Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny
Thorough treatment of Hemingway’s lifelong fascination with androgyny, beginning in his childhood and culminating in his writing of The Garden of Eden. Spilka contends that an early blending of the feminine and masculine and specific boyhood readings (e.g., Wuthering Heights (1847) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886)) helped shape Hemingway’s androgynous nature, influencing his later writing and relationships with women. Spilka writes: “Androgyny seems to have been a childhood condition that initially promised great happiness to Hemingway but was soon resisted and repressed; a wounding condition, then, that could be overcome only through strenuous male activities, athletic and creative, as with his active or vicarious devotion to a variety of manly sports and his serious dedication to writing as to an athletic discipline.” Spilka argues that Hemingway’s growing anxiety with androgyny took the form of three stages: acceptance of his feminine aspects, rejection of those same feminine aspects, and final reacceptance of those submerged feminine strains later in life. Devotes the final third of his study to an analysis of The Garden of Eden and its manuscript.