Tag Archives: death

Beautiful sumnation…

“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.” (19)

Hemingway, Ernest. “Indian Camp” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 19. Print.

This last sentence is such an effective and powerful usage of minimalism. The final repetition of the early time of day speaks to the new beginning of life and learning. Sitting in the stern while his father rows seems to suggest that while he has learned a valuable lesson, he is still not far enough along that he can guide himself forward. This is further evidenced by his feelings of immortality, something that is present in us all at such a young age.

A Little Affair

“‘Ought to have a look at the proud father. They’re usually the worst sufferers in these little affairs,’ […] He pulled the blanket away from the Indian’s head. His hand came away wet. […] The Indian lay with his face toward the way. 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” (18).

The doctor makes a statement that  generally fathers cannot stand to watch a Caesarian being performed on their wives, and that they experience great pain just by witnessing the event, but then he discovers that the father who was seemingly calm could not bear to live. I think it is interesting how a birth and a death occur in the same room and within minutes of one another. The language used in this passage is “matter of the fact” because there is nothing poetic or flowery about the Indian’s suicide. I thought it was interesting how Nick and Uncle George had names but the Indian characters did not. This may suggest that the “little affair” that occurred in the shanty that night was not unique to that couple. Other Indian fathers had committed suicide, or more generally speaking, other Indians had been suffering.

Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 18. Print.

Invincible

“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”

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print.

How interesting that through the entire section it is about birth and the terror that comes from it. And through it all, he felt that this miracle made him invincible. He would never leave this world, he would always remain free and alive.

The Experience of Death

“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary” (Conrad 178).

Conrad, Joseph, and Cedric Watts. “The Heart of Darkness: Part III.” Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Rev. ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

This passage stands as an example of why this story is a modern piece. There is perhaps no better way to explain the reality of death. Conrad explains death as it is in this passage and ultimately, that is nothing very spectacular. This is also an example of delayed specification of referents because he takes so long to tell you that death is not virtuous or exciting. He actually never says those words but that’s what he’s getting at, he just takes so long to explain death.