Earnest Hemingway and John Cheever

Literature / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
The following essay compares and contrasts the styles of two short story writers, Earnest Hemingway and John Cheever.

This paper argues that one can draw an almost direct literary line between Cheever and Hemingway in terms of the attitudes they possessed towards their characters and the sparse quality of their prose.
“Hemingway is often cited as the author who is the ultimate chronicler of the masculine ethos in the outdoor world. Pete Hamill wrote in his memoir A Drinking Life:No other word could describe him [Hemingway]: his writing, his life, his courage, his drinking, were all part of the heroic image. (Hamill 230) Hemingway heroes suffer the threat of death, the complete loss of life and love in a cold and alienated world. In contrast, John Cheever chronicles the mundane world of suburbia. His heroes are often comical and ineffectual. His character’s messy emotions, rather than external circumstances, are the focus of his short stories. Not much seems to happen in Cheever’s outer world.”


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