Hemingway vs. Faulkner writing styles Essay

Hemingway vs. Faulkner writing styles Essay.

Throughout time, individual authors have crafted varying writing styles that portray the authors themselves and helps the reader to better understand the tone of the piece. During the early twentieth century, the upcoming of a new America created many talented writers that varied drastically in style. An author may choose to write in a realistic manor, such as Ernest Hemingway or William Faulkner. From the post Civil War era in which Faulkner was accustomed, to the early 1920s era of Hemingway? s short stories, both authors’ focus remains on a similar topic.

Both authors were realist writers who expressed their concern with the changes happening in America. However, the writing styles in which Hemingway used, compared to Faulkner, show many differences. By comparing the styles of Hemingway and Faulkner, readers find a contrast in the authors’ use of sentence structure, word choice, and character development; but overall, they achieve a similar tone. In many of William Faulkner’s short stories, such as “Barn Burning”, the sentence structure is complex; he describes vividly what is happening by including small details about characters and setting others may find insignificant.

Faulkner uses long, complex sentences that contain hyphens and colons to continue his ideas throughout the sentence. In “Barn Burning”, Faulkner writes “Now he could hear his father’s stiff foot as it came down on the boards with clockwise finality, a sound out of all proportion to the displacement of the body it bored and which was no dwarfed either by the white door before it as though it had attained to a sort of vicious and ravening minimum not to be dwarfed by anything…”. Faulkner commonly uses great detail to describe even the simple sound of the father’s faulty footsteps.

Much of detail is unnecessary but adds effect to the sentence. Hemingway, compared to Faulkner, uses short sentences to complete his thoughts. His ideas are expressed bluntly, but the point is clear. Both authors use sentence structure to complete an overall tone in their writing. Both authors achieve a similar tone using sentence structure. Faulkner uses long, detailed sentences to add to the effect of his stories. Hemingway uses short, blunt statements to set the tone. Many of the two author’s stories end with the same sad tone.

The sentence structure the authors use can carry tone throughout his story as they wish. The word choice of an author determines how a reader interprets the story. William Faulkner uses more complex words than Ernest Hemingway. In Faulkner’s stories, the words he chooses often are symbolic in a way. In “A Rose for Emily” Faulkner writes “………” The word choice in the sentence sets a tone for the story. The word choice Faulkner uses often make up the complex sentences in his stories. Hemingway’s word choice is less complicated. His ideas are expressed bluntly through his words. It is easy for the reader to understand Hemingway’s stories without further interpretation.

Hemingway vs. Faulkner writing styles Essay

Women in “Hills like White Elephants” Essay

Women in “Hills like White Elephants” Essay.

Through history women have fought for equal rights and freedom. This tension is derived from men; society, in general; and within a woman herself. In the nineteenth century, women in literature were often portrayed as submissive to men. Literature of this period often characterized women as oppressed by society, as well as by the male influences in their lives. This era is especially interesting because it is a time in modern society when women were still treated as second-class citizens. Two interesting short stories, “Hills like White Elephants” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” focus on a woman’s plight near the turn of the nineteenth century.

Both authors, Hemmingway and Gilman, leave an open end to the stories and allow readers to create their own ending, in turn causing them to take part in the action while reading. These stories require more effort from the reader, but seem to turn out differently for every reader making them a bit more interesting.

Hemingway led a difficult life full of martial affairs and misfortune.

Some of these experiences have set the foundation for Hemingway’s greatest works. This essay will analyze the influence that Hemingway’s separation from Pauline and divorce from Hadley had on “Hills like White Elephants.” Before writing “Hills like White Elephants,” Hemingway had been residing in Paris with his wife Hadley and son, Bumby. During their stay in Paris, Hadley and Ernest Hemingway met a woman named Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline was more of a friend to Hadley than Hemingway was. Pauline did not think much of Hemingway at first, she thought he was lazy and a no-doer. Later Pauline and Hemingway fell in love and had an affair. Once Hadley knew of their affair, Hemingway requested a divorce.

