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The Life of Ernest Hemingway

             Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, the first son of Clarence and Grace Hall Hemingway and the second of their six children. Clarence Hemingway was a medical doctor with a small practice located in Oak Park, Illinois; his wife was a music teacher with an active interest in church affairs and Christian Science. As a boy, Ernest Hemingway seemed to enjoy the best of both worlds. He grew up close to a metropolitan center in a suburban or semi-rural community that was also sheltered by distance from the violent and vice of Chicago itself. More over, Dr. Hemingway owned a cabin in Northern Michigan where his oldest son spent his summers developing a life-long passion for hunting and fishing apart from middle-class society.
             Acting as a counterweight, Hemingway's mother tried to instill conventional values in her children in the designated role of the family as disciplinarian. She insisted that her son attend church, that he take part in music lessons, and the he generally embrace prevalent Protestant work ethic values of mainstream, Anglo-Saxon Americans during the Progressive era. Hemingway appears to have rankled at the strictures that his mother's sense of moral order imposed upon him. She was forceful if not domineering with Ernest. A major rift arose between them when he returned to the United States from service with the American Red Cross during World War One. Despite the wounds (physical, psychological, and spiritual) that he had received, Grace Hall Hemingway complained bitterly about the slow pace of his re-adjustment to normal or civilian life. She demanded that he leave the seclusion of recuperating at the family's Michigan retreat for gainful employment. Ultimately, the budding author left his childhood's nest in the wilderness and entered into the domain of Paris in the 1920's.
             More tragically, Ernest Hemingway's father suffered from diabetes, financial misfortunes, and chronic depression.

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