I read a short story by Ernest Hemingway “Indian Camp”.
Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist, one of the famous authors of XX century. His well-known books are: The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms, The Garden of Eden, For Whom the Bell Tolls, etc.
This is a story about a little boy Nick, his father and Uncle George. They arrive to an Indian camp to help a young Indian woman. She cannot have a baby and her screams are awful. Nick's father is a doctor and he will help her. He explains the situation to Nick and shows him, what he does. The boy is interested. The woman’s husband is lying in the same room, because he had cut his foot very badly. After a successful operation Nick cannot endure this sight: he don’t like to be an interne. Suddenly, Nick's father sees that the women’s husband cut his throat. Father takes away the child. Nick asks a lot of questions about this death. Finally, he thinks that he is sure that ...view middle of the document...
He doesn’t cry and he’s very quiet, his first question: “Do ladies always have such a hard time having babies?” To my mind, Nick is too little to understand what really the death is: “he felt quite sure that he would never die”. Also the author shows the difference between different men, their perception of the childbirth. The Indian man kills himself, he cannot stand woman’s suffering. Nick says: “Oh, Daddy, can’t you give her something to make her stop screaming?”; “Nick did not watch. His curiosity had been gone for a long time”. Finally, Nick’s father says: “her screams are not important…”. And at that moment “The husband in the upper bunk rolled over against the wall”.
I think one of ideas of that short story is: children and adults perceive differently the world and some situations. Children aren’t yet hard-hearted, they are more sensible. But there are some adults witches remain the same sensible. Moreover, I think, this is a story about equilibrium in the life: one is born, and other is dead.
I think, Nick’s father is a experienced doctor: “Doing a Caesarian with a jack-knife and sewing it up with nine-foot, tapered gut leaders”. He loves his son: “Nick lay back with his father’s arm around him”; “Take Nick out of the shanty”. To my mind, he wants to awake Nick’s interest in medicine, he always explains to him all events: “This lady is going to have a baby…” . Father is sorry that he took Nick with him: “I’m terribly sorry… It was an awful mess…”.
Unfortunately, we don’t see descriptions of Uncle George. But there are some phrases, demonstrating, to my mind, that this character had some relationship with Indians:
“She bit Uncle George… and he said, “Damn squaw bitch! And the young Indian laughed at him”
“Uncle George looked at his arm. The young Indian smiled reminiscently”.
The epithets are widespread in “Indian Camp”:
Lady … sick, The young Indian, An old woman, Pale, a great man etc.
There is a comparison: “he was feeling exalted and talkative as football players are in the dressing room after a game”
To summer up, I liked this short story. First of all, the end is unexpected. And also, the author’s brevity and clearness, and at the same time the profundity of his ideas are impressive.