Essay, Research Paper: Ernest Hemingway Stories About Men

Literature: Ernest Hemingway

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All people of this world are different in some way or another. This is a fact.
No two people are alike, nor do any beings on this earth contain the same exact
physical features, but in this, personality traits are shared. Many desire to
succeed, to encounter love and emotion, and feed their cravings of hunger, sex,
and dignity. That is why man is man. No matter how demeaning or wounded they may
be, man craves to come out as the winner. In the A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, A
Day’s Wait, and In Another Country, the author Ernest Hemingway illustrates
his characters with troubles of mental and physical behaviors. In parallel, all
these characters share one universal goal; it is to come out of their single
situations with dignity and decency. The clean and well-lighted café in the
story, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, presented the old man with a place to go.
Common to all beings, man likes to go out to a clean and well-lit place to share
a drink with himself, maybe to soak away life’s unfairness or simply to enjoy
his successes. The old man in this story showed dignity, “The waiter watched
him go down the street, a very old man walking unsteadily but with
dignity.”(31) His deafness was not the wound that this man would let him fail
in life, but with this gift, he would succeed. The deafness does not seem to
bother the old man but more to let him enjoy what he does without anyone else
bothering him. The old man was a regular in the café, “The two waiters inside
the café knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good
client…”(29), indicating that even with his deafness and annoyance to one of
the waiters, “I wish he would go home. He has no regard for those who must
work.”(31) the old man was always invited in. The old man likes the café, not
for it’s brandy but for the light, the people and the waiters, all which whom
he cannot hear. A man’s destination to go where he must go is sometimes
blocked by Mother Nature. In a A Day’s Wait, Schatz is a boy that is over
worried about falling asleep and letting his sickness over take his body and
lose his dignity in front of his father. “Why don’t you try to go to sleep?
I’ll wake you up for the medicine.” (35) “I’d rather stay awake. You
don’t have to stay in here with me Papa, if it bothers you.”(35) The boy is
now indirectly telling his father he does not want him to be here with him at
all. “No, I mean you don’t have to stay if it’s going to bother
you.”(35) The boy is worried about the temperature his papa had written down
for him. “His face was very white and there were dark areas under his eyes. He
lay still in the bed and seemed very detached from what was going on.”(34) The
boy is in a state of mental disorder where as everything in the world means
nothing to him and all he wants is to continue to live. “At school in France
the boys told me you can’t live with forty-four degrees. I’ve got hundred
and two.”(36) What was written in the back of the boy’s room had been
haunting him since he found out about his news. Telling his father to leave the
room was a way for the boy to let go of his fake dignity and pride and possibly
die without losing self-confidence in the eyes of this father. The boy thought
that he had a wound that would lead to his death but still showed courage by
telling his father to leave the room so the boy could await his death. The
protection the boy expresses in the story makes him a man of self-respect and
dignity. In Another Country, poses a major whom is letting his dignity and pride
show toward Nicholas Adams who is also wounded. The major and Nicholas Adams
seem to have a relationship that his clearly a man to boy rapport. The major is
the man, whom holds knowledge but at the same time fear of losing his pride
though his wounds of the past. The major shows anger and discomfort towards
Nicholas Adams ticking off other things to go on. “He cannot marry. He cannot
marry,” he said angrily.(69) The major is acting like a father, but is
starting to get frustrated that he has now lost his wife and feels lonely. This
is jeopardizing his pride of being a real man. “I would not be rude. My wife
has just died. You must forgive me.”(70) At this point, there is nothing the
major can do to completely regain his fearless outer looks, but with express of
regret, the major is starting to regain manhood in another sense. Adams who is
now starting to understand what a real man is, recognizes that this situation is
very difficult for the general with this quote, “Oh-, I am sorry so
sorry”(70). The major is a wounded man trying to save himself from the
disorder he currently holds. The frustration and uneasiness expressed towards
Adams was a way for the major to regain is manhood that lost when his wife had
died. “And then crying, his head up looking at nothing, carrying himself
straight and soldierly, with tears on his cheeks and biting his lips, he walked
past the machines and out the door.” (70) The major at the end shows his broad
soldiers and walks out with dignity. Once a man wounded with frustrations, but
now a wounded major with only dignity and respect from others. Ernest Hemingway
portrays his characters with wounds of mental and physical disorders but proves
them to be deep and conscious people with pride and respect for themselves and
others. The old man, Schatz the boy, and the major all were wounded men of
difficulties life had threw at them but in the most simple to difficult
situations, the men show pride. The degree of self-respect to others to prove to
themselves and their peers that they are truly men, no fear of deafness, no fear
of death and no fear of love could set these men into a rage. It is obvious
these men have wounds but hard to realize that their nature of man cannot
separate the ease of awkwardness. All three are hurt but will continue has the
great men they are meant to be.
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