Why I Love Ernest Hemingway

Prowess is proven not in compliance to grammar, but the ability to break free from its binds.

Why I Love Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway is interesting. Especially his writings, no other author has interested me the way Hemingway does with his writing technique. What makes him special, you ask? The answer will surprise you:

His grammar is horrendous.

You can check that out right now. Grab Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" and turn to Book 1, chapter 2. Now, look at how he describes the view of the place where he was stationed:

The next year there were many victories. The mountain that was beyond the valley and the hillside where the chestnut forest grew was captured and there were victories beyond the plain on the plateau to the south and we crossed the river in August and lived in a house in Gorizia that had a fountain and many thick shady trees in a walled garden and a wistaria vine purple on the side of the house.

Did you notice something? Did you notice the abundance of grammatical mistakes he made? Did you notice the lack of punctuations, conjunction misuse, loss of parallelism, and sudden shifts in structure all in the same run-on sentence? This paragraph, to an unknowing Composition professor, would have been trashed.

Yet, for Hemingway, his technique was highly praised. Is it because he stood from the ordinary? Or maybe, is it because his prose was more than that the English grammar rule book could contain?


You might find that his way of describing things is very succinct and simple. No flowery words, no "grammatical flex," almost like he was telling us exactly what he saw, down to the detail. It's almost like journalism, and you'd be right to say so!

According to, "his background included journalistic training, a style of writing that relies heavily on presenting the facts in a crisp and clear way and allowing dialogue or conversations to shine through…" In a way, he wrote the way we would normally talk or experience.

Imagine this, when you choose a red shirt for the morning, you probably did not go on an hour-long analysis on why the color red expressed your inner burning desire for Salsa. No, you probably chose the red shirt because it's the first one you saw in the dresser. And that's how he wanted to portray characters in his works: lively, real, and not over-the-top superficial.

The overuse of the word "and"

Another key feature in Hemingway's works is the overabundance of "ands" within his sentences. Pay attention to the previously mentioned sentence, particularly this part:

"… and there were victories beyond the plain on the plateau to the south and we crossed the river in August and lived in a house in Gorizia that had a fountain…"

Does it feel like a mouthful? Yes. But does it feel like a complete picture? Do you see victories on the plain as the narrator marches with his comrades across the river to a house with a fountain?

Hemingway has a strange way of chaining together events to make you see the whole picture at once, without wasting too many sentences. Instead of mastering his grammatical prowess, he instead opted for a less elegant, yet more effective form of description. After all, think about it, when we look at a scenery in a movie, we don't pause and analyze everything for every scene (unless you're me, weirdo). We just take in whatever catches our attention. Who cared if the house had 3 stories or more? What made it distinct was a fountain, and that's all the audience needs to know.

The floating iceberg

A writer's style," Hemingway said, "should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous."

Hemingway perfectly summed up his style with that quote, especially when he mentions the imagery. Imagery is one of Hemingway's strongest points, taking form as subtle details within his stories.

"The old man and the sea" was famous for its use of Christian imageries, while "Hills like White Elephants" was praised for its literal explosion of imageries.

An absolute perfectionist

Hemingway is obsessed with perfection. Take "the old man and the sea" for example. It is 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.

Hemingway is a legendary writer. Though not many likes his style, I still think that he held more prose in the English language than any contemporary writers. After all, subtlety and cringiness don't fall far from each other, yet Hemingway could distinguish between them in his works, offering a mature portrayal of his subject matters.

Good or not, I know there's one thing we can agree on:

He is a master of the English language.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

Epic Activewear Deals Every Leggings-Lover Needs To Know About From Nordstrom's Biggest Sale

Wearing my pleather Alo leggings till someone physically removes them from my body.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not an athletic person, at all. Since junior high school, I've been happily cheering my friends on at their football games and soccer matches from the sidelines as long as I could go home to my yoga mat and spend Sunday mornings at Pilates with my mom's friends.

Weekends are often spent in my casual wear, from the second I throw them on for morning meditation through running errands and evening walks. No, I won't be running a marathon or joining my friend's volleyball league anytime soon.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok was banned by the president, but Instagram is here with its newest feature called Reel. Many of us are still wondering why TikTok was being banned in the first place. Was it all the dangerous TikTok trends? It was because of a security concern, but not in the way you might think.

TikTok is owned by Dancebyte, which is a China-owned company. Basically, just like any other app, TikTok collects the user's data. The main question to ask yourself when investing in any app or marketing tools who will be owning my data? So yes, China currently owns all the TikTok user's data worldwide.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been a huge Disney villain fan — whether it was for their cryptic one-liners, enviable outfits, or sidekick banter. Some of the most iconic lines from cinematic history have been said by the characters we love to hate and occasionally dress up as once a year.

The fear-mongering Gaston I now find hilariously cringe-worthy is now charming and oftentimes considered by fans as rightfully justified in his actions. Die-hard fans of the Disney villain fan club claim alternate egos in their favorite evil characters, adopting their hilarious witticisms into everyday life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Reasons To Put The Damn Mask On, And Stop Fussing With It

COVID-19 is real people, do your part to protect yourself and others.

Ilana Stein

With the ever-changing reality of our world due to COVID-19, there has been one constant throughout these past unforeseen months, masks. Ever since coronavirus hit the ground running in the US, the CDC has been recommending social distancing and mask-wearing to stop the rapid spread.

Many people have been great about adhering to these policies, mandates, and suggested uses, but others, not so much.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anyone who goes to Panera Bread will tell you that their mac and cheese is to die for. If you're a huge fan of their mac and cheese, you won't believe the new recipe they're coming out with!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been an athlete my entire life. I love movement and I've been jumping, kicking, swimming, dancing, throwing, you name it since I was in diapers. I'm also pretty competitive and probably went through a few sore loser phases. What can I say? I like to win, and losing can sometimes feel like I've failed. Especially, when your competitor is your best friend or someone that you worked all year long to defeat.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less

Picture this, we're settling into our date, the conversation is flowing, we're ordering drinks, laughing, and then it happens... the job convo.

Him: "So what do you do?"
Me: "I'm a dating and relationships editor."

Keep Reading... Show less

- I have extremely sensitive skin, which is why I have always resorted to a plant-based organic beauty line such as Radha Beauty.

- Radha Beauty won me over years ago when I was looking for organic skincare brands.

- I was so excited to see they launched a new line incorporating USDA organic rosehip oil, so when their PR team sent me some, I could not have been more thrilled.

- After a week of using the products, my face felt as smooth as a baby's, looked more glowy than ever, and even cured some of my summer sunburn.

Radha Beauty isn't just a best-selling beauty brand on Amazon — it's a USDA-certified organic beauty brand I live by, and anyone who knows me knows I am all about holistic wellness.

Typically, it only takes three days for me to tell if a skin product is working or not because I have extremely sensitive skin. It's also why I have always stuck by plant-based organic beauty lines such as Radha Beauty.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have definitely had my fair share of breakups. I broke up with my high school sweetheart my second semester of college (he was cheating on me), I had a breakup with another guy I thought I was going to marry, and others in between. Regardless of whether you're the one doing the dumping or being dumped, breakups can HURT.

Keep Reading... Show less

Social media is something many of us have been addicted to (whether we want to believe it or not) since the moment we got it. I remember getting Facebook at 10. Instantly I was hooked. I loved being able to share my life with people, a little too much in my opinion, and I loved being able to see how/what other people were doing all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

I am not in any way any sort of medical expert. These are just some tricks that work for me and have worked for others who also suffer from anxiety. These may not work for everyone, but I do hope these help some people in their fight against anxiety.

Keep Reading... Show less

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments