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I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something

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UmmeSalmah A.

on 4 March 2015

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Transcript of I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something

"I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something"
The Summary
Character Descriptions
Language (Figurative & otherwise)
Symbols (discussed later)
"They’re like five-finger exercises."
especially when the father begins explaining his flashback of his son's shooting
Iceberg Theory Application
At the very beginning, when the father talks about the book, the son said he never wanted his father to see it it. This implies a rocky relationship, but Hemingway never goes into detail about why their relationship was on such terms or why they suddenly decided to vacation.
Hemingway goes into a bit of detail regarding the essay and the father's inquiry about a type of gull he didn't know his son knew about. However, the reader is never introduced to what made the son want to write.
Hemingway discusses the downfall of this father-son relationship, but never goes into depth about what happened the year after the vacation. He never discusses the happenings of the tumultuous 5 years the father regarded as the time he realized how vile his son was.
Hemingway wants the readers to inquire about the details that pushed the relationship over the edge. This father went from loving his son to despising him. Is it just the lie of the book or is there much more to it?
Hemingway's lack of detail allowed us to see the bigger picture here was of lost potential, dishonesty, broken relationships, and family. This story intertwined those concepts. Hemingway's stories cannot be take at face value, and thus it can be noted this story isn't just about a boy who lied to his dad. There were bigger issues being discussed when Hemingway wrote this, such as passion, learning, and exploring the world around you.
A Zoha, Umme Salmah, and Hiba Production
March 1st 2015
American Lit. Short Stories Project

Father (also known as Mr. Wheeler, from other stories)
He is easily proud of his son. He values hard work, especially when it comes to his son's shooting skills. After his son disappoints him with the book, he loses faith and has hatred toward his son. He claims it is his son's illness that causes him to make the dumb mistakes he did and to become vile.
He also thinks to himself, “Now he knew that boy had never been any good.” His son which he praised so much was never anything special.
The Significance of the title
How it ties into Hemingway's Life
Questions for the audience

What a dramatic title to say the least.
"I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something"
Ernest Hemingway had 3 sons, one of whom he had a very rocky relationship with. Many critics believe that this story is based on the relationship Hemingway had with his youngest son, Gregory. Gregory was definitely Hemingway's most promising and favorite son.
When Gregory was young, Hemingway established a good relationship with him, through vacations, for example to Cuba where they shot pigeons together in pigeon shooting competitions. His son was also a writer, and at a young age, plagiarized from one of the author's that inspired Hemingway.
Unfortunately, Hemingway's mental issues were carried down to his son, Gregory, who had substance abuse issues, bipolar disorder, and gender dysphoria.
Hemingway's relationship with Gregory took a turn when Gregory's mother, Pauline, died from excessive stress. Hemingway blamed Gregory (the stress was from his arrest) for her death. Hemingway also became disturbed by his son's cross dressing and strange behavior. Many believe the "sickness" in this story was in reference to Gregory's cross dressing. The father and son soon became alienated and Gregory moved away to Africa for 8 years. He went on to become a U.S. physician and get married.
Almost 30 years after Hemingway died, Gregory went on change genders in his 60's and became Gloria. She actually realized that she couldn't figure out which gender she preferred.Gloria died in 2001 in prison, for drunkenness and public indecency.

Important Details To nOTE
It was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1955 and published in
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
It is put under the previously unpublished fiction section.
Many believe that this is a realistic novel, but mostly fictional novel. However, most believe Hemingway modeled the plot according to elements of his own life.
After the competition, the son couldn't understand how anybody could miss a shot and all the father could respond with is that he will see in 20 years.
At one international shoot, after the son won big, he tried to return the favor by helping his dad (telling him how the second trap made a louder noise to the left), but it backfired, because the trap was oiled and no longer made a noise- causing the father to miss.
The father then thinks about how his son was such an excellent shooter, better than most kids his age. Thus, his father doesn't think he should be too surprised to learn his son wrote so well.
It begins with a father talking to his son on a relaxing, summer day in Cuba. The father, who found out about the son's award-winning book, congratulated him on his efforts and tried to urge the son to not only write more, but write creatively. The father liked the story and its natural elements, and said it reminded him of a story from long ago. The son actually didn't want his dad to see the story, but he was encouraged to after it was awarded. However, the son really impressed his dad.
The father reminisces about how much he taught his son about shooting. The father painstakingly worked until his son (who would shoot 6 out of 10 usually) could only miss the shots that luck wasn't in his favor for. Most times, he got 20 out of 20.
Unfortunately, the second book was never made, but memories from that vacation lived on.
Seven years pass, and the father comes across his son's story again, but this time it was in a book of short stories by an Irish author. His son copied the story and title verbatim.
The father knew his son had changed about a year after that summer. The father felt his son was very vile now, and attributed it to sickness. The father became very detached from his son and realized how useless his son was. For God's sake, his son didn't even value shooting.
The father suggested many ideas to his son for a second book, but unfortunately, the son did not want any help. The son didn't want praise or advice.
Why didn't the son's second trap trick for his father work?
Where did the father read the son's story?
Why was the father not surprised that his son was a good shooter?

