Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Short Story Criticism

The Mercenaries- This was one of Hemingway’s earliest works. It’s not held to the same standard as his other works, even being rejected by publishers twice. It is, however, somewhat a source of inspiration for Hemingway’s later works. The theme of “men without women” appears in later works, such as A Farewell to Arms, along with the character name Rinaldi. Many critics haven’t acknowledged the character Denis Ricaud, and do not mention the role he played in the story, mainly because his role was poorly written. Overall, critics agree that it is a good precursor of Hemingway’s later works, but is lacking as a story on its own.
Mimi Reisel Gladstein. “The Mercenaries: A Harbringer of Vintage Hemingway.” Hemingway’s Neglected Short Fiction. London: Ernest Hemingway Foundation, 1989. 19-29.

In Our Time- This is held as one of Hemingway’s highest works. Critics have praised the beginning scenes to the story when the main character, Nick, was a little boy by the great lakes of America. They have also praised the imagery Hemingway creates, calling it honest, short like a match strike, but reveals a bit of truth in not only the characters of the book, but for the reader as well.
D.H. Lawrence. “In Our Time: A Review.” Hemingway Seven Decades of Criticism. Michigan: Linda Wagner-Martin, 1998. 19-20.

The Sun Also Rises- This is a short story about the friendship between the average man in war, and a flapper (flapper being a new movement that came about in the 1920's). The woman is the embodiment and definition of a flapper, or a new woman. She doesn't follow set traditions of her culture. The man, however, isn't heavily focused on. It is obvious that these two have a relationship/friendship, but it's very dry, which is opposite of relationships in most of Hemingway's other works. This story has been praised for its representation of history and culture during that period.
Sibbie O' Sullivan. "Love and Friendship/Man and Woman in The Sun Also Rises." Hemingway Seven Decades of Criticism. Michigan: Linda Wagner-Martin, 1998. 61-77.

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