The peculiarities of language and style of Ernest Hemingway’s novel "Islands in the Stream"
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Міністерство освіти й науки, молоді та спорту України
Полтавський національний педагогічний університет імені В. Г. Короленка
Факультет філології та журналістики
Кафедра англійської та німецької філології
Бакалаврська кваліфікаційна робота
зі спеціальності Філологія. Мова та література (англійська)
ОСОБЛИВОСТІ МОВИ ТА СТИЛЮ Е. ГЕМІНГВЕЯ В РОМАНІ «ОСТРОВИ В ОКЕАНІ»
студент IV курсу, групи
канд. філол. наук, доцент
PART 1. E. HEMINGWAY AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN PROSE OF THE 20TH CENTURY
1.1 The Life Story of E. Hemingway
PART 2. THE FEATURES OF THE WRITER’S PEN
2.1 Economical Style of the Author
2.2 The Flavor of the Spanish Language
2.3 The Technique of Flashback and Reflecting the Events of His Own Life
2.4 Tragic Mood of Most of His Works
PART 3. THE PECULIARITIES OF THE NOVEL «ISLANDS IN THE STREAM»
3.1 Stark Minimalism of Writing Style in the Novel
3.2 The Reflection of the Author’s Life and World History in the Novel
3.3 The Impressionistic Techniques of the Writer in the Novel
3.4 The Implication and the Manners of Expressing It in the Novel
PART 4. METHODS OF USING THE NOVEL «ISLANDS IN THE STREAM» AT LESSONS
Nowadays the social demands of society in the field of foreign language study set the challenges of the spiritual development of the learners, improvement the humanistic content of the study, a more complete implementation of educational and developmental potential of educational subject in relation to the personality of each learner. The primary objective of foreign language study in secondary schools is to develop the pupil’s personality, able and willing to participate in cross-cultural communication and self-improve in the sphere of the study activity. Communicative and socio-cultural development of a pupil by means of a subject «foreign language» is carried out by the proper implementation of country-study approach. This approach provides learning a language closely related to the foreign language culture, which includes a variety of useful information about the history, literature, architecture, lifestyle, habits and traditions of the people of the country the language of which is studied. Country-study lessons promote a pupil to keep on further study of the country-study material on his own. And that is the country study to serve as a support for maintaining motivation, as it includes such two aspects:
1) teaching language, its general and special features and preparing a learner to use this knowledge in practice;
2) giving information about the country, the language of which is studied, making a learner to take up the culture of native-speaking countries.
According to K.S. Kirichevskaya, country-study material includes original literature, folklore, painting, music works and everything that can tell something about the country the language of which is studied in any aspect including language, customs, goods, clothes, dinnerware and just their images and especially literature [21, с. 28].
There is a great deal of foreign, in particular, English and American writers of fiction worth attention. Some of them are Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Theodore Dreiser, William Somerset Maugham, James Aldridge, Ernest Hemingway.
Ernest Hemingway has raised special interest of scholars, linguists and just people for much time. His late works except for the novel «The Old Man and the Sea», which is the subject of numerous literary works, remain under-researched and have various contrasting estimates. This is mostly because of the fact that the many of these works were published after his death («A Moveable Feast» 1964, «Islands in the Stream» 1970, «The Garden of Eden» 1986, «True at First Light» 1999).
Many biographies and fundamental studies of Hemingway’s literary activity published both in the USA and in our country, have incomplete material. One of such works is «Hemingway and Heroism» by L. Gurko, published in 1963 before the publication of a Hemingway’s book of memories «The Movable Feast» [31,с. 216]. Books of one of the best American scholars researching Hemingway’s writing, K. Beyker, such as «Hemingway. The History of Life» and «The Writer as an Artist», published in the 60−70s, relate mainly to the works of Hemingway, issued during life of the writer [31, с. 229]. S. Donaldson in his monograph «Force of Will. Life and Works of Ernest Hemingway» gives a more detailed analysis of the novel «Islands in the Stream» integrating it into the whole system of works of E. Hemingway [31, с. 231].
In our country literary studies in 60−70s biographical method is actively used to study the writing of Hemingway. There is a book written by the well-known researcher of Hemingway’s works I.A. Kashkin «E. Hemingway. Critical and Biographical Essay» (1966). In this book the author refers only to the writer of those novels and stories that were published during his lifetime. Referring to the writer’s works of 40's-50's, I. A. Kashkin compares two works — the novel «The Old Man and the Sea» and the novel «Across the River and Into the Trees», noting correctly that they are different in mood, style and type of a character, though they were created in the same time [27, с. 38].
In the book of B.T. Gribanov «Ernest Hemingway» the history of writer’s works creation and their perception of American criticism were described. Gribanov also refers to the life circumstances that formed the basis of the book of memoirs «The Movable Feast». Just as in many biographies of Hemingway by other American and foreign authors (K. Baker, P. Griffin, and S. Kauffmann, B. Gilenson), Gribanov consider this work Hemingway as a kind of «piggy bank» of his statements about the writer’s work. Gribanov also refers to the creative history of the trilogy «of the sea», parts of which were such novels as «Islands in the Stream» and «The Gardens of Eden», published in 1970 and 1986 [20, с. 109].
