their own ways. All five are centered
within a small geographic area, and the time span of the stories are relatively
short in all five. I will give a brief recap of each story before I start
analyzing them thoroughly. The Snows of Kilimanjaro describes a couple on a
hunting safari who has had an accident. The husband, Harry, has injured his
foot, and it became infected. Because of bad/wrong treatment of the wound, he is
slowly dying. The wife takes care of him and tries to provide for him the best
she can, but in the end she can't prevent him from dying. On his deathbed Harry
contemplates his life and the