In response to the new novel "Tender Is the Night" written by Scott, Hemingway criticizes Scott for describing Dick and Nicole, the characters that are based on the actual people that both Scott and Hemingway knew, in an unpredictable way. That is, Dick and Nicole were based on Gerald and Sara, but what they did in the novel was not the kind of things that Gerald and Sara would have done in real life. Hemingway also blamed Scott for not being inventive. Hemingway is reprehensible in that he compromised the artistic integrity by making false judgment on Scott's work, that he arbitrarily demarcated the limits of invention and imposed those limits to Scott, and that he used the concept of truth in a self-contradictory way.
To start with, Hemingway was abrupt and officious enough to tell another artist what to do, possibly compromising the integrity of work by the artist. Hemingway boldly wrote to Scott that Scott cannot make Dick and Nicole, the fictional characters in the novel by Scott, do what they you not do. Of course, it is implied that they here were the real life people, Gerald and Sara. The truth here is that even one of the very definitions of novel is to be creative. If there was anything to impose on a writer who is writing a novel, that would be to tell him to be original instead of being hackneyed or banal. Fiction is not like biography, in which it is mandatory to keep everything as truthful as possible. Once a writer starts writing a novel, it is completely the writer's choice to write the work based on the actuality or based on a new circumstances and ideas that he or she had crafted. Therefore, it was over the line for Hemingway to blame Scott's way of writing just because it was different from what Hemingway deemed acceptable; it could greatly harm the integrity of Scott's work.
Additionally, Hemingway's criticism against Scott's work is futile in that his own idea or limits of invention that he wants to impose on Scott is self-contradictory. In the letter, Hemingway scolds Scott by saying that he ought to write, invent, out of what he knows. The truth here is that the very idea of being inventive is derived from the concept of "thinking outside of the box." Hemingway's telling Scott to be inventive and keep the people's antecedents straight is like giving someone A and B and telling that someone to make A, B, and C without even thinking about C. In this case, Scott would have to depict the fictional characters identical to the real life characters, which is quite uninventive per say, but be distinctively inventive simultaneously. Hemingway should have gone over the limits of definition of invention that he had created first so that he could avoid making a self-contradictory claim and forcing it on Scott.
Last but not least, as foreshadowed in the arguments made above, Hemingway is fixated on the idea of making the characters act just as if they were the real people that they were based on. In the middle of the letter, Hemingway encourages Scott to make it all up, so truly that later it will happen that way. For Hemingway's bold suggestions and claims to be even remotely plausible, there is one condition that needs to be met. That condition is that both Hemingway and Scott know about Gerald and Sara to a degree that Hemingway and Scott know what Gerald and Sara want just by looking at their faces. For example, let's assume that Gerald and Sara were invited to a pleasant outing by Hemingway and Scott. They all had good time and of course Gerald and Sara acted in the same way they had done whenever they met Hemingway or Scott. Does that mean that Hemingway and Scott know exactly what they were thinking, exactly what how they behave themselves when they are not with Hemingway or Scott, and what they do when they are by themselves with no one else around? Probably not. What Hemingway and Scott know about them could be only a fragment of superficial facades of them. Henceforth, it would be doubtable, if not ludicrous, for either of them to maintain that they know every bit of Gerald and Sara and that they can expect what Gerald and Sara will do with one hundred percent accuracy.
In conclusion, Hemingway's reaction to Scott's new novel is self-contradictory and myopic in that Hemingway degraded the integrity of Scott's work by telling him what to do, by falsely constructing his own limits of invention and imposing them on Scott and his work, and by simple-mindedly assuming that he knows he is omniscient and knows the inner-selves of Gerald and Sara. Hemingway needs to acknowledge that he should not be pontificate to another artist unless he has a concrete and undeniable reason to do so. He should be able to achieve that goal by respecting others, becoming more reasonable, and by being self-effacing.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 13,887 4564
John, I think that this report is good enough for an amateur report on the novel. If you want to go deep, logical, and reasoned in discussion, then you need to delve deeper into the novel as well. One way of doing this would be to choose the top 5 memorable dialogues from the novel. Pick one or two quotes per character. Make sure that the dialogue is interesting and mysterious in tone.