Hadley agreed under one condition, Hemingway and Pfeiffer had to separate for 100 days. After the 100 days if they were still in love, then Hadley would grant the divorce (Baker 174). This separation period left an indelible effect on Hemingway’s life and works. He wrote a short story, “Hills like White Elephants.” In both the story and Hemingway’s life one of the family members had to go. Hemingway wrote a letter to Pauline during the 100-day separation comparing it to being like an abortion. Hemingway wrote he thought that when two people love each other terribly much and need each other in every way and then go away from each other it works almost as bad as an abortion.

Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper” also is related to her life experiences. In 1884, Charlotte married Walker Stetson, an artist. She tried to submit to the traditional roles of a nineteenth century wife. When her daughter was born a year later, Charlotte suffered from what we now call severe postpartum depression, which lasted almost four years. She was treated by a famous Philadelphia nerve specialist, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, who prescribed a “rest cure” for Gilman’s “nervous condition” that forced her into inactivity with no physical or mental stimulation until she recovered. She said of herself, “I went home and obeyed these directions for some three months and came so near the border of utter mental ruin that I could see over”.(Golden 63)

To preserve what was left of her sanity, Charlotte eventually disregarded Dr. Mitchell’s advice, left her husband and moved to Pasadena, California.

“Hills like White Elephants”, is told nearly in its entirety through dialogue. It is a conversation between a young woman and a man waiting for a train in Spain. As they talk, it becomes clear that the young woman is pregnant and that the man wants her to have an abortion. Through their tight, brittle conversation, much is revealed about their personalities. At the same time, much about their relationship remains hidden. At the end of the story it is still unclear as to what decision has or has not been made, or what will happen to these two characters waiting for a train on a platform in Spain.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is told in first person. It presents the tragic story of a woman’s descent into depression and madness. A new mother suffering from what we might today call ‘post-partum depression,’ is diagnosed with a nervous disorder. Instructed to abandon her intellectual life and avoid stimulating company, she sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, which is also her doctor, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness. Everyday she keeps looking at the torn yellow wallpaper.

While there, she is forbidden to write in her journal, as it indulges her imagination, which is not in accordance with her husband’s wishes. Despite this, the narrator makes entries in the journal whenever she has the opportunity. Through these entries we learn of her obsession with the wallpaper in her bedroom. She is enthralled with it and studies the paper for hours. She thinks she sees a woman trapped behind the pattern in the paper. The story reaches its climax when her husband must force his way into the bedroom, only to find that his wife has pulled the paper off the wall and is crawling around the perimeter of the room.

“Hills Like White Elephants” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” are both about couples dealing with a delicate situation in a time when the power of men over women is obvious. The characters in both stories show that the man has more control and authority than the woman. “Hills Like White Elephants” demonstrates this through the use of the setting, time restrictions, and poor communication exhibited by the couple. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” she speaks of her husband as if he is a father figure and nothing like an equal.

The symbolism in “Hills Like White Elephants,” is the word ‘Hills’ in the title. ‘Hills’ refers to the shape of the belly of a pregnant woman. ‘White Elephants’ is an idiom that refers to useless or unwanted things, meaning the fetus they plan on disposing of. Hemingway produces an effect of sympathy for the girl through the setting that symbolizes their decision process. The time passing symbolizes the pressure the two people are under, and through their poor communication indicates that this relationship does not and will not work. “

The Yellow Wallpaper” also has symbolism. Slowly the wallpaper becomes something more than an object for the narrator. She begins to see in it a movement and a purpose she has been unable to realize in her own life. As her madness develops, she shifts her own desire for escape from the limitations of her husband expectations onto the figure behind the undulating bars of the wallpaper. Thus, the wallpaper is a source of her psychological disorder as well as a refuge from her husband’s rule. In a sense, the wallpaper becomes the symbol of both confinement and liberation.

The main characters in these stories show similarities, both the characters are really mysterious. We know little about their lives prior to where the story begins and even less as to how the story will end. In the story, “Hills Like White Elephants”, we know the couple is being pressured into making a very important decision in only a short amount of time, leaving the couple with no time to really go into discussing the important details of their relationship and the decision they are making with little description of the decision they are trying to make allowing the reader to imagine the issues at hand. In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, it starts as they move to a rented house and the wallpaper comes alive in the mind of the main character.

