3 December 2014
A Lovely Scene: An Analysis On the Writing of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald Selfidentity can hardly be found by merely occupying the same world and society as family and friends. No, the self may be found through the traumas, accolades , fallouts, and acceptances of one’s experiences. At the turn of the 19th century, shortly after World War 1, people were beginning to find themselves lost in insatiable antics: traveling; dreaming; drinking illegally; experimenting more with sex than their parents had; partying; and conceiving extraordinary art, like literature. Rising from the attempts to understand themselves, writers in those years sought to understand their condition. As famous for their associations with the
Roaring Twenties as for their literary careers, for instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest
Hemingway gave voice to the shifting,younger generation in that decade, chronicling feelings, experiences, and where their generation may end up. The two close friends, however, approached the subject in vastly unique manners: Writing more poetically, emulating the dreams of the individual, Fitzgerald’s style triumphs over Hemingway’s terse prose.
Early in his writing career, Ernest Hemingway sought to write true1, as true as the raw emotions one feels in a particular moment. With all that can happen to an individual, feelings are the most ephemeral, like a natural surge of something that can barely be captured. Therefore, in his “stark, minimalist nature”, Hemingway wrote unvarnished descriptions:2
He opposed ornamentation, so each description was as bare as could be. Naked, like the bones beneath our
A Moveable Feast
. Scribner. 1964. Print www.timeless hemingway
Milton Jeremy Robles
3 December 2014 skin, Hemingway wrote
. There had never been room for more than what was necessary in Hemingway’s writing.
It therefore can be said that Hemingway’s prose focused on felt emotion. In
Hemingway A to Z,
Charles M. Oliver expounds the way in which Hemingway utilizes two major elements in order to accurately capture the emotion an individual might feel under a certain circumstance. One of the elements, called the “Iceberg Principle,” revolves around the idea that information may be omitted if the writer and the reader both know of it
, cutting extraneous details or need for lyricism. In this way, the reader experiences with the main character what is undeniably felt rather than what should be felt3. Oliver goes on in citing how the short story Hills Like White Elephants, a story about a couple who cannot discuss the true subject of their tension abortion, to exemplify this principle.4 Moreover, Hemingway employs a grammatical device called “Absolute Construction,” that is primarily meant to add a truth to a sentence in a blunt manner, furthering emphasizing a particular emotion. Differing greatly from the way in which F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, Fitzgerald relied on the lyricism and wonder a text may offer to readers while Hemingway deviated from those literary elements.
Drawing influence from the poetry of John Keats, traces of this influence can be found in
Fitzgerald’s writing. Harold Bloom asserts that Fitzgerald employs “Keatsian Harmonies,” in the introduction for Kim E. Becnel’s book
How to Write About F. Scott Fitzgerald.5
Oliver, Charles M. Ernest Hemingway A to Z. Checkmark Books. 1999. Print pg 322 Oliver, Charles M. Ernest Hemingway A to Z. Checkmark Books. 1999. Print. pg 153
How to Write About F. Scott Fitzgerald. Infobase Publishing. 2008.
Milton Jeremy Robles
3 December 2014
“harmonies” resonate in works such as “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” wherein Kismine, whom the primary character John T.