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A Whole Novel Or Many Short Stories, The Answer Is Ernest Hemingway Essay, Research Paper
Ernest Hemingway has written many books, which have heralded him as a great author, but there is one novel that seems to have questions swirling about it, In Our Time. In this novel the main character is in question, you are unable to tell right away whether the chapters/stories are linked together as a novel, or if they are all separate short stories. Having read the book, and having done a background check on Ernest Hemingway the person, it is apparent that the stories are linked together and have a main character, Nick Adams, that progresses as the novel moves along. The first example is the way the life of the main character, Nick Adam, mimics Hemingway?s own life. There are far too many similarities between Nick Adam?s life and Hemingway?s life. Second, in reading the book, the reader can see the way Nick Adams grows as a person. This is not only because there is a direct link between chapters, but also there is foreshadowing, and there are the same characters used throughout the book.
Ernest Hemingway?s In Our Time directly parallels Hemingway?s own life. The chapters are linked together in a way, though they are not linked through Nick Adams, who is the most mentioned character and is described the most in detail. The first section of stories is definitely linked, by the use of the same characters and the development of the characters. In some of the stories there are direct referrals to the previous story. As the reader reaches the middle of the book the connections start to diminish. The characters change, but the stories still follows Hemingway?s own life. It is as if the reader is following Nick, but in an indirect method. Nick is the same person, simply with a different name: such as Kreb, Mr. Elliot, and he. Many of the chapters have the pronoun ?he? as opposed to an actual name. Towards the end of the book, the story refers back to the character Nick, and his development. This development again follows Hemingway?s own life, and his healing from such things as being a participant in World War I.
There are many parallels to Hemingway?s life and his main character?s development. First in ?Indian Camp? chapter one, we are introduced to Nick Adams and his father. They are on a boat going to an Indian camp to operate on a woman who cannot deliver her baby. The simple connection to Hemingway?s life is that his father was a doctor, Dr. Clarence Hemingway. In ?Indian Camp? you see other connection between Nick and his father, in real life Hemingway definitely had a connection with his
Father. It has also been documented that Hemingway?s father taught Ernest to fish and hunt. And in the book Nick?s ability to fish, shown in the story ?The End of Something?, which he was taught by his father.
The next main point occurs in ?The End of Something,? the setting for this story takes place on Hortons Bay. In Hemingway?s life his parents had a summerhouse on Hortons Bay. Hemingway just placed part of his own life into the book; this is merely a prime example of the similarities of living between the character Nick and Hemingway?s own life. There are more direct references to Hemingway?s own life. In ?Soldier?s Return,? the main character is Kreb. In the story, Kreb returns from World War I in the summer of 1919, and is soon pressured by his parents to do something with his life. Now in Hemingway?s life he returned from World War I in January of 1919, and was pressured by his parent to do something with his life. The examples and connections between Hemingway?s life and the book grow.
Hemingway?s first wife was almost Fifteen years older than he was. This parallels the book once again, ?Mr. and Mrs. Elliot?, in this story they are newly weds, Mr. Elliot is twenty-five, and Mrs. Elliot is forty years old. In the next chapter we meet another couple, unnamed, a man and his wife. In this chapter the man and wife seem to have a lackluster relationship; the husband does not notice the wife all that much. It can be concluded that their relationship is deteriorating from when they first got married. This is like Hemingway?s life, in the idea that Hemingway was married four times. The character?s relationship is either like Hemingway?s first or second marriage; both ended in divorce. It could be the first, but more likely it is Hemingway?s second marriage, because the character names in the book change.
In addition to the obvious written similarities, there are non-spoken connections between Hemingway and his book. The middle section of the book involves Kreb, and he talks about how he likes Europe, France and Germany especially. Also, the stories ?Mr. And Mrs. Elliot? and the ?Soldiers Return? take place in Europe. While in real life Hemingway liked Paris, France: the first thing he did when he got to Europe, as a soldier, was to go to Paris.
Though the obvious connection can be made between Hemingway and his characters in the book, there are definite and foreshadowed connections between chapters in the book. ?Indian Camp? and ?The Doctor and the Doctor?s Wife? have connections such as the main characters involved, the setting, and the attitudes of the characters. In ?Indian Camp?, the main characters are Nick and his father. Nick is a young inquisitive boy, and his father is his guide, and a doctor. In the ?The Doctor and the Doctor?s Wife? Nick is young and questioning, and his father is still a doctor and he still guides Nick through his questions at the end on the chapter. Also, the setting is basically the same, except the place and time is slightly changed by a few days and the family is then at their house. Finally, the attitudes are the same between Nick and his father, their relationship does not change, and Nick?s father answers his questions and spends time with him.
