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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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