Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Martha Gellhorn, third wife of Ernest Hemingway, experiences criticism early in her writing career--critics claiming her journalism is superior to her fiction. Gellhorn meets Hemingway in December 1936 after the publication of her critically acclaimed novel, The Trouble I've Seen. The years between 1936 and 1945, the period Gellhorn is involved with Hemingway, represent an exploration for Gellhorn--a voyage of self-discovery and growing independence as a writer--years during which Gellhorn establishes a literary identity. During the early years of her war-time writing, Gellhorn establishes a unique narrative format which will come to be called the New Journalism. While her journalism matures early in her Hemingway years, Gellhorn's fiction receives mixed reviews, after the overwhelmingly positive reception of The Trouble I've Seen. But with the publication of Liana (1944), there is a shift away from the journalist-protagonist technique which has marred Gellhorn's fictional endeavors. Although Liana does not see the levels of success heaped upon The Trouble I've Seen, it receives more sturdy critical approval than the other novels published during the Hemingway years. And so it is that Martha Gellhorn establishes a firm literary identity which displays the strength and fortitude of a woman whose writing captures the human spirit in a manner which could only be caught by a person of magnificent spirit and fortitude herself.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Karen Schneider

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

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