Ernest Hemingway based his writing on real life experiences concerning death, relationships, and lies. He then mixed these ideas, along with a familiar setting, to create a masterpiece. Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park Illinois. One of Hemmingway’s first works was Indian Camp published in 1925. In many ways Indian Camp shows the relationship between Hemingway and his father. Hemingway then digs deeper into the past to create the love between Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley, in A Farwell To Arms. Hemingway was later able to reflect his disgust of home life when he portrayed himself as the character Krebs in Soldiers Home, the character had problems with lies, women, and at home.
In the story Indian Camp the main character Nick and his father resemble the relationship between Hemingway and his father. Nick is a teenage boy that travels across the lake to an Indian Village. He watches his father, who is a doctor; deliver a baby by caesarian section to an Indian woman. Nicks father discovers that the baby’s father has committed suicide. Nick and his father have a conversation discussing death, which brings the story to an end. Hemingway grew up in a middle class suburb, where his parents Ed and Grace raised him. Ed was a doctor who took his son along on visits across Walloon Lake to the Ojibway Indians (Waldhorn 7).
When Hemingway was young, his father made him have his tonsils removed by another doctor. The doctor did not use anesthetic while performing the surgery. Hemingway always held it against his dad for having his tonsils taken out, with out an anesthetic (Myers 48). Hemingway portrayed his father as the doctor in Indian Camp. In the story Nick asked his father about giving the Indian woman something to stop her screaming during the caesarian. Nicks father states “No. I haven’t any anesthetic…but her screams are not important. I don’t hear them because they are not important” (Tessitore 18).
Hemingway uses the conversation between Nick and his father, concerning the suicide of the Indian, to show his distaste for his own father’s suicide.
Nick: “Why did he kill himself, Daddy?”
Father: “I don’t know Nick. He couldn’t stand things, I guess.”
Nick: “Do many men kill themselves, Daddy?”
Father: “Not very many, Nick…”
Nick: “Is dying hard, Daddy?”
Father: “No, I think its pretty easy, Nick. It all depends” (Hemingway 19)
Hemingway saw his father as a weak workingman who served his wife, Grace, unconditionally. Ed worked everyday to come home and have to clean the house, prepare the food, and tend to the children. He had promised Grace that if she would marry him, she would not have to do housework for as long as she lived. Ill and depressed, Ed Hemingway committed suicide in 1928. Hemingway later stated “I hated my mother as soon as I knew the score and love my father had for her, until he embarrassed me with the cowardice.” (Myers 212). Hemingway used Indian Camp to express...