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An Analysis of the Presence of Alcohol in Ernest Hemingways Short Stories Alcohol and Desperation An Analysis of the Presence of Alcohol in Ernest Hemingways Short StoriesThroughout the short stories of Ernest Hemingway alcohol inevitably lends its company to situations in which desperation already resides In an examination of his earlier works such as In Our Time a comparison to later collections reveals the constant presence of alcohol where hopelessness prevails The nature of the hopelessness the desperation changes from his earlier works to his later pieces but its source remains the same potential or promise of the future causes a great deal of trepidation and lament throughout Hemingways pieces Whether the desperation comes from trepidation or lament depends on the view point from which it is observed or rather experienced In many of the works written early in his career Hemingways characters experience a fear of the future The fear does not necessarily stem from commonly expected sources such as the unknown but rather it seems to grow from a fear of failure a fear of being unable to fulfill potential A number of stories and vignettes from In Our Time reflect these trepidations and throughout the presence of alcohol surfaces as a reminder of the desperation felt by the characters as they confront or avoid the circumstances surrounding their fears It should be clarified however that desperation here does not insinuate the many nuances that the term conjures but rather it describes its simplest meaning of a loss or a lack of hope For the characters of the early stories the lack of hope motivates trepidation while in the later works the loss of hope creates lamentThe lament experienced by Hemingways characters in his later works corresponds to an older perspective by both author and characters In most cases of desperation the later characters retrospectively examine their lives and realize that they have not fulfilled their potential The manner in which they choose
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