When I was in 5th grade, we read Anne Frank’s Diary in class. In the book there were pictures of Anne Frank and one day a boy in my class said, “Anne Frank looks like Mia!” I’m not sure if his aim was to make fun of me or what but when I looked at the black and white portrait of her with space in-between each tooth and frizzy dark hair, I saw it. As we continued to read the book, it started to really get into my head. Her private thoughts she recorded in her diary were all too similar to the thoughts that seemed to flow through my own mind. Her outlook on life was almost pityingly optimistic, as was, as is, mine. I started to think about how many eery similarities we had. Not a way in which I was trapped in my own metaphorical attic, but in a way that each reaction and throught she had seemed to come from my own head. As I stared at that picture, she started to look more and more like me. As I wrote in my diary, I realized, Anne Frank and I, both 12 year olds, had the same writing style.
I’ve never had such a revelation about a writer like that, until now.
I had to read The Old Man and the Sea for summer reading in high school and I absolutely hated it. I even read the whole thing, but I just thought it was a terrible book. It was metaphorical, sure, but I thought Hemingway had beat the point to death and then some and most of his words were pointless. In fact, I remember thinking, he could have made the same point in less than a page. So that’s what I thought of Earnest Hemingway.
Funny enough, I enrolled in a course specifically dedicated to Hemingway’s work in Spain (where I am in, case you forgot) and around Europe. Three weeks into the course, I’ve unintentionally adopted the phrase, WWHD (What Would Hemingway Do), especially in my writing. The way he writes is very metaphorical. I am, in the way I write, talk, think, feel, and am, very metaphorical. I think of it as a bit of a coping mechanism for processing events. I’ve found that when you learn to accept and embrace the poetry of life, it become a lot more pretty and makes a lot more sense. Unlike Anne Frank and I, Hemingway and I are also doing the same thing at the same time in our lives. When Hemingway was my age, he was traveling around Europe, writing. Guess what I’m doing. As I learn about the revelations Hemingway has as he travels, I begin to have those some revelations. Hemingway focuses on the individual instead of using generalizations about an entire experience. He didn’t write about the future or the past, he wrote about the present. And he always tried to be honest. Reading Anne Frank’s writing helping me realize my own optimism. I’m starting to think that reading Hemingway will make me realize my own honesty. I gobble up all the short stories that he writes and the words he uses and the purpose that he uses them make more sense to me my own thoughts.