Interpreting Hemingway's "A Very Short Story" Analytical Essay by Shaad

Interpreting Hemingway's "A Very Short Story"
Analyzes Hemingway's short story, "A Very Short Story", in terms of being a roman de clef, and the wider allusions.
# 147064 | 783 words | 1 source | MLA | 2010 | BD
Published by on Feb 13, 2011 in Literature (American) , Sociology (General) , Language (General)

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This essay examines Hemingway's tale "A Very Short Story" in terms of it being a roman de clef. The paper proposes two layers of interpretation. The writer discusses that in the first layer, "A Very Short Story" is a simple story of the growing pains of the protagonists. In the second interpretation, the story takes the context of war into account and discovers the author's allusions to the experiences of a nation that acquires maturity through the event of war. The essay examines the author's sparse and detached style to this end. The paper also highlights the idealism of the protagonists as it portends to immaturity.

From the Paper:

"Though largely autobiographical, the author assumes a very detached note, merely relating events with little exposition on the characters. One interpretation is that the author is using his writing as merely a therapeutic exercise. But it also allows another interpretation in which the growing pains of the protagonist may be compared to the tribulations of a growing nation finding its feet in the larger stage of the world.
"The romantic love affair described therein is more aptly described as puppy love. Much of it is autobiographical. The exploits of the young man closely parallel the war-time experience of Hemingway, who was engaged in combat and wounded from shrapnel. The author has fallen in love with the nurse while recuperating in a Milan hospital, and the couple kept in touch with each other through letters after he recovered and resumed duties. Later he returned to the same hospital with jaundice. This time he proposes that they get married and move to the States. But the nurse is unwilling to sacrifice her career."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

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