Self-sculpting in Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden

Justyna Fruzińska

University of Lodz, Poland

Justyna Fruzińska holds an MA in American Literature and a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Lodz, Poland, where she holds the position of Assistant professor and teaches American literature, culture and history. Her publications include Nineteenth-Century Visions of Race: British Travel Writing about America (2022) and Emerson Goes to the Movies: Individualism in Walt Disney Company's Post-1989 Animated Films (2014) as well as numerous articles on American popular culture, Transcendentalism, travel writing, and Polish poetry. She is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Studies Paideia in Stockholm as well as a member of the Association for Cultural Studies, British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and Polish Association for American Studies.


https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6368-5746



Abstract

Ernest Hemingway’s posthumously published novel The Garden of Eden features arguably the strongest and most transgressive heroine in the writer’s work. Catherine Bourne replays a fear present in other novels by Hemingway and in his view of the Fitzgeralds’ marriage: she is the rich and controlling wife of a writer, whose masculinity is threatened by her financial position. Additionally, Catherine starts a series of experiments connected to gender and sexuality, testing her and her husband’s limits, and ultimately putting at risk their relationship. The paper discusses Catherine’s gender-bending practices as a form of self-expression and self-sculpting, looking for an identity beyond the limitations imposed on her by society. Her transgression is analyzed both as an aim in itself and as a means in the process of self-fashioning, in which Catherine is more determined not only than Hemingway’s other female protagonists but also than her husband David.

Keywords:

Transgression, Hemingway, Garden of Eden, gender, identity

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Published
2024-06-06


Fruzińska, J. (2024) “Self-sculpting in Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden ”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (44), pp. 84–98. Available at: https://czasopisma.filologia.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/c/article/view/2257 (Accessed: 16 July 2024).

Justyna Fruzińska 
University of Lodz, Poland

Justyna Fruzińska holds an MA in American Literature and a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Lodz, Poland, where she holds the position of Assistant professor and teaches American literature, culture and history. Her publications include Nineteenth-Century Visions of Race: British Travel Writing about America (2022) and Emerson Goes to the Movies: Individualism in Walt Disney Company's Post-1989 Animated Films (2014) as well as numerous articles on American popular culture, Transcendentalism, travel writing, and Polish poetry. She is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Studies Paideia in Stockholm as well as a member of the Association for Cultural Studies, British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and Polish Association for American Studies.

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6368-5746