Analysis of separate periods of Ernest Hemingway’s literary activity, the characteristics of his art world were given in such works: Charles Fenton «Discipleship of Hemingway. The Early Years» (1961), K. Beyker «The Writer as an Artist» (1972), Leedskiy «The Creativity of Hemingway» (1973), Finkelstein «Hemingway, the Novelist. The Years of the 20's and 30's» (1974). These books devoted to the works of Hemingway which were published before his death. However, they can serve as a methodological basis for studying the writer’s posthumously published works and changing some established views to the late works of Ernest Hemingway as a whole.
The works of American and local researchers published in 80−90's are few and also largely based on the biographical method. Some of them are the researches by J. Meyers, K. Lynn, J.B. Nelson, and G. Jones, B.A. Gilenson. Thanks to the mentioned researches of Hemingway’s late works, it is possible to obtain new data on the life and writing of the writer.
In the works of local and American literature, Hemingway’s works are put into the context of American and world literature development; the writer’s posthumously published works are not included here. It can be found in such books as «Literary History of the United States» (1988), «The Modern Realist Novel of the United States. 1945−1980» (1988), «American Literature of the Twentieth Century» (1984), «Modern American Novel» (1964). Here the researchers focus their attention on universally accepted «top» works of Ernest Hemingway, especially of the novel «The Old Man and the Sea». Such novels as «Gardens of Eden», «Islands in the Stream», a book of memories «The Movable Feast» are not researched by the authors of mentioned above works. However, these things need to be analyzed from the contextual approach.
In local literary studies many researchers turn to the analysis of the specific genre, stylistic features of prose of the writer, the problem of a character in his works. These are the article by A. Kashkin «Content-Form-Content», a section on of the Mayants' book «Man Alone Can’t Go…» [31, с. 33]. Many papers are devoted to the problem of subtext in the books of Ernest Hemingway. In particular, this problem was studied by Kashkin, Zasursky. T. Motyleva in her book «Foreign Novel Today» (1966) stops on the problem of the relation of the epic poetry and the novels of the writer [12, с. 93]. B. Dneprov in his book «The Ideas of Time and Form of Time» studies the transformation of the genre and stylistic features of works of Ernest Hemingway on the example of a novel «For Whom the Bell Tolls» making emphasis on the strengthening of epic factor in it [12, с. 93]. There are works, both foreign and local, considering Hemingway as a master of landscape. They use an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of Hemingway’s works (V. Ivanov, V. Yatsenko, A. Kazin).
Mentioned above things of literature, turned to the works of Hemingway’s 20−30's, including the novel «For Whom the Bell Tolls», provide us a methodological framework for study of the stylistic features of creativity and genre of late works by Hemingway. There are no domestic researches studying this problem from such methodological approaches. However, this aspect of the writer’s late writing need further study. Posthumously published works of the writer are not well-understood.
The novel «Islands in the Stream» was released in 1970. Some individual pages of American literary studies were devoted to it, among which are «The Power of Will. Life and Works of Ernest Hemingway» (1977) by S. Donaldson, «Hemingway. Biography» (1985) by J. Meyers, «Hemingway» (1987) by K. Lynn. In details the creative history of the novel was described by K. Baker. There are very few local studies on the novel «Islands in the Stream». Following the publication of the novel in Russian there appeared an article «The Characters and the Conflict of the Unfinished Novel» (1971) by I. Kantorovich and the review of A.S. Norilsk (1972). In the article of I. Kantorovich «Islands in the Stream» is compared with «For Whom the Bell Tolls» pointing to anti-fascist orientation of these works [13, с. 99]. A.S. Norilsk pointed to atmosphere of despair, of the dead-end in the novel, so they have some common features with the literature of the «stream of consciousness» [9, с. 116].
Thus, there is an objective need for the study of late writing by Hemingway. First of all posthumously published works should be studied. So this is the thing to determine the relevance of my research work.
The object of the research is Ernest Hemingway’s «Islands in the Stream».
The subject of the research is the language and stylistic peculiarities of this work.
The aim of our research is to find out the peculiarities of language and style of Ernest Hemingway’s novel «Islands in the Stream». To achieve the aim the following tasks were put forward:
1) to get acquainted with the biography of the prominent writer Ernest Hemingway;
2) to analyze Ernest Hemingway’s works in general;
3) to find out the features of Ernest Hemingway’s pen;
4) to analyze the novel «Islands in the Stream»;
5) to determine the language and stylistic peculiarities of the novel «Islands in the Stream».
The research methods such as bibliographical, analytical, descriptive, comparative were used.
The scientific novelty of the research is that for the first time the features of Ernest Hemingway’s works were detected and systemized in this area.
The practical value is that this material is directed to be used in English and special-course classes as a help in teaching English thanks to which pupils not only study English lexis and grammar, but also take up the culture of English-speaking countries.
