|Hemingway about age 50 - real man or real monster?|
But who exactly was this ideal man whose words of wisdom every young person must study?
First of all, he was apparently an atheist or at least close to it. In his book A Farewell to Arms, chapter 11, the main character, Frederic Henry, who apparently represents Hemingway himself, states that he does not love God, but he is sometimes afraid of God at night. According to Kenneth S. Lynn in his biography of Hemingway, page 314, Hemingway believed that God did not care about man, that the universe was an eternal, meaningless automatic machine and that human life was hopeless.
In his personal life, Hemingway's callousness is repulsive.
He married Hadley Richardson in 1921. In 1923, she bore him a son, Jack Hemingway.
In March, 1926, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Pauline Pfeiffer. He divorced Richardson in January, 1927 and married Pfeiffer in May. She bore him two sons, Patrick Hemingway in 1928 and Gregory Hemingway in 1931.
In 1937, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Martha Gellhorn. In 1940, he divorced Pfeiffer and immediately married Gellhorn.
In 1944, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Mary Welsh, who was at the time married to another man. In 1945, Hemingway divorced Gellhorn and married Welsh in 1946, after she had divorced her husband.
Hemingway did not stop there however. In 1948, 49 years old and of course married, he desperately attempted to seduce a 19 year old girl. And in 1953, he apparently had a sexual relationship with an African girl named Debba. He remained married to the long suffering Welsh however until his death.
In addition, at least from about age 40, Hemingway was an alcoholic.
At age 60, Hemingway shot himself.
This brutally selfish man who gradually destroyed himself as he had others, is for some bizarre reason, considered to be an icon for American youth. This may be a symptom as well as a cause for some of society's problems.