Monday, July 15, 2013

Hemingway and Sentences




Ernest Hemingway leaves some confusion about how the words "same way" can be interpreted - some are martyrs, some die naturally, some received the death penalty, some are killed by disease.  

However, the essence is understood.  We all physically die.

How we die?  Again, that differs, but we do die.  Our story (here, at least) comes to a temporary end. 

In the same way he says our lives end, so do they all begin in the same way.  We are all born.  We all struggle for that first, laborious breath into the vast cosmos and our cries soon beckon for our dear mothers.  

Remember learning about sentences and punctuation in the first grade?  How a sentence - a proper, living sentence - begins with a capital letter and ends with a period?  

All the words and grammar inside that capital letter and period may be total rubbish or they may surpass Shakespeare’s genius.  Nonetheless, we all get a fair share.  Regardless of the sentence’s quality, it will always begin and it will always end. 

What lies between those two things distinguishes that sentence from every other sentence in the world.  What lies between the first letter and the period tells its own unique story.

Rather like a life does.
The verbs are especially important.  Haven’t our composition teachers asked us to use "strong verbs" in our sentences for ages?  To make our sentence interesting?  So that other will want to read it? 

“Strong verbs” and “strong actions” give our sentence dimension, depth, and style. 

They are rather like the “details of life” that Hemingway talks about, aren’t they?

Who knows, if a sentence is anything like a person's life - beginning and ending -maybe our composition teachers were teaching something beyond just writing.

Maybe something about life?

Of course, not that we should like “dangerously.”   “Strong verbs” are not rash, bloody, mindless things.  Rather, maybe they - like Hemingway - are trying to show that we must live “strongly.” 


Lastly, this saying to wrap up everything... =)  

Please comment with any additional thoughts! 


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