The Indian laying Essay
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This story introduces the theme of masculinity. Hemingway turns a typically female act, set in a female space into a male-dominated situation. Although this story is about childbirth, it focuses on the experience of the doctor rather than the woman. After the birth, Uncle George and Nick’s father have a playful, exuberant camaraderie over the job well done. Another theme introduced is racism or sexism, Uncle George says “damn squaw bitch” to the Indian woman. Depending on how your interpret this remark, it could be racist or sexist, with the fact being we aren’t told.
Another emphasis to racism is from Nick’s father saying, ” I don’t hear them (screams from woman) because they are not important”. This remark could be argued is racist. Simply by adding these themes, Hemmingway has included a true-life prospective life and enhanced the interest of the story; otherwise without some themes this story could have been uninteresting. The language in the statements is quite abusive and downgrading.
Although it could be argued they were not racist comments and just aggravated words from Uncle George perspective as he was bitten!
In Nick’s father’s view, we can’t really tell if or not he is racist, as his words are not as downgrading as Uncle George’s. We can interpret his words to mean anything, for example it could mean he concentrates on the job, instead of being put off by the screams or it could mean, as she is a poor woman he doesn’t simple care. After Nick’s dad had finished his small operation he conversed a lot, using a simile ” He was feeling talkative as football players are in the dressing room after a game. “. Then came Nick’s interrogations of his experience he has had, “Do ladies always have such a hard time having babies…
Why did he kill himself, daddy… Do many men kill themselves, daddy… Do many women… where did uncle George go” the father responds back minimally ” not many Nick… Hardly ever … He’ll turn up alright. Childish language is present from Nick. The father could be uninterested in what Nick has to say or simply unable to answer Nick’s questions and just tries to evade them, hence the short answers. The only violent situation in this story shows quite a gruesome image. ” The Indian laying with his face towards the wall. His throat had been cut from ear to ear. The blood had flowed down into a pool where his body sagged the bunk.
His head rested on his left arm. The open razor lay, edge up, in the blankets. “. The language and style is fairly simple, there is nothing complicated to read, the language is more like everyday words. It creates a bloody mental image with the paragraphs sharp words ” Throat” “Cut” “Blood” “Pool” “Razor”, to mind it looks like a story for a movie. There was no build up to the situation; it is just the way that Uncle George found the Indian. The paragraph read out, is fast paced due to the varied action words above, lacking descriptive adjectives that could slow it down.
The ending of the Indian Camp is a strange ending, ” In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die. ” Ernest Hemmingway creates a simple effect. I feel the ending has an element of ambiguity like this, to make the reader ponder and think about what Nick is trying to say. It leaves the reader pondering several interpretations in their mind. He could suggest he will never die, because his Father is with him who is a safe surgeon, or after viewing of what he saw of the operation, he felt safe if he had to go for an operation.
The fact is we would never know, which keeps the beauty in the simple effect. Comparing the stories, they are two very different stories in terms of language, sentence structure, beginnings and endings. The language is completely different in terms of complexity with To Build a Fire far more complex than Indian Camp. The Sentence structure is far longer in To Build a Fire than The Indian Camp, the beginning and endings to say the least is different in its own way and the tone is different with the Indian Camp, being fast dues to its simple words and To Build a Fire, slower due to more complex words.
London’s language contains similes and metaphors richer in description of places, people and events. Hemmingway pushes the action story to its limit. He takes it as far as he can by allowing the action to drive the story. Hence the ambiguity, as he can’t explain the thoughts, feelings or beliefs, when he hasn’t allowed himself that option from the start. In conclusion, the storywriters have completely different styles in terms of writing a story. The feature, similar in both books are both sets of characters enter a strange world, with the characters trying to adjust to their location, using any means possible.
Desperation from the man to survive and desperation to keep Nick away from the shocking observations, loneliness in a place not many foreigners go to, inquisition to himself (the man) and from Nick and reservations from the man about not having a partner with him and reservations on Nick coming. The mere fact is, if this were not a foreign place, the individuals would not be as circumspect as they were then. Actions are the key features of both stories. Moreover the authors describe to us vividly a world that we will never experience.
If the man thought of his action and went with a partner, would he be dead? If Nick’s father did not bring Nick along, would Nick have been introduced to poverty, operations or suicide? This just proves that if you think hard before you act, all will be successful in which neither responsible characters did. The most comparable factor is the language, of the weather is mentioned. Indian Camp is dark and gloomy and To Build a Fire is exceedingly cold and grey. This truly outlines the writer’s intentions, to build a lonely approach on the basis of descriptive words.