The work consists of introduction (presenting the topicality of the problem and the main aspects of making the research), four parts of the main content (three theoretical and one practical), conclusions, bibliography including 48 sources and applications.
PART 1. E. HEMINGWAY AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN PROSE OF THE 20TH CENTURY
1.1 The Life Story of E. Hemingway
hemingway language style novel
Influential American writer of the 20th century famouse for his novels and short stories was born in July 21, 1899 in the town of Oak Park near Chicago in a wealthy family. He was the second of six children of doctor Edmund Clarence Hemingway and his wife Grace Ernestine Hall. His father, who was not only a good surgeon, but also an excellent hunter and fisherman, played and important role in the educating of Ernest. Every summer, Ernest lived in a father’s summer cottage on Lake Vallun, where he learned fishing and hunting, learned the nature, customs and history of his native land. Along with his father he went not only to hunting and fishing, but also to the Indian village, where Clarence Hemingway treated settlers free of charge. The memories of these all formed the basis for one of the first writer’s short stories «In the Indian Village». When Ernest was twelve years old, his paternal grandfather, taking part in the Civil War, presented the boy the first gun in his life. And since that moment hunting and fishing were his the most favorite activities. The grandfather revealed the boy all the secrets of fishing known to no one but him.
The only educational institution that Ernest Hemingway finished in his life was a school in Oak Park. At school ages the boy was very fond of sports. He was one of the best sportsmen of the school: he played football and water polo, went in for swimming and boxing. And not less than sports, he admired literature.
After finishing school, he firmly decided to become a journalist. In 1917 Ernest went to Kansas City, where he became a reporter of the newspaper «Kansas City Star». Thanks to work as a reporter he improved his powers of observation, visual acuity; his work was a great experience he needed in further life. Besides, the environment, the level of the newspaper for which he worked, helped the future writer to get major skills of journalism. And a hundred «rules» made for newspaper «Star» reporters by the founder, largely coincided with Hemingway’s understanding of creativity: «Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English, not forgetting to strive for smoothness. Be positive, not negative [33, с. 12]. Being a mature writer Hemingway considered these rules as the best ones he had ever written in keeping with. He believed that no person who felt and wanted to write truthfully would not write well if he rejected these rules.
In spring of 1918 Hemingway went to Europe: he went as a volunteer to the Italian-Austrian front, and stayed in the U.S. Medical Corps. Here he was badly wounded in both legs. Having operated him twelve times, one after another, doctors found on him 227 wounds, took out of his legs twenty-eight fragments. For courage and bravery Hemingway won the Italian military awards. Demobilized in January 1919 he arrived to America. There he worked as a reporter, devoting all his free time to writing, and gravitated to Europe. In 1921 he received from the Toronto editorial office suggestion to become its European correspondent and send the material on his own. Along with his wife, pianist Hadley Richardson, Hemingway went to Europe for several years and settled in Paris.
As a correspondent, Hemingway traveled a lot, visited many countries, sending to the editorial office sketches from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey.
In December 1923, having quitted the career of journalist, Hemingway returned to Paris as a freelancer. Paris period was very bright and rich for Ernest Hemingway. He met such writers as James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Gertrude Stein and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
In 1923 in Paris his first collection, «Three Stories and Ten Poems», was published, and in 1924 — his booklet «In Our Time», which contained twenty-four miniatures. The author expected these stories and miniature-epigraphs to them to create an overall image of «our time» — so tragic and troubled time. After war, in peace time, he told of those incurable injuries the recent war caused mankind. The story collection comprised continuous autobiographical character, Nick Adams. By the book «In Our Time» Hemingway displayed himself as the author of a particular topic — anti-war and the «lost generation» — and style, marked by restraint and laconic narrative style.
In 1926 Hemingway wrote a novel «The Sun Also Rises», which is also known as «Fiesta». This was a story about a group of American expatriates living in Europe after the First World War. In this novel the Hemingway’s style was crystallized, it was characterized by specific «chopped» dialogues omissions or implications and absence of the author’s marks [33, с. 12]. The protagonist of the novel was Jake Barnes, a journalist and writer, which seemed internally devastated and spiritually broken off. He told his personal tragedy: he was shot and wounded in the battle and the consequences were too grave for him as for a man. To run away somehow from the memories, to get rid of dark thoughts about him, he and Brett Ashley — the woman he loved — became frequent visitors of Montmartre taverns, having fun at fiesta.
Hemingway won the world fame when wrote his novel «A Farewell to Arms» (1929). It displayed the evens at the Italian-Austrian front in 1917. The author created a striking image of life in war, oppressive melancholy of hospitals. The style of the novel was characterized by extreme restraint, «telegraphic style» [33, с. 18]. But beneath the external simplicity a complex content, the world of thoughts and feelings lurked. Hemingway said that the writer had to know well of the things he wrote about, in such case he could omit much details and, if he told the truth, the reader would feel everything omitted as if it was not omitted [33, с. 19].
