Comparing Two Authors: Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner
Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner are some of the most significant authors during their period. There are several factors and reasons why many people used to compare their works and their ways of narrating their stories. They are similar and yet different from one another. This paper will discuss the similarities and differences of the two authors in terms of their attack and writing styles with one of the hundreds of narratives – Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast” and Faulkner’s “Four Letters for Paris, 1925.”
Hemingway and Faulkner are rivals when it comes to writing. Their genres and attack within their narratives are different from one another. However, when it comes to describing every scene in the story, they are somehow similar to one another. In this perspective, it can be seen that even if Hemingway and Faulkner are rivals, they are dealing with the same trend and path that each author went through.
The story entitled “A Movable Feast” is a depiction of simple happiness of the protagonist and his wife. All they wanted is to read as many books as they can and go to great places in Paris. After the protagonist took all the books that he likes from the newly opened library, he went home and told his wife about what happened. After knowing that they could explore the world by reading many books, they wanted to have a feast by going to many places in Paris and after walking to these places; they will go home and eat delicious food that his wife will cook. This is a story of a simple life with simple happiness. “… until the posthumous publication of A Movable Feast (1964) there is barely an extended section on Paris in his work, and what there is tends to be narrowly American. Paris, of the American colony of Paris, was his home, not his subject, and it was only in retrospect that it shone (328).”
“I would walk along the quais when I had finished work or when I was trying to think something out. It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood (Hemingway, 332).” In this part of the story, readers might feel that the main character is a happy go luck guy but if we look at the deeper perspective of it, he is serious and happy with his life. There is humility and faith that shows inside the character’s personality. Hemingway is good when it comes to this kind of attack. He described the personality of the character in an indirect situation. Through the language and the actions of the character, the readers will understand their identity.
On the other way around, William Faulkner’s story entitled “Four Letters from Paris, 1925” is a story of Billy’s life while in Paris. He narrates the places, the situations, the lifestyles, and personalities of the people of Paris. He also compared the Europeans from Americans. For him, Europeans are better than Americans especially when it comes to women. “In America a woman will spend the morning in hr room reading or sewing in a dressing gown: here she gets dressed and sits in the park, bringing the baby with her (Faulkner, 300).” The narrator of the story described everything that he observed – all that is beautiful and different to his eyes. Faulkner wanted to make his readers understand and foresee the details of the scene. He wanted to make his readers feel the ambiance and life of Paris while he wrote the letter. “During his brief stay there in 1925, however, he wrote a series of letters home to his mother which, though touristy in orientation and unformed in style, still have, their pep, observational skill, and essential sweetness, a lot of life (298).”
This is the similarities of the two in these two stories are distinct. They both wanted to write a good story with good setting. They also wrote about Paris, the places and people of the city. They don’t want to make some irrational assertions of pain and struggles of the characters. They changed the problems and confusions with different forms of good ideas and thoughts of their characters to make the story lighter than the usual form of narrative they wrote.
The difference between the two stories is that Hemingway wrote his story for pleasure and entertainment of the mind. He created the images and symbolisms of the story to make each reader imagine the goodness of the setting for this is where the whole story went through. Meanwhile, Faulkner made some social and political assertions in his stories like the “Four Letters from Paris, 1925.” He tried to put some situations of the country in contrast to the situations of other countries. In this case, its readers will understand the facts and some portions of the civilization and culture of Paris as well as America.
Along with the letters of Billy, he also stated that aside from the extravagant places are the people who are extraordinary in actions and languages. However, the disadvantage of this assertion is to deprive the culture of America. “The way we get it into our politics and religion, where it does not belong anymore than digestion belongs there. All our paintings, our novels, our music, are concerned with it, sort of leering and winking and rubbing hands on it (Faulkner, 304).” It is just a justification that Faulkner is involved with the issues of the country where he lived. He is aware of the situations and happenings that is why he wanted to share it to his readers. Billy, the sender of the letter advised his mother of the present life of Europeans in Paris. It is a presentation of social dilemma and problem between Europe and America as two of the most powerful nations in the world.
Hemingway’s story is a form of adoration towards nature. This is what normal people and hopeless people need to read. “With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back to that it would seem that it would never come and you were losing a season of your life (Hemingway, 333).” The city is his survival part. Hemingway is a king of cities for he used several cities to be his setting in his stories. It is a unique depiction of peace, order, and calmness of the characters of Hemingway. The connection of the protagonist to the nature can be seen as one of the most significant form of attack of Hemingway. He did not only justify the lifestyle and ideologies of the characters but also the contributions of the setting or the places where the characters used to work through.
Hemingway and Faulkner both loved Paris. They make sure that they have their memories while living there and the only way is to write a story about it. They have different ways on how to describe the place but they fall into one significant formation – to make their readers feel the life of Paris. Hemingway defines Paris and its form of living through narrative with different characters that will make the story livelier. While in Faulkner’s writing, he used a letter form to show that the character is in Europe while his mother is in America. It also helped the author to differentiate the two countries in different forms and aspects. Because the character’s mother is in America, he started to describe the usual gestures of women in Paris to show that women there are very different from Paris.
From all of these factors, it can be said that it is right for Faulkner and Hemingway to be rivals in literature. However, they have different ways of entertaining and informing their readers. Their difference is that Hemingway has his one significant focus. If he wants to talk about the setting, he will talk of it selflessly without any other factors that will harm the main point of the story. On the other hand, Faulkner is not a one point author. He has different branches to tackle while going through the end of his story. There are several inputs that Faulkner wanted to relate in his story that Hemingway did not put.
However the similarities of the two authors are that they always treasure their experiences and journeys. They wanted to relate their situations to many people. Through this, many people will feel how Paris became a big part of their personality as individuals and as authors. They also loved nature and simple thoughts. When they have simple things to discuss do it by heart – without hesitations and boast. That is why it can be said that they have the same trend and perspective in terms of creating concepts for their stories.
Hemingway, E. “A Movable Feast.” pp. 328-224
Faulkner, W. “Four Letters from Paris, 1925.” pp. 298-205