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Manhood is a reoccurring theme in the short stories of Ernest Hemingway.

In these stories we wittiness Nick Adam’s viewpoint on what a man should be.

Nick’s sense of manhood is influenced by Nick, dealing with relationship,

interactions with other “men”, and the society which he lives in.

In the short story “The End of Something”, we witness Nick break up with a

girl that he loved deeply. We witness Nick depriving himself of the girl ,

Marjorie, simple because he wants to maintain his sense of manhood. “Isn’t

love fun anymore?” Marjore asks, to which Nick replies “No.” Nick is afraid

to show emotion, for he fears that he will loose his sense of manhood, cause

at the time, no real men would give into a women. However through the eyes

of the narrator we see Nick’s true emotions pour out, “The big thing was

that Marjorie was gone and that probably he would never see her again It

was all gone now”, Nick states in “The Three Day Blow.” Obviously Nick was

in love with her but because of fear of judgement of other men, and his

loose of dignity, he left her.

In the short story “The Three Day Blow”, we get a chance to see Nick

interact with another man his age, and try to prove there manhood to each

other. They start out by drinking, a very manly thing to do. Then they get

into talking about baseball, yet another manly topic. However the most

obvious example of these men and there manhood, is their discussion about

novel’s and their authors. Discussing the first novel “Forest Lovers”, Nick

criticizes the author for using a sword as a symbol of separation. “What I

couldn’t ever understand was what good the sword would do. It would have to

stay edge up all the time.” Nick is trying to prove to his friend that he

won’t give into the sentimental, and feminine themes in a book, fearing he

would loose his manliness. Although in contrast they discuss the novel

“Fortitude”, by Walpole, which is what they call “A real book.” It seems as

though the conversation shifts into who the better Man is, “Oh, he’s a

better guy all right But Walpole’s a better writer.” By bringing the topic

of “Who’s a better man” into the conversation, they convince themselves that

there no longer talking about who writes better, but rather, who’s a better


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