The wallpaper itself, so marvelously described, becomes our storyteller’s best enemy and best friend. More like a mirror, this yellow consuming wallpaper reflects what our main character is really going through and feeling and the woman that stirs and creeps within the wall is literally herself, which is found out by us, the readers. It is the wallpaper, alive and a character in itself, that charges our main character’s mind and helps her break free from the dull and husband driven life she has been living. Through the story the reader believes they know what is happening only to get over half way through the story and then your imagination has to take over to try to imagine what the reader is seeing in the wallpaper. The language here is very simple in both of these stories, allowing feelings to be expressed and images to fill your mind.

The settings of these stories vary. The first impression the reader gets when reading “Hills like White Elephants”, is that the story is set in the middle of a dry, barren place under the sun, with no shade or trees. This reinforces the idea of lack of life, but, in contrast, they are in the warm shadow of the building where life is. This emphasizes the contrast between the pregnancy of the woman, as being fertile and everything around them, including him, in this idea of fertility as he is also apart from the barrenness and sharing the shadow. The “brown and dry” setting sets the tone for the conversation between the couple (Laughter 1495). It allows the reader to understand the feelings of entrapment held by the couple and especially the young girl. The couple is also separated from the rest of the people that are inside the bar by a bamboo beaded curtain.

This gives the idea of privacy reinforced by the idea of the warm shadow of the building that protects them from the world that exists inside the bar, they are outside, with nature. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the story begins when he and her husband have rented a colonial mansion to relieve her chronic nervousness. At the beginning of the story, the narrator is interested in the surrounding scenery as well as the other rooms in the house. The mansion is described as being surrounded by hedges, a garden, and servants’ quarters. The narrator notes that the house and its grounds have fallen into a state of minor disrepair. As the story progresses, however, she becomes fixated on the nursery and its wallpaper. He chooses a “prison-like” room for them to reside in that he anticipates will calm our main character even more into a comma like life. This idea of forced rest and relaxation to cure temporary nervous problems was very common at the time. Many doctors prescribed it for their female patients.

The theme of the conversation in “Hills Like White Elephants” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is not clearly stated, but has underlying meaning. In “Hills Like White Elephants”, they are talking about love, feelings and her pregnancy. The problem that the two are having when communicating is that they are not hearing each other. In the beginning she wants to speak out about the situation clearly and put the feelings on the table to be talked about openly. Unlike “The Yellow Wallpaper”, which I think in the beginning the communication would have been the best solution, but by the end of the story it did not appear to be an option because of her mental state. Her overbearing husband who stifles her emotional and imaginative impulses, forcing her to seek outlets in the inanimate objects that surround her.

Any anger or opposing views that are directed towards the husband are belittled as a lack of self-control. This reduces the wife to a childlike status and takes her away from reality and more into the wallpaper. Many times women with ‘post-partum depression’ can be cured with counseling, but in this era they were unaware of what it was much less how to cure it. During the story the theme was completely about the wallpaper until the end when you realized she was the woman trapped in the wallpaper and the theme had an underlying meaning of a woman trapped by her surroundings, she is actually imprisoned by the nature of her husband. The woman at last rips the wallpaper off the wall, freeing both the wallpaper woman and herself. After this action, the woman begins to regain self-empowerment and self-control once again.

The views and ideals of society are often found in literary works. Whether the author is trying to show the ills of society of merely telling a story, culture is woven onto the words. The stories allow the reader to understand the sexist culture of the time and the struggles a woman had to endure. The style of writing in both stories leaves much of the meaning of the story hidden and an understanding of the relationships between men and women of the era can lead to a deeper understanding of the story. Today, most women crave equality with their partner allowing women to be in charge of their own decisions with the support of the men in their lives, even if they are not in agreement with them, but in this era it was not a common practice.

Works cited

Baker, Carlos Heard. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.1969.

Laughter, Paul. The Heath of Anthology of American Literature. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994

Golden, Catherine. One Hundred Years of Reading. The Captive Imagination: A Casebook on

“The Yellow Wallpaper”. NY: Feminist Press, 1991

Women in “Hills like White Elephants” Essay

Tone and Style of Ernst Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Essay

Tone and Style of Ernst Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Essay.

