Book of the Week
The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
When we think about Hemingway the writer, we also have to think about Hemingway, the man. In many ways, his life was as interesting as his work. Like many great authors, many of his books and stories were based on his personal experiences. Let’s look at some of these books and see how his experiences influenced them.
In 1925, he published his first collection of short stories, called In Our Time. Most of the stories were really about his childhood. A year later, in 1926, his first two novels appeared — Torrents of Spring, and The Sun Also Rises. Remember, Hemingway lived in
during the early twenties. When he lived there, he knew many famous writers and artists. The Sun Also Rises is about some of those talented, but lonely and angry people. Paris
Hemingway drove an ambulance during World War I — that was between 1914 and 1918. Many years later, in 1929, he used this experience when he wrote his fourth novel, A Farewell to Arms. This book, which was a love story about an American ambulance driver and a British nurse, made him famous throughout the world.
After that, during the 1930s, Hemingway continued to write short stories and also wrote two books about subjects he greatly loved. Death in the Afternoon was about bullfighting, and The Green Hills of Africa was about big game hunting. His father, a doctor, got him interested in hunting, fishing, sports, and the outdoor life when he was a child.
When the Second World War began, Hemingway returned to
Europe. This time he was there as a reporter, so he was present at many of the most important battles of the war. He used these war experiences to write Across the River and Into the Trees. This book was not very successful, and people thought he was losing his magic.
But, in 1952, he wrote a short novel, The Old Man and the Sea. For this book, he won the Pulitzer Prize. And two years later, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. The book tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman, but is really about man against nature. Why is it his best? As I said, when he was younger, he used to go fishing with his father, and in later years, deep-sea fishing remained his favorite hobby. He was able to write a powerful, emotional story because of his own personal experiences.
Sadly in 1961, sick and unable to live the active life he loved and wrote about, Hemingway killed himself with one of his own shotguns.
Download this short novel (40 pages) by clicking on the link below:
To do some exercises, click on the link:
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