To Have And Have Not
Sample - 1030 words essay topic, essay writing: To Have And Have Not
English 11B18 October, 2000Book Report: To Have and Have Not Harry Morgan is the central
character of Hemmingway's To Have and Have Not. Morgan plays the role of protagonist though he does not always act with "good" motives or goals. The book deals with the downfall of his life beginning with a murderous secret run from Cuba and ending in the bloody death of Morgan after suffering a gunshot to the stomach.1. Appearance: Morgan is a rugged fisherman who spent his life doing various seafaring activities. The long days under the sun on deck has given him a dark skin tone.
His appearance describes visually the tough violent world in which he thrives. His looks are almost a uniform for the criminal underground scene where he lives his life. The
author uses his wife watching him leave their home as a vehicle to describe in detail his physical appearance. " She watched him go out if the house, tall, wide shouldered, flat-backed, his hips narrow, moving, still, she thought, like some kind of animal, easy and swift and not old yet, he moves so light and smooth-like, she thought, and when he got in the car she Nelson2saw him blonde, with the sunburned hair, his face with the broad Mongol cheek bones, and the narrow eyes, the nose broken at the bridge, the wide mouth and the round jaw, and getting in the car he grinned at her and she began to cry." (Hemmingway 128) Also worthy of notice, halfway through the book Harry losses his arm in a gunfight with some Cuban patrols on a liquor run.2. Words and Actions: Harry Morgan gives validity to the idiom, "Curse like a sailor." He fights like one too
Morgan is the quintessential smuggler. All his actions seem violent and towards the ends of making money. His actions are done out of necessity or desperation. This is seen clearly in the way he handles a client of his, a client that knows too much. "He put his hand in his pocket and reached
the money out toward me.
I reached for it and grabbed his wrist with the money in his hand, and as he came forward on the stern I grabbed his throat with the other hand." (Hemmingway 53) His actions are brutal and direct. Even towards close associates he seems ruthless. He came very close to killing a friend of his that sneaked aboard his ship for a ride back to America. Morgan said it was lucky for his friend because somehow his friend got his name on Morgan's crew list. If it wasn't for that that Morgan would have killed him to avoid the customs hassle. Nelson33. Personality: Morgan is a man who acts purely on logic and gut instinct and doesn't let emotions or feelings come in the way. He says what is on his mind no mater the situation.
This is very clear when he tells a stranger's husband that his wife is a whore. Morgan simply doesn't care about tact, social skills, or gentleness. The happened presumably because of his years involved in illegal activities. Most criminals tend to dispense with pleasantries. The only thing he seems truly attached to emotionally is his boat. Though he lost an arm and the customs board locked his boat away, Morgan still breaks in again to use the boat for another job.
Chapter Ten is entitled Harry. It is a lengthy inner dialogue where Morgan thinks about the upcoming job. All he can do is think about the boat and how he will get it all done. It seems like this is the only time he is happy, when he is pushed and worked and forced to figure out a course of action. He is driven by his violent life.4.
Motivation: The only thing Morgan is motivated by is the will to succeed and to provide for himself and his family. When asked why he does such illegal harsh things he replies with a simple eloquence. "I don't know who made the laws but I know there ain't no law that Nelson4you got to go hungry." (Hemmingway 96) He is motivated by necessity to feed himself and his family, doing what it takes to make it in a harsh world. Harry acts as though he doesn't need anything in this world. He seems just to live without it, like an emotional anorexic. He refuses to let himself indulge in the things in life that can bring him joy.
He keeps his family at arms length. Probably he cares for them on some level, maybe only on a purely instinctual level. For whatever reason, he cites them as his reason for doing what he does, though when given the opportunity to grow closer to them he pushes them away.5. Relationships: Morgan is a loner in the purest sense. All of his friends are connections and his loved ones are contacts.
Almost everyone in his life he knows on a business level. The only people he seems to trust are Freddy and his wife Marie. The one time in the book he wanted to confide in someone he considered Freddy, the owner of a local bar that Morgan was known to patron. "In at Freddy's he wanted to tell him about it but he couldn't. There wasn't anybody in the bar and he sat on a still and wanted to tell him but it was impossible." (Hemmingway 147) Morgan stayed detached from any sort of interaction, even on only a mildly personal level.
The only person Morgan seems to be close to is his wife, Marie. Many times throughout the book he will be thinking of her through a dangerous situation. As he lies Nelson 5on the deck of a boat bleeding to death he thinks of her well being, still in his direct and emotionless way of thinking. "I wish I could do something about Marie. Plenty of money on this boat, anyone would get along O. K.
On it."(Hemmingway 174) The relationships he keeps are very similar to his own personality, emotionless and pragmatic - always seeking an ends. Nelson6Works CitedHemmingway, Ernest. To Have and Have Not. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York: 1934.
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