Hemingway proved «the theory of the iceberg» which demanded from the writer to be able to choose the most important and most characteristic events, words and details saying that literary work seemed to him like an iceberg only the seventh part of which was seen above the level of water; the writer had to throw out everything he could throw: those things would change his iceberg and all the omitted details would fade beneath the water; but if the writer missed something he didn’t know his story would have holes [23, с. 19].
In 1930 Hemingway and his wife returned to America. They bought a house in Key West, a fishing village located on the southern edge of Florida. Hemingway went in for boxing, hunting for deer, elks and quails in the states of Idaho and Wyoming, catching big fish. He ordered and equipped its own yacht «Pillar» to go fishing by it. In 1934, along with wife, he went to Africa to his first safari — hunting big animals. Before leaving to Africa, he visited Spain and Paris once more, attended fiesta in Pamplona, ??met his Spanish friends and matadors.
In 1932 Hemingway’s «Death in the Afternoon» was published — a book of sketches, dedicated to fighting bulls that gave the writer an opportunity to express love to Spain and its people, its nature, customs and arts. The next book of essays, «Green Hills of Africa»?? (1935) was a diary of safari, in which interesting observation of the African tribes, the fauna, descriptions of landscapes and hunting were combined with reflections of art, of literary work, of the essence of life and death.
The Hemingway’s stories widely published in the early 1930's in American magazines were collected to a book called «Winner Take Nothing» (1933). The characters of the stories were the people from the lower classes of society, the people who suffered from physical and psychological injuries of uncommunicativeness. In 1936 «The Snow of Kilimanjaro» was released. It was a story about physical and creative destruction of a writer Harry. It outlined the problem of lost talent of a writer tempted by material prosperity. The next year the novel «To Have and Have Not» was printed. The events described in it took place in America. The main character of the work, Harry Morgan, turned a smuggler; because of poverty he stepped to the way of crime and went down the thorny way of his insight [1, c. 36].
In the summer of 1937 Hemingway met Martha Helhorn, a journalist who went to Key West to take writer’s interview. A few years later, having been to Spain, they returned to the States together and become and got married.
Literary work of Hemingway in the late 1930's was closely related to his participation in the anti-fascist struggle of Spanish people. He purchased a column of health cars and sent them to Spanish Republicans. In the spring of 1937 he arrived to Madrid. He stayed in Spain one and a half year, wrote essays «The Spanish soldier», «The Madrid Drivers», a scenario of the film «The Spanish Earth». Spanish events became the theme of his play «The Fifth Column» and the novel «For Whom the Bell Tolls». Since the early 1940's Hemingway lived in Cuba. During World War II, he took part in hostilities. In 1942−1943, by his armed yacht «Pillar», he repeatedly went out to the Caribbean Sea to hunt for German submarines. In 1944 the writer came to England, took part in the landing of American troops in Normandy and fought for the «Siegfried Line» and the liberation of Paris. During the war Hemingway worked at a book about the sea which remained unfinished and was published only in 1970. It was named «Islands in the Stream».
In London Hemingway met military correspondent Merry Welsh, they liked each other. In March 1945, Hemingway returned to America, parted with Martha Helhorn and along with Mary settled near Havana, in his estate. In 1950 his new novel «Across the River and Into the Trees» appeared. The protagonist of the work was colonel Richard Kentuell, fifty-year-old soldier who went through two world wars. Having turned out to be in Venice after the Second World War, he was going through his last love — love to a young beautiful countess Renate. The general tone of the story was gloomy: ill Kentuell, feeling the end getting near, summed up disappointing results and committed a suicide [1, c. 44].
In 1952 Hemingway published a story «The Old Man and the Sea» for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, the highest literary award of the United States, and the Nobel Prize in 1954.
In 1950 Hemingway acquired nostalgic mood, he visited his memorable places and countries, took part in the African safari, went to bullfighting in Spain four times, and in 1956 he visited Paris. Twice he fell in plane crash. In 1957 he wrote a book about Paris in twenties, which was printed after his death, entitled «The Movable Feast».
In 1959 Hemingway and Merry settled in Ketchum, Idaho. During his last years the writer felt sick, suffered both physically and mentally. In one conversation Hemingway said that the man had no right to die in bed, he had to die in a battle or to send a bullet in his temple [33, с. 28]. In July 2, 1961, being in hard depression, he committed suicide, having shot himself with a rifle.
Hemingway’s genius as an American original was evident long before he produced his novels that are today considered masterpieces of American literature. Both critics and readers have hailed his short stories as proof that a pure, true American literature was finally possible. American literature was no longer merely watered-down British reading fare. American literature had at last come into its own. Hemingway set the standard — and the writers who came after him honored his achievement.
Hemingway’s style proves to be equally complex and worthy of study, as he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. His terse prose requires the reader to make inferences and construct meaning beyond the words on the page. This novel provides multiple opportunities to explore how a writer uses syntax and diction to create meaning and enhance his purpose. He uses understatement to follow a description of the fatigue and sickness that had struck the Italian army, underscoring his disgust and horror of the conditions that soldiers endured; he employs stream-of-consciousness to reinforce the drunken stupor that Henry finds himself in to numb the pain associated with war; and his use of dialogue forces the reader to be influenced by the speech of the characters to explore his or her own thoughts on the subject.
