Hemingway and the Feminine Complex

  • Richard Fantina

Abstract

An attempt to trace the origins of Hemingway’s attitudes toward gender and sexuality calls for a look at some biographical details, most of which are already well known. Hemingway accepted the mystique of late-Victorian-influenced American masculinity very early in life in response to various environmental factors. Spilka convincingly demonstrates how Hemingway’s boyhood reading of imperial adventure stories by Kipling and Captain Marryat, and of the Muscular Christianity in Dinah Craik’s John Halifax, Gentleman, reinforced the views of his parents and played a significant role in his early development.1 Spilka also emphasizes that Hemingway was fond of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, novels far more subversive of Victorian values, but presented then (and now) as part of the bourgeois cultural legacy. What Hemingway gained from Kipling and Marryat was an appreciation of adventure for its own sake. And while what he took from Brontë and Twain fed his more expansive and sensitive side, the influence of Kipling and Marryat remained significant throughout Hemingway’s life and he internalized many of those values in his persistent search for adventure and experience.

Keywords

Catheter Europe Assure Hunt Stein 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Peter Griffin, Less Than a Treason: Hemingway in Paris (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 49. All references are cited by page in the text.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Stephen Spender, World Within World (1951) (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 230. All references will be to this edition and are cited by page in the text.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See James R. Mellow, Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992), 11. See also Meyers 9; Lynn 37–38.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847) (New York: Barnes & Noble 1993), 70.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Kerry Kelly Novick and Jack Novick, “The Essence of Masochism,” in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New York: New York University Press, 1995), 250–251.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Bernice Kert, The Hemingway Women (New York: Norton, 1983), 63. All references will be to this edition and are cited by page in the text.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    J. Gerald Kennedy, Imagining Paris: Exile, Writing, and American Identity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 135–137. All references will be to this edition and cited by page in the text.Google Scholar
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    Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1935), 66. All references will be to this edition and are cited by page in the text. Where clarification is necessary, the title will be abbreviated to GHOA.Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    Alice Hall Petry, “Coming of Age in Hortons Bay: Hemingway’s ‘Up in Michigan,’” in New Critical Approaches to the Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, ed. Jackson J. Benson (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1990), 353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 27.
    For an account of Hemingway’s perception of his need for financial independence, see Robert W. Trogden, “Money and Marriage: Hemingway’s Self Censorship in For Whom the Bell Tolls,” in The Hemingznay Review 22(2) (Spring 2003), 6–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 30.
    See James McLendon, Papa: Hemingway in Key West (Key West: Langley Press, Inc., 1990), 163. All references will be to this edition and are cited by page in the text.Google Scholar
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    Philip Young, Ernest Hemingway, University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers, Vol. 1 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1959), 15.Google Scholar
  13. 36.
    H.R. Stoneback, “In the Nominal Country of the Bogus: Hemingway’s Catholicism and the Biographies,” in Hemingway: Essays of Reassessment, ed. Frank Scafella (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 109.Google Scholar
  14. 37.
    Gregory Hemingway, Papa: A Personal Memoir (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1976), 7–12. Hemingway and his son Gregory blamed each other for Pauline’s death. In 1951, Gregory was arrested on a drug charge. Shortly after this, Pauline called Hemingway to discuss the situation and the conversation ended in a “brutal” shouting match. A few hours later, Pauline died. Hemingway told his son that his trouble with the law had “killed Mother” (8). Gregory later wrote to his father, as he writes in his memoir, “that it was not my minor troubles that had upset Mother but his brutal conversation with her eight hours before she died” (12).Google Scholar

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© Richard Fantina 2005

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  • Richard Fantina

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