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Earnest Hemingway's "The Indian camp" - Essay Example

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In the Indian Camp story of initiation by Earnest Hemingway, Nick Adams a child is an autobiographical character in the story(American Indian Themes In Young Adult Literature 4). Nick Adams makes his first appearance in the Indian Camp according to the story. Adam’s father is…
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Earnest Hemingway's "The Indian camp"
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Earnest Hemingway's "The Indian camp"

Nick becomes his assistant in the operation. Not long after, the expectant womans husband is discovered dead having slit his throat during the operation. The Indian Camp story reveals the upcoming of Hemingways use of counterpoint and the understated style. He addresses several thematic concerns that affected the people at the time. These are the theme of racism, sexism, masculinity and life and death. The ‘Indian Camp’ remains an important story in the canon of Hemingway to date.
Being an initiation camp, the Indian Camp is used in the story to explain the theme life and death. Dr Adams, Nick’s father, exposes his son at a young age to childbirth. In the process, he unintentionally exposes the boy to violent death. Having witnessed the birth and death at the same time, Nick equates birth to death (Dudley 17). Although Nick may not have wanted to watch his father perform the caesarean, his father insists that he should do. Symbolically, he wants to make his son tough and prepare him for initiation into the adult world that was not always smooth.
The theme of life and death is a symbolic depiction of the conditions of the Native American camp. There are struggles for life in the camp in which death romped life from people. The coming to birth of a child signifies the continuity of life in the camp (Dudley 18). However, life is lost at the same time when the childs father kills himself by slitting his throat with a sharp blade during the operation. In his story, Hemingway explains the desperate state of a struggle for life and at the same time the irony in a persons depriving his life. It is ironical that an effort is made to make the baby live signifying the value attached to life at the camp while at the same time the father takes his life. Fear of death is implicated in Nick’s fear for the death when thoughts of death in the forest a night before the operation overwhelm him.
The themes of racism and sexism in the story are depicted in the ... Read More
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