The Importance of Reading Ernest discussion

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Up in Michigan > sentence structure

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message 1: by Gio (new)

Gio (giobannaschlitz) at the onset of the short, hemingway tends to use very short sentences. why do you think he uses this technique. what was he trying to accomplish with the reader with the initial abrupt style.


message 2: by Arthur (new)

Arthur | 21 comments I was surprised there was dialogue. I was just reading a description about two people when they started talking and stuff.


message 3: by Gio (new)

Gio (giobannaschlitz) ya, the short choppy sentence made me thing this was going to be plain narrative, so i wasn't expecting dialogue either. do you think he did that on purpose? do you think hemingway had the reader's experience in mind? i know when i write, i write for me...not for the reader.


message 4: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
That's definitely a Hemingway technique, to surprise us with dialogue when we don't expect it, or with action when we don't expect it. I think that he's doing a few things: first, he's intentionally overthrowing readers expectations. The state of writing when he began writing fiction in the 20s (and Up in Michigan is his first published story) was driven by the narrative, and hardly anyone used the short declarative sentence or realistic dialogue (by all reports he was an impressive writer of natural dialogue in his day, although it may not sound that way to our ears today). He was experimenting and challenging readers to come along for a tough journey -- to work at their experience; second, the introduction of dialogue in Up in Michigan seems to be an attempt to take us out of that hyperbolic head space Giovanna mentioned in another post. I think that people tend to hyperbolize themselves in their heads, in their emotional worlds, and that dissolves (at least for me) when Hemingway has his characters speak; third, it's possible that he was actually trying to keep us off balance, a sort of literary manifestation of the drunkenness of his male characters.

From things I have read I know that Hemingway was aware of his readers when he was writing, but staying true to the characters and the stories meant more to him than what the readers might or might not think. So I think he did what he did for the purpose of the story and characters, knowing full well what it might mean to those who read it -- even if he didn't give a damn.


message 5: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
again, agreement , brad. i also think that hemingway was truly a man of few words, if you know what i mean. also, not getting bogged down with all these flowery adjectives,and adverbs, papa allowed the reader to infer,and imagine much of the story for themselves. this story in particular is so short, yet, it says so much,and it definately sticks with you to think about and ponder. that is what i think makes hemingway so powerful, is much is left to the reader's interpretations of what he intended in his writings..... i think he wanted us "the reader" to discuss, wonder,and debate on our own. I really think he enjoyed stirring the pot,and then sitting back and enjoying the ride!


message 6: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
a short story with a powerful punch!


message 7: by Gary (last edited Mar 06, 2010 11:13AM) (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
hey justin! we don't mind at all. how cool to see you here. chime in all you want, buddy. we need some "hot" discussion going on here!


message 8: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
Justin,check out THE CAT IN THE RAIN discussion,and also UP IN MICHIGAN. it's been smokin' lately!


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