Ernest Hemingway is one of America's most beloved and most mysterious literary figures, having traveled the world, fought in World War I, won the Nobel Prize, eventually settled in the mountains of Idaho and ultimately committed suicide in his cabin. A new book about one of Hemingway's most constant companions, his boat Pilar,sheds light on the famous author's love for the open water.
Paul Hendrickson, the author of the new book "Hemingway's Boat," says even Hemingway's writing style reflected the freedom he felt when he moved back to America from Europe and bought his boat - his sentences became longer and less constrained, and his letters to friends and family members often reference his love for Pilar.
"Pilar represented this little encapsulated existence, wherefore a long weekend or for just an afternoon, getting away from the pressures of the writing desk," says Hendrickson.
"Pilar was Hemingway's 38-foot motorized fishing vessel, which he owned for 27 years, which were the last 27 years. And he lovingly possessed her, rode her, fished her through three wives, the Nobel Prize and all his ruin." - Paul Hendrickson, author, “Hemingway’s Boat”
1. Who was Ernest Hemingway? What do you know about him?
2. What does the idea of a boat represent to you? What do you think it might have represented to Hemingway?
3. What is a metaphor?
1. What does Hendrickson mean when he says Pilar is a metaphor for Hemingway’s story?
2. How might being on the water have influenced Hemingway's sentences and writing style?
3. Why do you think Hemingway has become more of a myth than an actual man for many Americans? Can you think of other historical figures who are viewed in a similar way?
4. When do you experience the most feelings of freedom?