Reading the first paragraphs of this short story, one could easily say that they are but a description helping to create a plausible context for the understanding of the story.
However, more than understanding the contrast between the world of the Adamses and the Indian camp as a way to describe “the origins of a bitter racial conflict between Native and white American” (Strychacz 61), or to announce the representation of “a male to male rivalry, white male against Indian male” (Lovell Strong 30), this opposition is to be regarded in terms of its symbolic significance.
By representing these white people in the Indian Camp, Hemingway is confronting them with a world different from theirs, a world bereft of its modern disguise, revealing hence the nakedness of human truth.
To make their stories attractive to readers, authors usually map out their writings with climactic events, organized in such a way as to create a reality effect for the readers to believe that their metaphorical representations of the world and the men who live in it are plausible and that the actions they describe follow one another in a chronological course of time.
If Hemingway’s simple prose gives the impression that his short stories can be easily understood, his plots do not follow a classical pattern of events.
In other words, as Hemingway’s writing contains no evaluative terms to indicate his own personal judgment, one could mistakenly decide to rely only on the reality effect produced by this author’s short stories to understand their meaning.
N Camp By Ernest Hemingway Essay Article Review Essay Introduction
However, even if it seems that Hemingway’s neutral descriptions only serve to describe the outer world, seemingly with no structural role in the unfolding of the narrative’s truth, one will come to realize, on the contrary, that they are elements essential to the creation of the poetical dimension of this author’s short stories, a poetical structure through which one is to discover Hemingway’s desire to reveal the individual’s odyssey through life, or, in the case of “Indian Camp,” the beginning of a young boy’s journey through existence.
Hence, as one will see through the study of “Indian Camp,” the discordant events of life Hemingway seems to describe stand as the different metaphors constituting the writer’s organized poetical narrative, revealing the whole, or what Lacanian psychoanalysis defined as the real,1 from which man is born but has to exit if he wants to The first part of “Indian Camp” describes Nick Adams, his father, Uncle George, and two Indians crossing a lake to reach an Indian camp where Nick’s father, Dr.
Adams, is to help an Indian woman to have her baby.
To signify the rupture Nick is to experience, or the beginning of the poetical journey the latter is to accomplish, the narrator creates what one could call a mirror structure between the world of Nick, his father and uncle, and the Indian camp, a mirror structure the reflective aspect of the lake establishes.
In the same way as Alice passes through the mirror in , Hemingway brings Nick to enter a world which resembles his, stripped of its disguise of modernity: the Indian camp’s aspect, as one may imagine, being devoid of the modern world’s attributes.