The connection between chapters continues into the next chapters. Between ?The Doctor and the Doctor?s Wife? and ?The End of Something?, the setting is the same, as well as the character of Nick and his growth. The setting is the same in these two chapters, not the time, though there is less than a ten-year difference, the place is the same, Hortons Bay. In chapter two, Nick?s father has hired people to take the logs out of the bay after the mill closed down, and in chapter three Nick and Marjorie are rowing a boat in Hortons Bay and they are talking of it. Now the next connection is a little more vague. This being the growth of Nick, he is merely a few years older but his maturity is apparent, he is like his father. Nick has taken the role of the guide, like his father teaching him to fish he has taught Marjorie to fish, and like his father guiding him through his questions, he is guiding Marjorie through the bay.
Going to the next chapter there are more connections. In ?The End of Something? has the same characters as ?The Three Day Blow.? Also, the relationships are the same between the chapters. The characters in chapter three are Nick, Marjorie, and Bill. The same three characters can be found in chapter four. In chapter three Nick has a somewhat romantic relationship, while Nick and Bill have a confiding relationship, since they talk to one another. Now in chapter four, Nick and Bill talk the entire chapter, and Marjorie comes up and good feeling is had for how bad Nick feels to not have him in his life, you can see how important she was to him. Also, Nick?s development is still continuing and still can be seen. Nick is seeing what Marjorie meant to him, and he is growing.
Between ?The Three Day Blow? and ?The Battler? the connections are a little weak but they still exist. Nick is still the main character, and he is still growing. In ?The Three Day Blow? is Nick visiting Bill, and the feeling is that Nick does not really have a house, he is just kind of a drifter, shown by the fact that he has no socks. While in chapter five ?The Battler? Nick has just been beaten up in a train yard, where he is drifting. He ends up eating with two homeless men that are crazy, one more crazy than the other. But Nick still has no place in his life.
The next six chapters do not involve Nick at all. It is as if the reader goes away from Nick and reads about people who are living their lives, as Nick should. When we return to Nick, it is in Chapter twelve, ?Cross Country Snow? and Nick is skiing through heavy fluffy snow. He is with his friend George, while the story shows how Nick needs company and how he likes to be in the wilderness.
Throughout the book, there are certain themes that appear. Along with the themes in the book, the other idea throughout the story is the growth of Nick Adams. Nick starts out liking being outside with his dad, and wanting to be like his dad. As the stories go on you can see Nick taking on his father?s paternal instincts. The reader can see this when Nick guides Marjorie just as he was guided by his father in such areas as rowing the boat and teaching fishing techniques. As the book goes on you can see how Nick likes the outdoors and to be alone with the land, it just seems like he is a woodland man who treks though life. As the book goes on, Nick treks through chapters. It does not matter if it is through a train yard or though the woods, since Nick always seems to end up alone, and that is the way he likes it.
The development of Nick Adams is the development of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway grew through the love and nurturing that his father gave him, as did Nick Adams. Ernest Hemingway liked to be alone and liked the wilderness, as did Nick Adams. Hemingway has surprising effects to the war, as did Nick Adams; such as The growth from a boy to a mid twenty year old man is the same for Hemingway as he portrayed it in In Our Time, through Nick Adams.
In Our Time shows the progression of Nick Adams, which is apparent through the descriptions given in the chapter. In addition to the arguments that are stated in this paper, there are other opinions such as this. ?Hemingway meant there to be a controversy in this book, but you can definitely see a link throughout the book,? said by John DelVecchio, author of many book, such as the 13th Valley. Also a release by the University of Florida, David V. Gagne states, ?It?s sort of like a painting, if you could pick out nay one individual brush-stroke, you can view the painting in its entirety?. This merely furthers the adage that there is a connection between stories.
Nick Adams progression runs parallel to Hemingway?s own life. It is quite noticeable to see the progress of Nick Adams and to see how the real is linked to the fictional. Overall there is a limited argument that can be taken to say that the stories are separated, there is just too much information leading to the conclusion saying that stories are linked together.
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