Ernest Hemingway Essay

2103 words - 8 pages

Ernest Hemingway pulled from his past present experiences to develop his own thoughts concerning death, relationships, and lies. He then mixed these ideas, along with a familiar setting, to create a masterpiece. One such masterpiece written early in Hemingway's career is the short story, "Indian Camp." "Indian Camp" was originally published in the collection of "in Our Time" in 1925. A brief summary reveals that the main character, a teenager by the name of Nick, travels across a lake to an Indian village. While at the village Nick observes his father, who is a doctor, deliver a baby to an Indian by caesarian section. As the story continues, Nick's father discovers that the newborn's father has committed suicide. Soon afterward Nick and his father engage in a discussion about death, which brings the story to an end. With thought and perception a reader can tell the meaning of the story. The charters of Nick and his father resemble the relationship of Hemingway and his father. Hemingway grew up in Oak Park, a middle class suburb, under the watchful eye of his parents, Ed and Grace Hemingway. Ed Hemingway was a doctor who "occasionally took his son along on professional visits across Walloon Lake to the Ojibway Indians" during summer vacations (Waldhorn 7). These medical trips taken by Ernest and Ed would provide the background information needed to introduce nick and his father while on their medical trip in "Indian Camp." These trips were not the center point of affection between Ed and Ernest, but they were part of the whole. The two always shared a close father-son bond that Hemingway often portrayed in his works: Nick's close attachment to his father parallels Hemingway's relationship with Ed. The growing boy finds in the father, in both fiction and life, not only a teacher-guide but also a fixed refuge against the terrors of the emotional and spiritual unknown as they are encountered. In his father Ernest had someone to lean on (Shaw 14). In "Indian Camp," nick stays in his father's arms for a sense of security and this reinforces their close father-son relationship. When Nick sees the terror of death, in the form of suicide, his father is right there to comfort him. From this we are able to see how Nick has his father to, physically and mentally, "lean" on, much like Hemingway did (Shaw 11). Hemingway's love for his father was not always so positive though, and he often expressed his feelings about his situation though his literature. When Hemmingway was young, his father persuaded him to have his tonsils removed by a friend, Dr. Wesley Peck. Even though it was Dr. Peck who performed the painful operation, Hemingway "always held it against his father for taking out his tonsils without an anaesthetic" (Meyers 48). Hemingway saw the opportunity to portray his father in "Indian Camp" as the cold-hearted man who had his tonsils yanked out without...

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