Was the father-son relationship doomed from the beginning? Why or why not?
Trust Us, You don't. In terms of Hemingway's work, This is just the tip of the iceberg
Stevie/The son
He is naive as he does make mistakes. He is also very stubborn, as he makes it a point to not listen to his father’s writing advice. He prefers shooting and baseball, but is still grateful to his father for helping him and letting them go on vacation.
He knows he let his dad down for not writing his second book, but he hopes to do so in the future.
He enjoys the praise he gets from his father. Since the son wanted glory he copied the story, which he was sure would win first place in the competition.
He starts off with a rather distant relationship with his dad, that he doesn't work hard to mend.
He also has a very big ego from all the praise he has grown accustomed to, and so he lacks modesty.
It is unclear who “she” is. She is the one who told the father about the prize winning story Stevie wrote. Many critics believe it is a teacher.

Hemingway lost Gregory, similar to how the father in this story lost his son to inner demons.
It has a good amount of dialogue between the father and son.
Consists of simple sentences. They are not too short, but most are straight to the point.
Not verbose, and uses simple, even casual vocabulary, like "Geez"
There are a few symbols in this short story.
Stevie's first story represents a facade that he put up for his father. In society, many people act fake, but we know that eventually the truth will come out.
The award for his book represents the lack of truthfulness he had, as it was based on lies.
The act of shooting/hunting served to show masculinity through these two male characters. Shooting was also the activity that allowed them to bond.
Shooting, we felt, was symbolic of the father's source of happiness. The father felt particularly passionate about shooting and in the end when he loses faith in his son, he can't help but say, "Now he knew that boy had never been any good...And it was sad to know that shooting did not mean a thing."
The sickness of the son can symbolize the actions of the son later in his life.
Some experts believe this book shouldn't be studied as much as some of Hemingway's other stories. Why? It is because many of his others stories have more literary significance as opposed to this story - which is more biographically based.
The Iceberg Theory is a common facet of Hemingway's writing.
The main themes discussed in this short story include:
Relationships are built on a foundation of trust
The father trusted his son and they built a strong relationship at first.
The struggle to establish a proper, balanced father-son relationship
Throughout the story, readers see the unraveling of a father-son relationship that never fully gets back on track to balance
The lack of truthfulness leads to a lack of trust
As soon as the father discovered that his son had lied, he realized how bad of a person his son was. He no longer trusted his son, considering him to be vile.
Putting up a facade can work during the short term, but in the long run, the truth will be revealed
The son believed that the book would impress those around him, such as his father. His lack of hard work and plagiarism didn't get him too far as his father eventually found out.
The memories of the past will always be within us
Even in terms of the title, everything reminds us of something. The son's downfall brings upon memories of his success by his dad.
Hard work is essential in long run success
Had the son actually worked hard in writing a story, his success would have carried on, as would a strong relationship with his father.
Another thing to note, in this story, Hemingway emphasizes how a son let down his father, but if you look deeper in to it, then you will see that Hemingway was also showing how a father let down his kid. This father felt that he had helped his son so much, but in the end, it didn't help. This father wanted his son to achieve great things, but all his son did was become vile and there was nothing he could do about it.
“Maybe you told me about them, Papa.”
“It’s a very fine story. It reminds me of a story I read a long time ago.”
“I guess everything reminds you of something,” the boy said.
The son says this simple statement because his father rightfully (although he doesn't know at the time) feels like the story reminds him of something else. However, this statement brings upon the past memories for the father, showing the story of his son's relationship and downfall. This simple statement shows how no matter how different the past was and how his relationship with his son is now, he will always be reminded of the hard work he put into his son and the times they shared.
Not too many, because this story is sadly really underrated.
Think you know Hemingway after this?
Hemingway and Gregory while hunting pigeons in Cuba.
Iceberg Theory (continued)
"If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water."
What is the Iceberg Theory?
In "I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something"
Hemingway doesn't tell the readers much.
The effects of the the Iceberg Theory to this story, include the reader having to fill in the gaps of the relationship and assume that those 5 years changed the lives of the father and son. Because Hemingway did not make certain details clear, many experts argue that sickness refers to a mental and/or physical illness the son had. However, we believe that this sickness was one that the father just labeled the son with. It also changes what readers take away from this story, as with this theory in place readers build on what is given. Was the father actually a good father? Readers also wonder whether the father would go to the son about his finding or let it be. Again, because Hemingway doesn't elaborate, this is for the readers to speculate about.
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