People have been trying to find a soft spot in the macho hunter’s persona for decades. College classes have labeled him as a repressed homosexual because of the way he describes trout in “The Sun Also Rises.” Book clubs have discussed his feminine side apparently on display in “The Green Hills of Africa.”
Whether or not Hemingway had a soft side for cats or if it shows some weakness or strength doesn’t matter to me. The writer was known for his masculine style of writing. He was known for a rough outlook on life, boozing, womanizing, hunting and verbal jousting.
I’m only unsure of why it’s necessary to soften the perception of what he was. And is that, in and of itself, a troubling issue with our society today.
Leave Hemigway to his vices. If he showed mercy or softness at the mercy killing of a treasured animal companion, he’s nothing of not human. It does not mean he has a side, feminine, gay or otherwise. It just means that just like you and I, Hemingway was human.