A reassessment of the influence of Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein upon Ernest Hemingway

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This study challenges the common assumption that Hemingway's early style is indebted to the work of Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein and finds the evidence less than compelling. Unlike previous examinations, this study considers Hemingway's early journalism and correspondence as well as his first published fiction; additionally, it suggests models of influence other than Anderson and Stein, such as Ring Lardner and Stephen Crane.

Because the critical tradition most often identifies "repetition" and "colloquialisms" as bases for attributing influence to Anderson and Stein, I discuss those characteristics individually, concluding that Hemingway's debt to Stein's use of repetition and Anderson's use of colloquial style has been overstated. I also assess the individual style of each author and identify the fundamental differences among them. And, finally, I suggest promising avenues which may lead to new associations between Hemingway and the forces which helped to shape his style.

Ernest Hemingway, novelist