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Quicklet on Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not by LeAnne  Bagnall

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Book Description


Based on his personal experiences and observations from living in Key West and Cuba, Hemingway composed the non-stop adventures of the indefatigable yachtsman Harry Morgan, an ex-policeman struggling to survive the Great Depression in the depths of Cuban revolutionary waters. The Morgan story was originally intended to be published in three separate short stories (Baker xvi)a narrative genre which Hemingway himself was redefining at the time. Hemingway had already published the first and second stories of Harry Morgan in Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines (1934, 1935), and decided to revise all the tales into one novel. Yet the melding of the three stories, along with the intervening story of Richard Gordon, created a novel lacking in unity. Hemingway even admitted that To Have and Have Not was a procedural error (Baker xv), and his least gratifying book (Baker 205). The novel was crafted during a time in Hemingways life that experts describe as an interim period of artistic regression between his better glory days (Baker xvi). The start of the Spanish Civil War also influenced Hemingways time and focus on the novel, in that the main character as an individual comes to share the same fate as the oppressed proletarians of his society (Meyers 267). Hemingway worked and reworked with the manuscript, even relying on the unbiased editorial eyes of trusted friends (Mellow 485), until its final publication by Scribner in 1937. It opened to critical reviews which considered the work to be an anti-capitalist stance against the U.S. government with Marxist undertones, and as a novel divided against itselftelling multiple stories which just didnt cohere as a single novel (Mellow 488; Baker 205, 206).


LeAnne Bagnall is a professional Los Angeles-based writer and editor who specializes in American literature, culture, lifestyle, health, and community. LeAnne has been writing on topics of charity, philanthropy, health and wellness, and current events for a number of publications over the past five years. She earned a BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Specialization in American Cultures and Global Contexts in 2006, and is trained in non-profit board management. She enjoys writing fiction, reading 20th century American and non-Western literature, swing dancing, watching classic film, collecting antiques, volunteering to support veterans, and spending her free time appreciating classic car culture.


You know how it is there early in the morning in Havana with the bums still asleep against the walls of the buildings; before even the ice wagons come by with ice for the bars?

Most likely, you do not knowand could not possibly even knowwhat it would be like to see this scenario, yet this is the world into which Hemingway plunges his reader at the start of To Have and Have Not. The novel is ultimately about the perils of the Haves and Have Nots trying to survive the economic crisis of the Great Depression within the locale of Key West and Havana. It is a tumultuous political and social climate; the desperate and helpless population (especially those Cubans running their political revolution) are forced to take any means of income available to them, including the black market, murder, robbery, and smuggling. This is the world to which Harry Morgan, the storys main character, belongs as well. Harry is a tough, bold, cynical, and exceptionally smart yachtsman with a wife and three daughters living in Key West. Harry is forced to run contraband as well as human smuggling on his boat to make a living and survive the societal decay of the region.


Quicklet on Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not

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Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not

  • ISBN: 9781614646976 |
  • Hardcover: 56 pages |
  • Publisher: Hyperink |
  • Publication date: |
  • Language: English |
  • Format: Ebook