A Father’s Fall from Grace

  • Stephen Gilbert Brown
Part of the American Literature Readings in the 21st Century book series (ALTC)


The focus of critical inquiry in this chapter is the rupture that occurred in the father-son, Ed-Ernest relationship in Hemingway’s early boyhood—and its implications for his developing identity and art. Analysis of the causes, effects, and implications of this rupture is contextualized within a pattern of parental wounding, in which the ideals of motherhood and frontier masculinity are respectively profaned by wounds of androgyny and emasculation. This rupture in the father-son dyad is read not only through the lens of “Fathers and Sons” but of trauma theory, and the trope of “retrenchment” in particular, in an effort to inform Hemingway’s turn toward the primitive—in the realms of personality and prose.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Gilbert Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NevadaLas VegasUSA

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