What are the main literary influences on Hemingway and his writing and how they influenced him?shortly

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most critics contend that Hemingway influenced more than he was influenced by.  He is one of those pivotal writers who has a legacy more than a pre-history.  For instance, many European writers were greatly influenced by Hemingway's macho style of plain, tough prose (Camus' The Stranger the best example); it was certainly a departure from the flowery stuffiness of the Victorian era.  Certainly, journalism played a crucial factor in Hemingway's literary style: his distaste for adjectives, few dialogue tags, and pithy tet-e-tets.

Critic Peter Childs says that Freud was a primary influence.

"Freud is the one figure who all reviews of Modernism privilege, and yet his work's impact has to be understood within the general increased level of inquiry at the turn of the century into the workings of the mind and its relation to society." (Childs, 48) His influence on the symbols, characters and in particular the role gender plays on two classic literature novels F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises ...

Whereas Faulkner was influenced by experimental artists like Picasso, Hemingway seems to have gotten in touch with his Id--the subconscious, primordial drive in males that sends them on quests, adventures, war.  Hemingway's writing in Old Man and the Sea is mixed with biblical stylings (Jonah, Job, and Christ), a modern morality tale of suffering.  Santiago is an archetypal Christ-figure; the boy his disciple.  There are three levels to the novella: the air (super-ego), the land (ego), and the sea (id)--the depths of which are unfathomable.

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The Old Man and the Sea

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