Tag Archives: hemingway

Father/Son Relationships in Indian Camp

“Do ladies always have such a hard time having babies?”

Throughout the vignette, Nick asks his father these types of questions, because Nick looks up to his father as a mentor and as someone who has most of the answers in life. Hemingway depicts the important bond between a father and son through these moments, where a son learns from watching his father. However, the Indian baby boy’s father takes his own life after his son is born. It is interesting to see the loss of the father/son dynamic that the vignette builds throughout.

Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 19. Print.

You refers to who? The audience or to someone else

“You remember the harbor. There were plenty of nice things floating around in it. That was the only time in my life I got so I dreamed about things. You didn’t mind the women who were having babies as you did those with the dead ones. They had them all right. Surprising how few of them died. You just covered them over with something and let them go to it.” (12).

Hemingway Ernest. In Our Time. New York. Scribner Paperback Fiction. 1958. p. 12

In this passage, the unidentified narrator identifies the readers as you by placing them into this image of the harbor and makes them think about the women who were having babies and it seems like the narrator wants the readers to be placed in he or she’s shoes in order to see what kind of life they were living back then, but it also gives us a sense of asking who is you I mean is it the audience he is referring it to or is it someone else an unidentified person that the narrator is directing this passage to and it gives a sense of ambiguity.

Hemingway’s hint of “home” compared to war culture?

“He was feeling exalted and talkative as football players are in the dressing room after a game.”

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. p18.

I thought that this comparison with the football players was very odd. It did not fit into the context of what seemed to be a very serious, warlike environment. Did Hemingway use this specific comparison to show how the people who were witnessing and experiencing war were regular people who used to be in the “football” culture back at home?

Characterization in “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.”

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.

Emotionless Prose

They shot the six cabinet ministers…There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard…One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. Two soldiers carried him downstairs and out into the rain…When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees.

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 1996.

Compared to the few readings prior to this one (Chapter V), Hemingway practically extracts and removes any form of emotion from this passage. The passage gives readers a small chill up their spine due to the realism that is perceived.


“She screamed just as Nick and the two Indians followed his father and Uncle George into the shanty. She lay in the lower bunk, very big under a quilt. Her head turned to one side. In the upper bunk was her husband. He had cut his foot very badly with an ax three days before. He was smoking a pipe. The room smelled very bad.”

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

This description of the room sounds a lot like a child making quick observations, when he entered the room. The reader gets an idea of what is going on, through the voice of the boy, Nick.

Being Vague

“The strange thing was, he said, how they screamed every night at midnight. I do not know why they screamed at that time. We were in the harbor and they were all on the pier and at midnight they started screaming. We used to turn the searchlight on them to quiet them. That always did the trick (11)”

I thought this passage seemed modern because of the vagueness of it all. The reader is given this situation without any context clues. The author does not say who “we” is or who “they” are. It is also a stream of consciousness, a train of thought coming from the speaker.


“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.