Masculinity In Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was a famous American writer and journalist. He was well-known as a “male” author; he created a character of “real man” in the American literature. Up to now his works have been considered to be the guides for real men. In this paper the masculinity in Hemingway will be reviewed.

In Hemingway’s works his own character was reflected. He was a tireless traveler, conqueror of female hearts, avid fisherman and brave hunter. He was at almost all wars of the first half of the twentieth century, he fought alone with the sea, participated in a bullfight, but he lost a battle with age, with diseases, and shot himself with his favorite gun. He considered that a man had no right to die in bed - either in combat or a bullet in the head. The characters in his work were the same: hunters, fishermen, bullfighters, tourists, athletes who lived according to their moral codes. Their lives were hard, but they struggled with difficulties and continued to be good men.

One of the shining examples of masculinity in Hemingway is his philosophical parable The Old Man and the Sea. It is a story of a battle between the old fisherman Santiago and a large marlin. Santiago was experienced fisherman, but for many days he was out of luck. And he continued true to his principles and wished to catch a “large fish”. He did not complain, he was patient, and every day he put out to sea again. Day by day, exhausting the big fish, the old man did not think of his pain and difficulties. He tried to save his strength for the final battle with the fish. He caught tunas and flying fishes, and ate them in raw, even despite the absence of hunger. He made himself sleep to gain strength. He used all available means to fight with the sharks eating his marlin. And in spite of the difficulties he talked, evaluated, and recalled all time. Because there were no people around him, he talked to the fish, including when it was alive and dead.

This parable symbolizes the struggle between the human and nature. The sea, the marlin, and the sharks were the parts of big universe, powerful strength, the God, or even powerful feminine. This strength could destroy and kill the human, but Santiago continued to be the man of spirit.

Talking on behalf of Santiago, Hemingway claimed that a man can be destroyed but not defeated. Santiago had the features of the “real man”: courage, strength of mind, bravery, insistence, but also goodness and love of nature.


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