Whether Hemingway wrote in his early style or in his middle style or in his later style, he is unique among modern prose writers because he turns his style to serve his subject matter. In the absence of any code the style itself becomes the code. To use literary heights, Hemingway had his style instead if God.
Ernest Hemingway becomes popular for his direct, pithy, lucid, simple and straight forward style when he was awarded by the Nobel Prize in 1954. He was praised for his style.
This style he had learnt from Gertrude Stein who taught him to cut the unnecessary details in order to focus the reader’s attention on important scenes and events and to adopt the art of repetition of certain words with minor variations.
His style was a revolt against 19th century romanticism. Hemingway’s style emerged as a reply to the crash of values on English literary scene after the First World War.
He is considered the master of dialogues. His style is closely parallel to the code of endurance and stoicism. Though his style looks extremely simple, yet it is really not simple. It requires hard discipline and a very deep understanding of language.
Hemingway revived colloquial American language. He used simple and compound words. His style was not spontaneous.
Because of the bareness of Hemingway’s language one may suspect that there lies a disturbed state of mind behind the smooth surface of Hemingway’s simplest possible sentences.
In Hemingway’s style there are a lot of symbols. Hemingway by utilizing the technique of symbolism has added the richness to his bleak and bare style.
Hemingway also makes a good use of quotations as:
- A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
- Fish, I will show you what a man can do and what a man can endure.
- I will see; who kills who.
- Pain doesn’t matter to a man.
- Man is not made for defeat.
- A man can live only through the manly encounter against death.
Hemingway had a theory called the iceberg theory. He has done away with metaphorical fat because basically in life as well as in literature he has been a sportsman.