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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The artist as Bluebeard ; Hemingway critiques Hemingway in The Garden of Eden manuscript Roe, Steven C.


This interpretive study of "The Garden of Eden" manuscript examines the general critical conception of Ernest Hemingway as a male-chauvinist writer who valorizes masculine codes of heroic individualism while simplistically objectifying and debasing the feminine. I engage in a close reading of the manuscript, inferring thematic meaning through symbology, metaphor, implication, and intertextual allusions. My methodology demonstrates that Hemingway deploys the story of Bluebeard as a self-critical paradigm, to suggest (1) the sado-masochistic aspects of traditional gender relations, and (2) the creative vanity of an autobiographical artist figure whose stories embody violent fantasies of male power. Hemingway's moral self-awareness in the "Eden" manuscript, especially with respect to the gender-art nexus, problematizes the "Papa" stereotype. Indeed, the Hemingway of "Eden" emerges as a complex, introspective, and sensitive writer who sympathizes primarily with a well-drawn female character. Given "Eden's" carefully sustained matrix of tension, ambiguity, and irony, I conclude that the manuscript is a novelistic text that both moves within and pushes beyond patriarchal ideology.

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