Ernest Hemingway's Use Of Luck As Religious Discourse In His Major Works
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentEnglish and Languages
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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This dissertation examines Ernest Hemingway's employment of the word and idea of luck as religious discourse in his works, Death in the Afternoon (1932), To Have and Have Not (1937), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man and the Sea (1952). Hemingway uses the language and tenets of Christianity as scaffolding to edify his religious vision of luck. In Death in the Afternoon, belief in luck is cloaked within the Catholic framework of rituals and saintly devotions. Hemingway watched the toreros pray to the Blessed Virgin for both protection and luck. Influenced by the concept of luck as a religious element in the bullfighting world, Hemingway explored the concept further in his fiction. In To Have and Have Not, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway presents and develops luck in a variety of spiritual forms such as blessings, salvation, grace, and the focus of a pilgrimage in an attempt to create a religion that better explains and defines the Modernist experience.