In short, Hemingway’s stylistic influence on American writers has been enormous. The success of his plain style in expressing basic yet deeply fell emotions contributed to the decline of the elaborate prose that characterized American writing in the early 20th century. Legions of American writers have cited Hemingway as a major influence on their own work [9, c. 57].
It is interesting that his works remain topical; they don’t lose their value for long time. We can see their reflection in modern fiction, music, painting and other spheres of human spiritual activities. His novels and short-stories are included into school and high-school study programme and actively used in the process of teaching English as they contain a lot of lexical, grammatical and stylistic patterns, interesting idioms; cultural information; philosophical thoughts and many other things helping master the language and take up the culture of the native-speakers or just to widen one’s outlook.
PART 2. THE FEATURES OF THE WRITER’S PEN
2.1 Economical Style of the Author
Writer’s style is the most-discussed topic in our literary course. What is style? There is very lot of definitions.
Professor Sainsbury suggested the following interpretation of style: «Style is the selection and allocation of resources of language, in which some, transmitted content also plays important but minor role. The style consists of the choice of words used, further selection and arrangement of these words, the structure of sentences, which are made of these words, the location of the phrases in sentences and sentences in paragraphs. The style does not go beyond a paragraph, but inside it reaches its highest level» [17, с. 13].
According to I.R. Halperin, style is a system of interrelated language means which serves a definite aim in communication. It is thus to be regarded as the product of a certain task set by the sender of the message [17, с. 14].
In Free Online Dictionary we can also find a few notions of style. According to it, style is:
1) the way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed;
2) the combination of distinctive features of literary or artistic expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular person, group, school, or era;
3) a quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one’s actions and tastes .
So we can sum up that in our case style is the amount of personal features of writing techniques and methods and use of them by the writer to aim the task set by him. Now let’s consider the style of E. Hemingway.
Among the main characteristics of Hemingway’s writing style we can admit:
l) stark minimalism in creating images;
2) strict selection of words;
3) descriptions without embellishment;
4) short declarative sentences;
5) a lot of dialogues;
6) language accessible to the common reader;
7) presence of Spanish language [1, c. 43].
Here are some examples. An excellent one is found in «A Clean Well-Lighted Place». In this story, there is no maudlin sentimentality; the plot is simple, yet highly complex and difficult. Focusing on an old man and two waiters, Hemingway says as little as possible. It was probably most influenced by his early work as a cub reporter for «The Kansas City Star». There he was forced to adhere to a stylebook for young reporters, which included the following advice: «Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English, not forgetting to strive for smoothness. Be positive, not negative» [20, с. 68].
Perhaps some of the best of Hemingway’s much-celebrated use of dialogue occurs in «Hills Like White Elephants». When the story begins, two characters — a man and a woman — are sitting at a table. We finally learn that the girl’s nickname is Jig. Eventually we learn that they are in the cafe of a train station in Spain. But Hemingway tells us nothing about them — neither about their past nor about their future. There is no description of them. «In Our Time», like all of Hemingway’s writing, uses simple, declarative sentences with little or no description of emotion.
This spare, carefully honed and polished writing style of Hemingway was by no means spontaneous. When he worked as a journalist, he learned to report facts crisply and succinctly. He was also an obsessive revisionist. It was reported that he wrote and rewrote all, or portions, of «The Old Man and the Sea» more than two hundred times before he was ready to release it for publication.
When Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1954, his writing style was singled out as one of his foremost achievements. The committee recognized his «forceful and style-making mastery of the art of modern narration» [20, с. 73].
To many readers, the essential characteristic of the Hemingway’s style is simplicity and accuracy of word choice. That description, while accurate, can be deceptive.
«Simplicity» is not the same thing as short, grammatically simple sentences. «Precision of word choice» does not mean an abundance of unusual words in order to achieve precision. And Hemingway’s style cannot so easily be explained as in his own often quoted advice to write the story and then remove the adjectives and adverbs.
At the conclusion of «For Whom the Bell Tolls», you will have a distinct picture of the places, the objects and people in the story. If you diagrammed or sketched them, they might be somewhat different from another reader’s mental picture. This distinctness gives the reader the feeling of being there. Beyond question this effect is achieved by a heavy use of nouns and verbs. If there is an object in the scene he is relating. Hemingway will mention it. If a character moves, Hemingway will mention it.
Hemingway’s economical writing style often seems simple and almost childlike, but his method is calculated and used to achieve complex effect. In his writing Hemingway provided detached descriptions of action, using simple nouns and verbs to capture scenes precisely. By doing so he avoided describing his characters' emotions and thoughts directly. Instead, he provided the reader with the raw material of an experience and eliminated the authorial viewpoint. Hemingway made the reading of a text approximate the actual experience as closely as possible. Hemingway was also deeply concerned with authenticity in writing. He believed that a writer could treat a subject honestly only if the writer had participated in or observed the subject closely. Without such knowledge the writer’s work would be flawed because the reader would feel the author’s lack of expertise. In addition, Hemingway believed that an author writing about a familiar subject is able to write sparingly and eliminate a great deal of superfluous detail from the piece without sacrificing the voice of authority [30, с. 111].
