What are some reasons for Hemingway's interest in violence?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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What might appear to be violence to many seems to be adventure to Ernest Hemingway. For example, Hemingway grew up traveling to Michigan to hunt; he enjoyed the adventure aspect of those hunting trips and was inspired to be involved in big game hunting as an adult. While these activities might seem to be a lust for violence to some observers, for Hemingway, hunting was a way of life and an activity that brought back fond memories of time with his father.

Admittedly, Hemingway's experience and injury in World War I disillusioned him and contributed to many of the themes of his "Lost Generation" works which often focus on external conflicts between humans and between nature and humans, but Hemingway's writings do not paint him as one who was simply interested in violence. Rather, he sought to portray accurately what witnessing violence does to humans. Hemingway purportedly wrote that

"all things truly wicked start from innocence,"

and so his perceived focus on violence--in most of his works--illuminates a character's loss of innocence.


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