Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Hemingways The Handle: Death and Deliverance :: essays research papers
The labyrinthine structure of what is perhaps Hemingways least-anthologized novella, "The Handle," belies its peremptory ignition by many critics as a hastily written obnubilate of vacuous dialogue wrapped around a poorly-contrived plot. "The Handle," a posthumously published novella that Hemingway penned in the frustrated years following his Nobel dinero in literature for "The Old Man and the Sea," is the story of a farmer, erect in a sleepy fictional province of rural Ohio, whose yearnings for a more transitory lifestyle are offset by a feeling of obligation to the land and the house and the profession of his father, his grandfather, and great-grandfather before him.Although the palm of Joseph M everyort are now little more than barren clumps of rock, tilled for generations until, as Hemingway writes, "the ground finally refused to yield," the farmer continues to plow his dusty, heat-cracked fields, hoping against hope to eek what little nutri tion they force still provide. Although one may be tempted to draw the completion that Hemingways barren fields are little more than a thinly-veiled verbal expression of rising self-doubt about the authors own creative abilities that becomes prevalent in Hemingways later years, to dismiss the story as nothing more than a straightforeward allegory is to do an injustice to its more intriguing thematic elements.Joeseph Mallort is a widower, living alone in the creaky old farmhouse of his father, who awakens in the predawn hours to take out the cows and get the plowing underway before the murderous sunniness beats down on him. By most afternoons he has succumbed to something that might be diagnosed as mild heat-stroke today, and wanders the fields aimless and slightly confused, rumbling one-sided conversations with his deceased wife, father, gandfather, and the original settler of the farm. Although the dialogue of "The Handle," represents a subtile structural departure i n that all of the secondary characters are all dead signatures or mild halucinations, it is still chock full of the crisp versimilitude rendered in simple prose that is the hallmark of Heminways finest passages.After a blight of cow-fever leaves Joseph without the chores of milking and feeding, he digs a mass grave for the cows and buries them under a mound of earth. Several days later, hes walking the perimeter of his fields, mending the barbed-wire fence, when the ghost of his grandfather begins to taunt him for wasting his time on the fence when all the cows are dead.