The success of his plain style in expressing basic, yet deeply felt emotions contributed to the decline of the elaborate Victorian-era prose that characterized a great deal of American writing in the early 20th century. In contrast, a complex style uses long, elaborate sentences that contain many ideas and descriptions. The writer uses lyrical passages to create the desired mood in the reader, whether it is one of joy, sadness, confusion, or any other emotion. For example, American author Henry James uses a complex style to great effect in novels such as «The Wings of the Dove» (1902): «The two ladies who, in advance of the Swiss season, had been warned that their design was unconsidered, that the passes would not be clear, nor the air mild, nor the inns open — the two ladies who, characteristically had braved a good deal of possibly interested remonstrance were finding themselves, as their adventure turned out, wonderfully sustained» [35, с. 99].
At the beginning of his writing career in the 1920s, Hemingway’s writing style occasioned a great deal of comment and controversy. Earlier works relied more heavily on colloquial dialogue to communicate action and rarely included lengthy descriptive passages. Basically, a typical Hemingway’s novel or short story is written in simple, direct, unadorned prose. Possibly, the style developed because of his early journalistic training. The reality, however, is this: before Hemingway began publishing his short stories and sketches, American writers affected British mannerisms. Adjectives piled on top of one another; adverbs tripped over each other. Colons clogged the flow of even short paragraphs, and the plethora of semicolons often caused readers to throw up their hands in exasperation. And then came Hemingway.
One of the greatest writing techniques of the writer was «the principle of iceberg», only eighth part of which could be seen above the level of water, and the rest seven parts were hidden beneath the water. The novelist believed that that was the way the writer had to create his works: he had not to say everything; most of the content had to be embedded in the subtext [23, с. 36]. Poetics of Hemingway is characterized by a lot of hints and omissions. He described only the facts, but it was easy to reveal complex psychological processes, emotional drama of characters they contained deep inside. Avoiding detailed descriptions, copyright explanations, «self-revelation» of characters, he turned a lot of stories to short dramatic scenes, having as little author’s explanations as dramatic remarks had. Words were indifferent and neutral; they often helped not reveal, but hide thoughts and experiences. When a man felt very bad, when pain strangled him, he spoke about some not important things — about food, traveling, weather, sports. The internal tension was seen only in the intonation, in broken syntax, in the matters of pauses, in perverse automatic-like repetition of the same phrase. Only in moments of high emotional tension the hidden things broke outside by some word or gesture. Hemingway was considered as the master of selection and deliberate sequence of facts. He gravitated to the expression and laconism, focusing on the details that brought in a great emotional stress. Thanks to his skill in using hints, he reached maximum expression of a detail. Such detail
allowed the author not only to display some fact or phenomenon, but also to convey the inner pathos of the narrative. Realistic symbols strengthened the sound of lyrical works, gave them a philosophical polysemy.
It is true that Hemingway often leaves the adjectives and adverbs to the reader. The resulting effect is all become more vivid and memorable. An excellent example is the description of the sights and smells both inside and outside the cave, at the opening of Chapter 5 of «For Whom the Bell Tolls»: «Robert Jordan pushed aside the saddle blanket that hung over the mouth of the cave and, stepping
out, took a deep breath of the cold night air. The mist had cleared away and the stars were out. There was no wind, and, outside now of the warm air of the cave, heavy with smoke of both tobacco and charcoal, with the odor of cooked rice and meat, saffron, pimentos, and oil, the tarry, wine-spilled smell of the big skin hung beside the door, hung by the neck and the four legs extended, wine drawn from a plug fitted in one leg, wine that spilled a little onto the earth of the floor, settling the dust smell; out now from the odors of different herbs whose names he did not know that hung in bunches from the ceiling, with long ropes of garlic, away now
from the copper-penny, red wine and garlic, horse sweat and man sweat dried in the clothing (acrid and gray the man sweat, sweet and sickly the dried
brushed-off lather of horse sweat), of the men at the table, Robert Jordan breathed deeply of the clear night air of the mountains that smelled of the pines and of the dew on the grass in the meadow by the stream. Dew had fallen heavily since the wind had dropped, but, as he stood there, he thought there would be frost by morning» [5, с. 112]. At the same time, Hemingway does not avoid modifiers altogether.
Hemingway’s words are essentially just words like any other words, but the way he stirs them together is his own unique formula, a stylistic recipe that no other writer can recreate. There are sentences that only Hemingway could get away with because we know that Hemingway wrote them. Take this short sentence from «For Whom the Bell Tolls»: «He was dead and that was all» [5, с. 633]. This is and always will be a Hemingway’s sentence.
Much has been made of Hemingway’s dialogue, through which you get the feeling of being at the scene. Yet when the dialogue is transferred to the motion picture screen, directors should be careful to keep it from sounding stilted and formal, because its effectiveness does not depend on reproducing the exact words (including the «uh's» and «er's») that people utter in real life. Hemingway also doesn’t often punctuate his dialogue with italics, capital letters, ellipses, and exclamation points to suggest emphasis. The effectiveness lies in stating with utmost simplicity the heart of what the characters mean.
