The Story Line Nick and his father with Uncle George went to an Indian camp to practice medicine Inside on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman who was being in labor Nick witnessed his father performed a surgery with his big kettle without any anaesthetic on the pregnant
The Story Line The husband of the Indian woman couldn’t bear the torture that his wife was undergoing, so he cut his throat from ear to ear The dialogue between Nick and his father revealed the importance of death
Analysis Medical Ethic "Oh, Daddy, can't you give her something to make her stop screaming?" asked Nick. "No. I haven't any anaesthetic," his father said. "But her screams are not important. I don't hear them because they are not important."
"That's one for the medical journal, George," he said. "Doing a Caesarian with a jack-knife and sewing it up with nine-foot, tapered gut leaders."
Life and Death "Is dying hard, Daddy?" "No, I think it's pretty easy, Nick. It all depends."
Main characters Nick Adams Nick’s father (Dr. Adams) Uncle George Supporting roles: The young Indian lady (give birth to a baby) The husband (suicide) The young Indian (assistant)
Nick Adams a leading role Nick represents young Hemingway?
Compare these two parts we find that New born baby: (should be happy) Nick never looked at it. (Nick os: wow it’s so hard and terrible!) Suicide husband: (should be horrible) Nick saw it clearly. (Nick os: Ah! That seems fast and easy!)
Nick’s father (the doctor) Being "professionally cool" Based on Hemingway's own father, Clarence Hemingway He cared nothing about the woman’s pain scary and ironic
Uncle George (Nick’s uncle) a shady character Did he hold some secrets or scare?
Uncle George (Nick’s uncle) Why did Uncle George keep looking at his arm? Where did he go? Was it fear? Or something else? Difficult situation Skeptics...
Skeptics talk about Uncle George Later when he started to operate Uncle George and three Indian men held the woman still. She bit Uncle George on the arm and Uncle George said, "Damn squaw bitch!" and the young Indian who had rowed Uncle George over laughed at him.
Across the bay they found the other boat beached. Uncle George was smoking a cigar in the dark. The young Indian pulled the boat way up on the beach. Uncle George gave both the Indians cigars.
squaw bitch a sign of intimacy ? cigars giving of cigars by the father of a newborn baby ? Also stays behind after the birth. Uncle George is the father of the baby?
Race The white (the doctor) civilized, scientific, secure, and rational side of life The Indian camp dark, primitive, irrational side of life
Racial discrimination 1.There is no help given by Nick’s father or uncle in rowing the boat 2.Uncle George gave Indians cigars. Cigar means a hand-out given by white people 3.Images of darkness and dirtiness are used to explain the condition of the Indian camp
4.Doing a Cassarian with a jack- knife and sewing it up with nine- foot, tapered gut leader 5.Dr.Adam felt exalted and talkative as football players are in dressing room after a game To sum up, the whole story shows the Supermacism to such an extent
Contrast A short story covers through life and death Newborn → Mother suffering between life and death → Father suicide
Initially Recognizing Initiated to the adult world of childbirth and death, curious and confused Partial recognition—know death is “easy” but neglect that giving birth is difficult
Death Which is easier, life or death? Is the father’s death meaningless? Mother’s painful screaming. Doctor’s indifference →father’s death Nick’s partial recognition →death is easy and he would never die by such means