“If it had just been me when Cash fell off of that church and if it had just been me when pa laid sick with that load of wood fell on him, it would not be happening with every bastard in the country coming in to stare at her because if there is a God what the hell is He for. It would just be me and her on a high hill and me rolling the rocks down the hill at their faces, picking them up and throwing them down the hill faces and teeth and all by God until she was quiet and not that goddamn adze going One lick less. One lick less and we could be quiet”
Faulkner, William. “As I Lay Dying”. New York. The Modern Library Edition. 2000. p.15 Print.
This passage portrays the narration of Jewel, who seems to be especially more attached to his mother. He is bothered by the fact that Cash is making his mother’s coffin where she can “see” it. He does not want everyone to be with his mother and just wishes to be alone with her. Faulkner uses specific terms to portray his frustration and writes the sentence in ways to portray just how much he was attached to his mother.
“Is dying hard, Daddy?” “No, I think it’s pretty easy, Nick. It all depends.”
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print.
The conversation between the boy and his father was a compelling and moving moment in the short story, “Indian Camp.” After witnessing the death and suicide of an Indian Man, the son asks his father if death is hard, and his response was vague, but profound. Death is easy but life is difficult. I believe that was what the Doctor was trying to explain to his son. It is more challenging and arduous to face your problems and fears and overcoming them than it is to simply just quit or run away. The brief conversation between the pair I believe was what made the short narrative something special.
“Dick Boulton looked at the doctor. Dick was a big man. He knew how big a man he was. He liked to get into fights. He was happy. Eddy and Billy Tabeshaw leaned on their canthooks and looked at the doctor. The doctor chewed the beard on his lower lip and looked at Dick Boulton. Then he turned away and walked up the hill to the cottage. They could see from his back how angry he was. They all watched him walk up the hill and go inside the cottage” (Kindle edition – no page numbers given).
Throughout “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife” Hemingway places an important role on masculinity and its effect on relationships. Dick Boulton’s pride causes an altercation between him and the doctor, whereas the doctor’s pride causes an altercation between him and his wife. This theme seems to be reoccurring throughout the plot and it is clear the the doctor’s son chooses his father’s side by the end of the narrative over his mother’s, demonstrating a continuation of this mindset.
Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. Print.
“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.