From the quote, you can work on analyzing the meaning behind the statement rather than analyzing the meaning behind the actions. By analyzing the words of the characters, you develop an inside look into the mindset of the author and his desire to deliver a certain type of message through his work.
I believe that you can achieve that in this essay. You have shown that you have an analytical mind, it just needs to be guided towards discussing the right portions of the novel. Choose the quotes based upon your ability to gain a deeper analysis of the words based on the actions, reactions, and results of the novel depending upon the characterization of each participant.
It was actually not a report on the novel. Here is the prompt for my essay!
On May 10th of 1934, a month after the publication of his new novel, Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his friend, Ernest Hemingway, and asked for his honest opinion on the book - a tale about Dick and Nicole Diver, a couple based largely on mutual acquaintances of both Fitzgerald and Hemingway: Gerald and Sara Murphy.
Hemingway certainly responded with honesty. His engrossing reply - a letter that contains plenty of advice for any writer - can be read below.
I liked it and I didn't. It started off with that marvelous description of Sara and Gerald (goddamn it Dos took it with him so I can't refer to it. So if I make any mistakes-). Then you started fooling with them, making them come from things they didn't come from, changing them into other people and you can't do that, Scott. If you take real people and write about them you cannot give them other parents than they have (they are made by their parents and what happens to them) you cannot make them do anything they would not do. You can take you or me or Zelda or Pauline or Hadley or Sara or Gerald but you have to keep them the same and you can only make them do what they would do. You can't make one be another. Invention is the finest thing but you cannot invent anything that would not actually happen.
That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best-make it all up-but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
Goddamn it you took liberties with peoples' pasts and futures that produced not people but damned marvellously faked case histories. You, who can write better than anybody can, who are so lousy with talent that you have to-the hell with it. Scott for gods sake write and write truly no matter who or what it hurts but do not make these silly compromises. You ought to write, invent, out of what you know and keep the people's antecedants straight.
Choose three in the below and use the ideas to either advocate or blame Hemingway's letter to Scott.
Morality, truth, artistic integrity, identity, the limits of invention, determinism
Holt Educational Consultant - / 13,887 4564
John, in the latter part of your review, you need to pick a side and stick with it. That means, you either complete your review as an advocate of the beliefs of Hemingway or, you totally blame the letter that he wrote to Scott. You can't do both, which is what the latter part of your essay implies. In terms of logic and reasoning, you were able to show that in most of the essay. Your arguments were clear, supported by portions of the letter, and truly analytical of the letter that you read. I have one suggestion to make though. When you refer to something that Hemingway said in the letter, include the dialogue from the letter as a quote from the essay. By including a quote, you can better present your analysis of the letter because the quote will serve a supporting role in strengthening your opinion of the letter.
I really appreciate your help Holt
First, I will make sure that I insert some sentences from the prompt to make my argument clearer and easier to read to the reader.
The reason I did not do so in the first place was that I had thought copying and pasting the entire sentence from the prompt would make my writing look not original enough..
Secondly, you said my argument was rather ambivalent, but do you think you can be more specific? I thought I took only one side and criticized Hemingway's work by saying that he was officious, had his own weird set of limits for invention, and he single-mindedly assumed that he knew everything about his acquaintances. I ended the conclusion paraphrasing what I said in the body paragraphs.
Again, I really appreciate how you gave me some directions for improving my work!!
Holt Educational Consultant - / 13,887 4564
In the later part of your essay you state that Hemingway told Scott to just make it up and the it will become a reality. It sounded to me like you were in agreement with the discussion. I apologize if that was not the case. Perhaps better phrasing of the sentence would have made it clearer. Overall, the essay needs only a little adjustment like I said, which will help to make your logic sound deeper and your reasoning sound. At the moment, I feel like the essay does its job but has some slight room for improvement. Now, since this is a class paper, you cannot and should not aim for perfection your first time writing this sort of piece. You have to show the professor that your sense of logic and reasoning will be improving over the course of your written work in this class. You have the potential to become a better writer with a good sense of analysis, logic, and reasoning. I look forward to continuing to guide you in developing that talent.