March 2, 2008
The Indian Camp by Ernest Hemingway is a strong and meaningful story but what is the overall meaning and significance? Nick’s experience stands, out to me as the overall theme of the story. After the suicide of the baby’s father and the birth of the baby, Nick questions death and even life. The events brought out a side of Nick that made him have a new outlook on the world.
The boat ride is an important element of the story, and displays Nick’s observations through the boat ride. For example, when Nick is riding in the boat, he could see Uncle George giving the two Indians cigars. It shows the way business is done between men which contributes to Nick’s learning experience. During the last bits of the story, Nick is riding with his father and he notices a bass jumping out of the water: “A bass jumped, making a circle in the water. Nick trailed his hand in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning” (4). The bass is symbolic of a new beginning when he dips his hand in the water a connection to himself and the fish. Maybe it’s a right of passage and the beginning of something new, allowing him to see the world in a new light.
Nick’s father is having a hard time explaining things that Nick doesn’t want to hear, and has no interest. A strong example of this incident is when Nick’s father, who is a doctor, is trying to explain where babies come from. Nick responds with a simple “I know” but his father rebuts: “You do not know” (2). At the beginning of this, Nick really does not seem to care about the whole situation saying that being his father’s interne is “All right” (2) But as time passes, he displays a sense of interest asking numerous questions like “Do ladies have such a hard time having babies?” and even “Do many women commit suicide?” (4). This shows Nick’s willingness to question the world and he is beginning his transition in to manhood. Seeing the world change...