Ernest Hemingway

A Look Into Modernism.

Author Biography

Ernest Hemingway was a novelist, journalist and a Nobel Peace Prize winner born on July 21, 1899 to a doctor and a musician. Ernest first started his writing career as a journalist for his high school, eventually being a journalist for the first World War. He saw the horrors of World War I first hand as a journalist and a volunteer for the Red Cross (even earning the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery). Ernest became a novelist after meeting the Lost Generation in Europe. Ezra Pound and Pablo Picasso are some of the many modernist that inspired Hemingway's writings. His literature contributed to the modernism movement by using his war experience to write real and in-depth depictions of war and its evils in his writings and to use how he felt and what he saw to further influence his novels.

Excerpt from "The Old Man and the Sea"

"He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface. He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape. When the old man had gaffed her and clubbed her, holding the rapier bill with its sandpaper edge and dubbing her across the top of her head until her colour turned to a colour almost like the backing of mirrors, and then, with the boy’s aid, hoisted her aboard, the male fish had stayed by the side of the boat. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed. "That was the saddest thing I ever saw with them", the old man thought."

TPCASTT of Excerpt

Title - The title makes me think that the "old man" will be a protagonist and will have a struggle with something relating to the sea/ocean.


Paraphrase - An old fisherman named Santiago is remembering a time he separated a marlin pair by catching the female marlin and butchering it aboard the boat. He recounts that the male marlin stays by the boat the entire time and even jumps out the water in a vain attempt to find its mate.


Connotation - "Lavender"(makes me feel even more sorry for the marlin because lavender is a beautiful and neutral color, maybe this was the intended effect)

"Rapier" (I associate rapiers with dueling and swordplay, maybe this is used to show the battle between the man and the marlin)


Attitude - I think the attitude of the excerpt is grave. Santiago knows he just separated a life long couple and it even becomes accusing in a way, seeing the male's vain efforts in finding his mate and knowing Santiago butchered the female marlin makes him seem cold-hearted.


Shift - The shift is towards the end when Santiago notes that it was "saddest thing" he had ever seen with the marlins. This makes it seem like the old fisherman may have felt guilt.


Title - The excerpt shows that title is spot on, Santiago's struggles are connected to the sea because he's a fisherman.


Tone - The tone is seems sorrowful. Santiago knows what he has done and even acknowledges it as "the saddest thing I have ever saw with them.", but there is nothing he can do about that. Fishing is his livelihood, he has to cause sadness in order to survive.

Pablo Picasso's "Weeping Woman"

This artwork by Picasso correlates with the excerpt as it holds no punches and shows the sad and dark tone that was prevalent in modernism. The woman in the painting appears to be in great agony; the fisher killed the partner of a marlin and the marlin desperately tries to find its mate to no avail.

Mark Twain's "To Jennie"

Good-bye! a kind good-bye,
I bid you now, my friend,
And though 'tis sad to speak the word,
To destiny I bend

And though it be decreed by Fate
That we ne'er meet again,
Your image, graven on my heart,
Forever shall remain.

Aye, in my heart thoult have a place,
Among the friends held dear,-
Nor shall the hand of Time efface
The memories written there.
Goodbye,
S.L.C.


How They Relate

Twain's poem speaks of a love that must end due to destiny, but that the writer will never forget the memories they shared. Again, we see a not-so-happy atmosphere that is common with Modernistic writing. This poem also shares the "we can't change fate" type vibe that the excerpt holds, both Santiago and Twain were force to end a relation ship because of circumstances out of their control. They even both end in sorrowful tones, Twain saying "goodbye" and signing with his real name; Santiago