“The worst, he said, were the women with dead babies. You couldn’t get the women to give up their dead babies. They’d have babies dead for six days. Wouldn’t give them up. Nothing you could do about it”
E. Hemingway. In Our Time. “On the Quai at Smyrna”. New York: Scribner. 2003. Print. p.11
This passage depicts the relationship of mothers and their children. It is both a horrifying and a loving portrayal about mothers and their babies. It is horrifying because they are holding onto the body of their babies that no longer live; however, it is also loving because they cannot separate from the beings they gave life to. This was an interesting passage because it suggest such a strong bond between mothers and their children.
“”But her screams are not important. I don’t hear them because they are not important.”
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. “Indian Camp.”New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. Print. pp 16.
Hemingway seems to almost be suggesting through the dialogue of the father that certain things are more important than others which might very well even apply with his writing. The very fact that he (Hemingway/unknown narrator) switches back and forth from calling the character father and doctor suggests importance since they could have stayed consistent throughout the story.
“Nick said nothing. The liquor had all died out of him and left him alone. Bill wasn’t there. He wasn’t sitting in front of the fire or going fishing tomorrow with Bill and his dad or anything. He wasn’t drunk. It was all gone. All he knew was that he had once had Marjorie and that he had lost her. She was gone and he had sent her away. That was all that mattered. He might never see her again. Probably he never would. It was all gone, finished.”
Hemingway, Ernest. “The Three-Day Blow”. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print. p.47.
Hemingway’s usage of words such as “might” and “probably” in the last few sentences call into question the theme of finality that is being presented by the narrator. Also a sense of disconnection from reality is presented in the quote by the succinct sentences stating things known as truths in the plot (the fact that Nick was drunk) to be untruthful.
He pulled back the blanket from the Indian’s head. His hand came away wet. He mounted on the edge of the lower bunk with the lamp in one hand and looked in. The Indian lay 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 hand rested on his left arm. The open razor lay, edge up, in the blankets.
Hemingway, Ernest. “Indian Camp.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 18. Print.
Hemingway, throughout his stories, has a style where almost every single line is written without emotion or judgment of the situation that is occurring. In this passage, a suicide is described, but we are never given an expression of horror, or any expression at all. Perhaps the idea is to simply accept what is being described or to feel the horror without the assistance of any character depicting it for us.
She [Henry’s wife] was a Christian Scientist.Her Bible, her copy of Science and Health and her Quarterly were on a table beside her bed in the darkened room.
Her husband did not answer. He was sitting on a bed now, cleaning a shotgun. He pushed the magazine full of the heavy yellow shells and pumped them out again. They were scattered on the bed.
Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 25-26. Print.
The subtle clash between these two characters highlights Hemingway’s terse writing style: Henry’s wife is a Christian scientist, thus she is against her husband’s medical work. In contrast, we have Henry, a symbol of masculinity characterized by his silence on the subject of Dick’s anger and his wielding of a shotgun.
“‘Oh, Daddy, can’t you give her something to make her stop screaming?’ asked Nick” (Hemingway 16)
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print.
That quote emphasizes that Nick is still a youth and that him being exposed to the pains and sufferings of labor scares him. The screams indicate his fear as well as he tells his father to make the woman stop screaming. Kids hate watching people suffer and that is the case with Nick; therefore, he is still a young kid who is being exposed to the harsh sufferings of the world. This story shows the reflection of a youth becoming slowly exposed to the harsh realities to life as he watches the woman in labor and the man commit suicide. The questions and statements he makes all reflect his growing up.
“You didn’t mind the women who were having babies as you did those with the dead ones” (Hemingway 12)
Heminway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Simon ad Schrustern Inc.
This statement seems like an obvious belief, however, it being said this way brings us closer to the character saying it.