BeeOasis Step 2
By VOA Special English
“A writer is always alone, always an outsider,” Ernest Hemingway said. Hemingway created many characters in his books. Some people said that Hemingway was his own best creation.
Ernest Hemingway was born in 1891. He grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, near the middle of Chicago. He was the second child in a family of six. His father was a doctor. His mother liked to paint and play the piano.
Each summer the family traveled to their holiday home in northern Michigan. Ernest’s father taught him how to catch fish, hunt, set up a camp, and cook over a fire.
In Oak Park, Ernest wrote for his school newspaper. He tried to write like a famous sports writer. The writer’s name was Ring Lardner. He developed his writing skills this way.
In 1917, Hemingway decided not to go to a university. The United States had just entered World War I, and he wanted to join the army. But the army rejected him. His eyesight was not good enough.
Ernest found a job with the Kansas City Star newspaper. The job was in Kansas City, Missouri. He reported news from the hospital, police headquarters, and the railroad station. One reporter remembered that “Hemingway liked to be where the action was.”
The Kansas City Star demanded that its reporters write short sentences. It wanted reporters to see the unusual details in an event. Hemingway quickly learned to do both.
He worked for the newspaper only nine months. Then he joined the Red Cross to help on the battlefields of Europe. His job was to drive a Red Cross truck. He carried wounded soldiers away from battle.
The Red Cross sent him to Italy. On his first day in Milan, he was sent to a terrible scene. An arms factory exploded, and rescuers had to pick up the remains of female workers. He described the incident in his non-fiction book Death in the Afternoon. Later, he was sent to the battlefront. He went as close to the fighting as possible. He wanted to see how he would act in the face of danger. He was seriously wounded.