|About the Book|
Ever since the publication of Hemingway’s short stories, critics and readers have been devoting themselves to the debate of the meaning over his stories. New interpretations are introduced while old interpretations are challenged to adapt newMoreEver since the publication of Hemingway’s short stories, critics and readers have been devoting themselves to the debate of the meaning over his stories. New interpretations are introduced while old interpretations are challenged to adapt new critical climates. Critics often try to prove their readings are right but failed to explain why there are so many different even contradictory interpretations to the same text.This thesis is divided into three parts: Chapter 1 tries to prove that Hemingway had been consciously creating ambiguities in his stories, thus allow diverse or even contradictory readings of his text. Chapter 2 explores the ways taken by Hemingway in creating ambiguities in his fiction, mainly the art of omission, symbolism, and narrative voice. Chapter 3 explains the reason Hemingway had made ambiguities in his work intentionally, which derived both from his artistic pursuit to invite the reader to participate in the creation of the work, and influence of existentialism.Chapter 1 takes three examples to prove that Hemingway had been consciously creating ambiguities in his short stories. In Out of Season, the “real ending” of the story is cut out, thus let the reader make his own choice of the interpretations of the text. The reader may not tell exactly what they felt about the story right after the first reading, but the ambiguity of the story drives the reader to create the meaning out of the omitted story. The “something more than they understood” in the first reading becomes something concrete they create for themselves in the rereading process. In Cat in the Rain, the ambiguous identity of the cat in the end leads into two kinds of interpretations about its symbolical meaning, one for the woman herself and another for her desire for a child. The ambiguities are caused by Hemingway’s shift of point of view from the woman’s to her husband’s. In The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, the ambiguity regarding the woman’s shooting of her husband mainly resulted from Hemingway’s creating a new kind of omniscient narrator which allows the reader decide for himself whether the woman kills her husband intentionally. Therefore, from his using various techniques in creating ambiguities the conclusion can be drawn that Hemingway is creating them consciously.The next chapter discusses further in detail the various ways Hemingway adopts in creating ambiguities. Hemingway’s art of omission is unique in that he often cuts out those essential information key to the understanding of the story, thus creating ambiguous reading of the same text. Hemingway’s symbolism often has multi-meanings- each of which can be put into a systematic reading of the text. Hemingway’s narrative voice is objective but seldom omniscient. He rarely does psychological analysis in his stories, making the psychological activities of his characters ambiguous.Reasons for Hemingway to create ambiguities in his stories can be traced to the influence of his career as a newspaper man, his personal life, the influence of other writers, his own artistic pursuit and philosophical views, all of which helped to shape a unique style which is recognized as the greatest contribution Hemingway made to literature. This style not only makes the ambiguoius readings of his stories but works to encourage readers to generate their interpretations.