Ernst Hemingway is probably one of the writers who utilize unique styles with his literary works, especially his short stories. This is evident in his work “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” wherein he explores the use of tone in style throughout the story. With the unique tone and style, the story becomes more interesting to the reader, despite inadequate background about the story, since it is only a short story. Tone and style adds more “color” to the story, encouraging the readers to continue reading.

            One of the elements Hemingway experimented on in this short story is the tone of the writing. We can say that tone is roughly the expression of Ernst Hemingway’s attitude. This is responsible for communicating various emotions, like anger, sorrow, amusement, satisfaction, affection, and more. But this is not limited to what the character of the story says or how he says something. The tone of the story leads to what could be the thematic meaning of the story, or the subject being tackled all throughout.

            In order to clearly know the tone of the story “A clean, well-lighted place,” we should take into consideration some of the elements in the story. The first consideration would be the characters in the story. Here we see two waiters talking about an old, deaf man who was drinking in their café.

The most part of the story revolved around their exchanges of words, and with these conversations we learn a lot about the old man in the story. Aside from the three, we they also mentioned of a soldier and a girl who is the niece of the old man. At the end of the story, we also hear of a barman conversing with a waiter from earlier. These are the characters mentioned in the short story, despite most conversations were between the two waiters.

            Another element that determines tone is the details of in the story, including the settings as well as the time it was told. The details were told at the start of the story, where it was revealed that the setting was a café late at night, with no one around except for an old man sitting in a shadow casted by a tree. By the end of the story, it was revealed that the place was well-lit because of the lighting provided by the electric light. When the light was put off by one of the waiters, the mood seemed to change. This means that the light was just a façade to hide the real emotions of people who enjoy clean and well-lit places. This includes the older of the waiters, who is just like the old man, who stayed in the café for being clean and well-lit.

            Another element to consider when we talk about the tone of the story was the events that happened. In the story, there was no shift in setting to signify any change of events. The events element however, was established by the two waiters conversing with each other. They talked about the suicide attempt of the old, deaf man who is drinking in their café. He tried to kill himself by hanging, but was foiled when his niece cut him loose. With this event, we learn that the old man has problems inside him, which could also be explained by him drinking glass after glass of brandy.

The nature of the problem was not deeply tackled, but we already know that the old man could just be escaping from his problems. It could be connected to the clean, well-lit café that could be his refuge from his problems. This assumption was further strengthened by the older waiter when he turned off the lights and started cleaning the place. He said that he hated bars and bodegas, but a clean, well-lighted café is different. It could mean that he too, was also escaping his problems by staying until the late night in the bar, even though there were no customers around.

            The last tone element present in the story is about the use of words. We see that the short story is composed most of conversations between waiters, and that there were groups of words being repeated in the story. For me, this means that the author is emphasizing on those words, that it could be hints on some important aspects of the story, like the emotions of the characters. We know that the younger waiter was so eager to go home, that’s why he was somewhat irritated by the old man’s presence.

He repeatedly told him that he should have died so that they wouldn’t have any worries at that time. Another manifestation in the use of words was when the older waiter was talking to himself, wherein most of the words he was saying was omitted and replaced by the word nada, meaning none. He seem to find his life worthless, or full of nonsense that’s why Ernst Hemingway played with the word nada, even replacing it in the important words of the Lord’s Prayer.

            Ernst Hemingway also employed other techniques in his writings. This makes up his writing style, which refers to how a writer writes his words, which is often the recognizing factor for the readers. Style can also be an indication of the story’s tone. Aside from that, it also sets it apart from other literary works. In Ernst Hemingway’s “A clean, well-lighted place,” it showed the author’s style which is more of a conversational way of telling a story.

The dialogue he employs possesses deep feelings that would definitely challenge the readers on understanding the story’s meaning. It is not merely a conversation between two waiters regarding a customer, it also tells about how these waiters truly feel. It shows that one waiter is eager to go home, but about the other waiter, the readers are unaware that his personality is just like the old man, both of them enjoying the refuge brought about by the clean, well-lighted café.

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Tone and Style of Ernst Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Essay