Islands in the Stream Author:Ernest Hemingway A novel closely resembling Hemingway's life. — Islands in the Stream was meant to revive Hemingway’s reputation after negative reviews of Across the River & into the Trees. He began writing it in '50, proceeding thru '51. The work, rough but seemingly finished, was found by Mary Hemingway from among 332 different works left ... more »behind after his suicide.
The novel was originally meant to encompass three stories to illustrate different stages in the life of its main character, Thomas Hudson. They were originally to be entitled “The Sea When Young”, “The Sea When Absent” & “The Sea in Being”. The titles were changed to "Bimini", "Cuba" & "At Sea".
The 1st act, “Bimini”, introduces Thomas Hudson, a classic stoic figure. He's a renowned American painter who finds tranquility on Bimini, a far cry from his usual adventurous lifestyle. A strict work routine is interrupted when his three sons arrive for the summer. Also introduced in this act is Roger Davis, an old friend. Tho similar to Hudson, Davis seems to act as a more dynamic & outgoing image of Hudson’s character. The act ends with Hudson receiving news of the death of his two youngest children soon after they leave the island.
“Cuba” takes place soon thereafter during WWII. An older, more distant Hudson has received news of his oldest & last son’s death in the war. This 2nd act introduces a introverted, cynical Hudson who spends his days on the island drinking heavily & doing naval reconnaissance for the US Army.
“At Sea” ends with Hudson's death in pursuit of a damaged ship off the Gulf Stream. He's intent on finding a boat of German soldiers after he finds they massacred a village while headed home. In this last act he begins to deal with his sons' deaths. The chapter is influenced by For Whom the Bell Tolls.« less