Three Shots and Indian Camp
Devin Westfall Professor Peter Faziani English 151 October 15, 2012 Hemingway’s Nick Adams “Three Shots” and “Indian Camp” In Hemingway’s Nick Adams “Three Shots” and “Indian Camp” Nick goes through some changes in his life. He goes from being scared that someday he must die to feeling quite sure that he will never die. In the short story “Three Shots” Nick, his father, and his uncle are camping and Nick remembers with shame how he had gotten scared thinking about how he would die one day when he was alone. His father and uncle go fishing after supper leaving Nick all alone at the camp site.
He tried to lay still and go to sleep but he couldn’t all he could think about is that someday he must die it started to make him feel quite sick. “Before they shoved the boat out his father told him that if any emergency came up while they were gone he was to fire three shots with the rifle and they would come right back. ” Nick ended up calling his father and uncle by firing three shots up in the air with the rifle his father had left him, this had made his uncle frustrated by thinking that Nick was a coward; his father on the other hand more understands then his uncle.
When his father and uncle return his father ask him “what was it Nickie? ” He lies and tells his father that he had heard an animal outside the tent he was too ashamed to tell his father the truth. In the short story “Indian Camp” Nick accompanies his father, who is a Doctor, and his uncle to an Indian camp, to help a young Indian women she had been trying to give birth to her child for two days due to complications. Nicks father ends up having to perform a caesarian to recover the women’s child. Oh, daddy, can’t you give her something to make her stop screaming? Asked nick” Nick becomes frightened by the women’s screams and does not want to watch his father perform the surgery on the Indian women. Nicks father had been told that the baby’s father had hurt himself in an ax accident a few days before and he goes to take a look at him and finds that the baby’s father had actually killed himself by slitting his throat from one end to another.
Nicks father tries to keep him from seeing what had happened to the man but it was too late he had already seen what had happened. Nicks father feels awful for bringing him along and putting him through everything he had seen that day. As they are leaving the camp Nick and his father discuss suicide and death. “Why did he kill himself, daddy? ” Nicks father didn’t know the answer to his question he told him he didn’t know and that maybe it was because he couldn’t stand things, Nick then asks “is dying, hard daddy? His father tells him no its not and that he thinks it’s pretty easy, Nick then felt quite sure that he would never die. In conclusion Hemingway’s Nick Adams “Three Shots” and “Indian Camp” both change Nick throughout each story in different ways. He goes from being scared of dying someday to feeling quite sure that he would never die. In “Three Shots” it shows a conflict between nicks immaturity and his realization that all life eventually come to an end. In “Indian Camp” it shows life and death, Nick is no longer afraid of death.