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April 19, 2014

Homework Help: English

Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 11:54am.

My teacher said to develop this into an essay, I am unsure of how to go about doing that.


As we grow up we become more aware of the aspects of life all around us. We recognize the types of relationships we have with people, pain and the intricacies of life. Ernest Hemingway includes all of these themes in his story “Indian Camp”.
Indian Camp is a story about a father, Dr. Adams who brings his son Nick to an Indian Camp to help an Indian woman give birth. Nick is introduced to a whole new way of life. He sees the shanties that they call home and the dogs running around. The smell that greets him is unpleasant. Nick’s dad wants to introduce Nick to his trade in order to encourage his Nick to follow in his footsteps. He may have wanted to show Nick to excitement of bringing a new life into this world, and saving a life. The woman who is giving birth bites Nick’s Uncle George who then calls her "Damn squaw !@#$%^&!" and an Indian standing near by laughs. When the baby is finally born and Nick’s father was getting ready to sew up the incision, he tells Nick that he can choose to watch it or not. “Nick did not watch. His curiosity had been gone for a long time.” Nick is distraught by the childbirth, he can no longer watch, nor does he want to. Nick’s father was very proud of himself and said, " ' That's one for the medical journal, George,' he said. 'Doing a Caesarian with a jack-knife and sewing it up with nine-foot, tapered gut leaders.’" Uncle George responds by telling him he is a great man. Uncle George is being sarcastic, implying that he should stop feeling so great about himself and feel a little more sympathy for the Indians. Nick’s father got more than he bargained for when they saw that the father had committed a gruesome suicide some time during the childbirth.

This leads us to the question of why did the baby’s father commit suicide? The baby’s father may have killed himself because he had cut his foot very badly which must have impacted his ability to work and thus bring in money, a baby would just mean an extra mouth to feed. His pregnant wife giving birth, must have made the situation more real because the birth was happening now, which must have made him despair. Many men measure their self-worth by how much money they make and their ability to support their family, without bringing in the money his self-worth had plummeted. Men like to feel in control and solve situations. He couldn’t help his wife get through the pain of childbirth. He may have been scared to face the possibility of the mother dying or the unborn child not making it.
Nick had just viewed the pain of a woman in a difficult childbirth and seen a man who had killed himself. Nick had just viewed the pain that exists in this world. We can no longer call him a child, because a child has innocence and does not usually know about tragedy. Nick’s experiences had made him into an adult too soon, thus he retreats and regresses.
We also see the theme of complicated tragic relationships running through the story. We can understand that there is a complicated relationship with the Indians from when the Indian laughed after the woman bit Uncle George and Uncle George responds by calling her an offending name. Originally Uncle George had rowed across with an Indian and given them cigarettes. Uncle George seems to be acting wisely, like an intermediary. Additionally, Nick seems to have a delicate relationship with his father. Nick’s father does not seem to understand that his son is sensitive, and that maybe his son can’t handle being by a childbirth or maybe his son is not interested in medicine. The little bit of dialogue that there is between Nick and his father is terse, although we do have to take into account that most of the conversation occurred after the tragedy and therefore they may have been at a loss for words.
These events had a big impact on Nick. We see this when he experiences a period of regression in the boat where he thinks to himself that he chooses to “never die (Hemingway, 21).” Nick has been traumatized by his experiences. Life will never be the same for Nick after these experiences.

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