Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His
father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway,
imparnted in Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway
invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one
should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a
man of high ideals, was very strict and censored the books he allowed his children to
read. He forbad Ernest\'s sister from studying ballet for it was coeducational, and dancing
together led to "hell and damnation". Grace Hall Hemingway, Ernest\'s mother,
considered herself pure and proper. She was a dreamer who was upset at anything which
disturbed her perception of the world as beautiful. She hated dirty diapers, upset
stomachs, and cleaning house; they were not fit for a lady. She taught her children to
always act with properness. She adored the singing of the birds and the smell of flowers.
Her children were expected to behave properly and to please her, always. Mrs.
Hemingway treated Ernest, when he was a small boy, as if he were a female baby doll
and she dressed him accordingly. This arrangement was alright until Ernest got to the age
when he wanted to be a "gun-toting Pawnee Bill". He began, at that time, to pull away
from his mother, and never forgave her for his humiliation. The town of Oak Park, where
Ernest grew up, was very old fashioned and quite religious. The townspeople forbad the
word "virgin" from appearing in school books, and the word "breast" was questioned,
though it appeared in the Bible. Ernest loved to fish, canoe and explore the woods. When
he couldn\'t get outside, he escaped to his room and read books. He loved to tell stories to
his classmates, often insisting that a friend listen to one of his stories. In spite of his
mother\'s desire, he played on the football team at Oak Park High School. As a student,
Ernest was a perfectionist about his grammar and studied English with a love. He
contributed articles to the weekly school newspaper. semingly, the principal did not
approve of Ernest\'s writings and he complained, often, about the content of Ernest\'s
articles.
Ernest was clear about his writing; he wanted people to "see and feel" and he
wanted to enjoy himself while writing. Ernest loved having fun. If nothing was
happening, mischievous Ernest made something happen. He would sometimes use
forbidden words just to create a ruckus. Ernest, though wild and crazy, was a warm,
caring individual. He loved the sea, mountains and the stars and hated anyone who he
saw as a phoney.
During World War I, Ernest, rejected from service because of a bad left eye, was
an ambulance driver, in Italy, for the Red Cross. Very much like the hero of A Farewell
to Arms, Ernest is shot in his knee and recuperates in a hospital, tended by a caring nurse
named Agnes. Like Frederick Henry, in the book, he fell in love with the nurse and was
given a medal for his heroism. Ernest returned home after the war, rejected by the nurse
with whom he fell in love.
He would party late into the night and invite to his house people his parents
disapproved of. Ernest\'s mother rejected him and he felt that he had to move from home.
He moved in with a friend living in Chicago and he wrote articles for The Toronto Star.
In Chicago he met and then married Hadley Richardson. She believed that he should
spend all his time in writing, and bought him a typewriter for his birthday. They decided
that the best place for a writer to live was Paris, where he could devote himself to his
writing. He said, at the time, that the most difficult thing to write about was being a man.
They could not live on income from his stories and so Ernest, again, wrote for The
Toronto Star. Ernest took Hadley to Italy to show her where he had been during the war.
He was devastated, everything had changed, everything was destroyed. Hadley became
pregnant and was sick all the time. She and Ernest decided to move to Canada. He had,
by then written three stories and ten poems. Hadley gave birth to a boy who they named
John Hadley Nicano Hemingway. Even though he had his family Ernest was unhappy and
decided to return to Paris. It was in Paris that