Hemingway has often been described as a master of dialogue, in story after story, novel after novel, readers and critics have remarked: «This is the way that these characters would really talk» [31, с. 141]. Yet, a close examination of his dialogue reveals that this is rarely the way people really speak. The effect is accomplished, rather, by calculated emphasis and repetition that makes us remember what has been said.
Hemingway is a master of dialogue. It’s not so much that he is recreating precisely how individuals speak, but through his brilliant use of repetition, he is able to make the reader remember what has been said.
2.2 The Flavor of the Spanish Language
Both Hemingway’s actual Spanish and his attempt to render the flavor of Spanish in English have been criticized as frequently inaccurate by people who know Spanish better than he did. An exiled loyalist commander, Gustavo Duran, read the manuscript of «For Whom the Bell Tolls» before it was published and was critical of Hemingway’s Spanish, although impressed by the story [32, с. 29]. A more contemporary Spanish critic has called the language abstract when it should be concrete (to properly mirror real Spanish) and solemn when it should be simple [32, с. 30].
Talking about speech of his Spanish characters, stylistic features peculiar to «For Whom the Bell Tolls» should be noted. They concern Hemingway’s deliberate attempt to reproduce in English the flavor of the Spanish language. Spanish (like other languages) preserves a special second-person singular pronoun and related verb form such as English formerly had (thou, thy, thee). This form is used in speaking to another person in a familiar manner. Hemingway uses the antiquated English form to better approximate the speech of his Spanish characters. Readers differ in their reactions to this device. Some find it awkward and distracting. Others find that it begins to sound natural after a while. You’ll recognize other English sentences that display strange word order or style, such as «That this thing of the bridge may succeed» [32, с. 46]. This kind of construction is also an attempt to capture the flavor of the Spanish language.
Hemingway also tries to convey the extremely physical and earthy — often crude — dialogue of Spanish peasants (particularly when they are upset with each other). Today, when there is very little censorship in the publishing industry, there would be no problem in printing the exact English equivalent of what Hemingway wanted his Spanish characters to say. But in 1940 there was a problem in using obscenities. So one of Hemingway’s solutions was simply to quote the original Spanish word or phrase. It’s then up to the reader to check with a Spanish-English dictionary to learn how crudely someone has insulted someone else.
2.3 The Technique of Flashback and Reflecting the Events of His Own Life
The technique of flashback is used sparingly but effectively. The most notable example is in Chapter 10 of «For Whom the Hell Tolls», where Pillar describes the brutality that Pablo inflicted on the leading men of a Nationalist town his band had taken: «And in that moment, looking through the bars, I saw the hail full of men flailing away with clubs and striking with flails, and poking and striking and pushing and heaving against people with the white wooden pitchforks that now were red and with their tines broken, and this was going on all over the room while Pablo sat in the big chair with his shotgun on his knees, watching, and they were shouting and clubbing and stabbing and men were screaming as horses scream in a fire. And I saw the priest with his skirts tucked up scrambling over a bench and those after him were chopping at him with the sickles and the reaping hooks and then some one had hold of his robe and there was another scream and another scream and I saw two men chopping into his back with sickles while a third man held the skirt of his robe and the Priest’s arms were up and he was clinging to the back of a chair and then the chair I was standing on broke and the
drunkard and I were on the pavement that smelled of spilled wine and vomit» [5, с. 633]. Strictly speaking, this is indirect flashback, since it comes through Pillar’s narration, rather than through a directly presented scene.
Some more significant flashbacks include Jordan’s painful recollection in Chapter 30 of his father’s suicide and Maria’s moving account in Chapter 31 of her abuse at the hands of Nationalist soldiers, and many other things both in this and other novels.
Describing the events, Hemingway attempts to create as real image as possible. There is little doubt that the events in his fiction reflect the events of his own life. His writing has always been susceptible to tragedy. When one begins to read a significant amount of his work, one notices an element almost always lacking: the happy ending. Not only can Hemingway describe life «as it is», he is also adept at describing life «as it is not». Life is not a clichй bed of roses, a care-free world in which lovers walk hand in hand into a setting sunset. No, the sun also rises, and if its rays are too hot or too bright, or if it stays visible for too long, the roses will wilt and die. Hemingway never shies away from exploring the tragedies of life and living, of death and dying, of love and loving [19, с. 222]
Hemingway’s true and often overlooked genius, however, lies in his ability to construct a fiction which is more realistic and truer than any life event could ever be.
2.4 Tragic Mood of Most of His Works
Hemingway’s literature has always been susceptible to tragedy. When one begins to read a significant amount of his work, one notices an element almost always lacking: the happy ending. Not only can Hemingway describe life «as it is», he is also adept at describing life «as it is not». Life is not a clichй bed of roses, a care-free world in which lovers walk hand in hand into a setting
sunset [16, с. 212]. Hemingway never shies away from exploring the tragedies of life, of death, of love, of living, of dying, of loving.
The reason of that were the conditions and events, spiritual and social state of that time. After the Second World War, Americans rushed into the mainstream escapism, individualism; lost ideals, faith in themselves, in society; become mentally unstable, imbued with political apathy [16, с. 218]. American journalists dubbed the generation of these years «silent». Rejection of the common «ideal», mass culture, economic domination was broadening all more. There appeared books, examining the problems associated with the American way of life, which became popular at once. Pathos of many works of writers of that period was the result of referring to American tragedy of the time. They contained writer’s strong resistance against greed, possessiveness, meanness characteristic of the U.S. These works revealed the contradiction between material progress and spiritual impoverishment, democratic ideals and reality. So it’s not strange that similar sentiments were typical for creativity of Hemingway. Having had a creative and spiritual rise with the initiation of the antifascist struggle in the second half of the 30s — first half of the 40s, he was strongly disappointed in the postwar American society, having forgotten the lessons of the recent war.
Tragic mood, in some degree, is the characteristic of the most works of Hemingway. It was also the result of ideological, personal and spiritual crisis of the writer. In the second half of the 40's Hemingway had a creative slump. Severe physical and mental state after experiencing at the front, a divorce with Martha Gellhorn, numerous injuries he received in the second half of the 40s affected the health of the writer and led him to a weakening of his creative potential.
Thus, such conditions, both objective and subjective, led to a writer’s crisis of vision, and this promoted him to create special type of a character, a special type of a conflict [16, c. 224].
So we’ve got the idea that the main characteristics of Hemingway’s writing style are: stark minimalism in creating images; strict selection of words; descriptions without embellishment; short declarative sentences; a lot of dialogues; language accessible to the common reader and presence of Spanish language.
The essential characteristic of the Hemingway’s style is simplicity and accuracy of word choice. He usually misses adjectives and adverbs while creating a picture. This gives the reader the feeling of being there. This effect is also achieved by a heavy use of nouns and verbs. Hemingway’s economical writing style often seems simple and almost childlike, but his method is used to achieve complex effect. In his writing Hemingway provided detached descriptions of action, using simple nouns and verbs to capture scenes precisely. By doing so he avoided describing his characters' emotions and thoughts directly. Instead, he provided the reader with the raw material of an experience and eliminated the authorial viewpoint.
One of the greatest writing techniques of the writer was «the principle of iceberg», only eighth part of which could be seen above the level of water, and the rest seven parts were hidden beneath the water. The novelist believed that that was the way the writer had to create his works: he had not to say everything; most of the content had to be embedded in the subtext. Poetics of Hemingway is characterized by a lot of hints and omissions. He described only the facts, but it was easy to reveal complex psychological processes, emotional drama of characters they contained deep inside.
He uses a lot of dialogs through which you get the feeling of being at the scene. Yet when the dialogue is transferred to the motion picture screen, directors should be careful to keep it from sounding stilted and formal, because its effectiveness does not depend on reproducing the exact words (including the «uh's» and «er's») that people utter in real life. Hemingway also doesn’t often punctuate his dialogue with italics, capital letters, ellipses, and exclamation points to suggest emphasis. The effectiveness lies in stating with utmost simplicity the heart of what the characters mean.
Use of Spanish language is another feature typical for Hemingway’s pen. He tried to reproduce in English the flavor of Spanish language. He uses the antiquated English form to better approximate the speech of his Spanish characters, strange word order or style. Hemingway also tries to convey the extremely physical and earthy — often crude — dialogue of Spanish peasants (particularly when they are upset with each other).
The technique of flashback is used sparingly but effectively. Describing the events, Hemingway attempts to create as real image as possible. The events in his fiction usually reflect the events of his own life. His writing has always been susceptible to tragedy. The reason of that were the conditions and events, spiritual and social state of that time. Pathos of many works of writers of that period was the result of referring to American tragedy of the time. They contained writer’s strong resistance against greed, possessiveness, meanness characteristic of the U.S. These works revealed the contradiction between material progress and spiritual impoverishment, democratic ideals and reality. So similar sentiments were typical for creativity of Hemingway.
Tragic mood, in some degree, is the characteristic of the most works of Hemingway. It was also the result of ideological, personal and spiritual crisis of the writer. Thus, such conditions, both objective and subjective, led to a writer’s crisis of vision, and this promoted him to create special type of a character, a special type of a conflict.
PART 3. THE PECULIARITIES OF E. HEMINGWAY’S NOVEL «ISLANDS IN THE STREAM»
3.1 Stark Minimalism of Writing Style in the Novel
In his novel «Islands in the Stream» E. Hemingway maintained his writing traditions in general. The plot of the novel is not complicated still it contains inside the important truth the author wished to express. There are more dialogues than paragraphs, and present paragraphs are not long. The language of the novel is simple and accurate, even sharp a little. There are not many adverbs and adjectives in the work and those present are accurate and strict. The descriptions are poor, without embellishment. Let’s consider these things in details on the example of the novel’s text.ПоказатьСвернуть