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Transcript of Indian Camp
Grace Under Pressure
This story demonstrates Grace Under Pressure when Nick's father (the doctor) is performing a c-section on the woman. He has to remain calm, to not make a mistake, while performing this procedure or else he will put the lives of the baby and the mother at risk. He is doing this with his son right beside him and in a camp no where near a hospital with the right equipment. He is working with a woman who is very weak, because she has been in labor for two days, and a father who is very overwhelmed and commits suicide.
Hemingway experienced a rough home life and had a very strict mother, therefore, he focused on the suffering of the Indian mother in the story.
Hemingway's father committed suicide just like the Indian father did in the story.
He also chose to write about a birth because Hemingway had sons himself.
Nick's father is the Hemingway Hero of the story.
He shows he is the Hemingway Hero because he endures and performs through a stressful situation of child labor.
The Indian father killed himself which showed his weakness, this is a direct contrast to the strength of Nick's father being able to handle the pressure of fatherhood.
Lowell LaGue, Nycole Lozano, Andrew Schmal, & Dylan Marks
This story focuses on Nick Adams' father helping an Indian woman deliver a baby in a shanty in an Indian village.
Hemingway's Background and the Story
Even though Nick is the main character of the story, he is not the Hemingway Hero because he cowers away from the situation unlike his father.
Rare Rich Moments
- In the novel, the son tries to seize the rare rich moments
before they elude him. One such moment is youthful
innocence. Nick avoids looking at the Indian woman giving
birth, doesn't want to help his father deliver the child, and innocently asks why the Indian father kills himself. His dad
calmly explains that few people kill themselves, leaving Nick relieved. Nick runs his fingers through the water and
reassures himself that he will never die. Nick may not know
it, but him being able to get away with not having the
responsibilities grown ups do (such as his father, Uncle
George, and the Indian tribesmen who all have jobs to do)
and for him to be able to enjoy the fleeting gift that is
innocence and childhood, as masculinity and growing up and
responsibility are common themes in this story.
The Indian mother was in constant pain throughout the whole child birth.
The Indian father physically wounded himself by committing suicide.
Nick was mentally scarred by witnessing the suicide and the entire child labor.
The Indian mother was also emotionally scarred because her husband killed himself.
Uncle George was physically wounded because the Indian mother bit his arm.
Hemingway portrayed Nick's dad in a masculine manner, therefore, he was not hurt in any way.
"Indian Camp" is said by many to be a story of "'intimate harm' a father can cause a son."
It also focuses on suffering, particularly female suffering.
It is also a common thought that Hemingway should have depicted Nick's father treating the Indian mother like a person rather than an animal.
1.) Tyler, Lisa. "Dangerous families' and 'intimate harm' in Hemingway's 'Indian Camp." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 48.1 (2006): 37+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
2.)Hemingway, Ernest. 1925. Scribner Paperback Fiction. New York, NY. 20 March 2014. Print.
Having a child is a miracle to a couple. People imagine that day as a miraculous day in a mothers life. In Hemingway's story it shows a woman suffering for two days giving birth and the father committing suicide because he could not handle everything that was going on. This was a tragic day for the couple. Hemingway has an effect of disillusionment, on his readers, with this story. Typically giving birth is a difficult process but usually has a happy ending.
The hero of the story is Nick's Father, who lives by his own code of honor. In the story, Nick's father delivers a baby for free. While his son Nick gets grossed out, he keeps delivering the baby while staying determined.
Nick looked away while his dad was sewing up the new mother, showing that his dad lives by a different code, while Nick shies responsibility when it becomes uncomfortable. The code the Hemingway Hero follows is knowing when to do what's right, even if you don't want to do it. The dad represents masculinity and being a family man, and his duties as a doctor and father go before his comfort zone.
Questions for Thought
How do you feel Hemingway conveyed another ethnicity?
How is Hemingway's representation of women justifiable?
Was Nick Adams correct to not assist his father with the procedure?