Saturday, July 20, 2019
Indian Camp and Soldiers Home Young Women as Objects Essay -- essays p
Indian Camp and Soldiers Home Young Women as Objects In Ernest Hemingway's short stories "Indian Camp" and "Soldier's Home," young women are treated as objects whose purpose is either reproduction or pleasure. They do not and cannot participate to a significant degree in the masculine sphere of experience, and when they have served their purpose, they are set aside. They do not have a voice in the narrative, and they represent complications in life that must be overcome in one way or another. While this portrayal of young women is hardly unique to Hemingway, the author uses it as a device to probe the male psyche more deeply. *Paragraph Break*"Indian Camp" opens with an all-male convoy of rowboats heading across the lake, with young Nick, his doctor father and his Uncle George off to see an "Indian lady [who is] very sick." As they disembark on the other side and follow a young Indian bearing a lantern to the camp where childbirth is taking place, the men's guiding interest is not in the mother-to-be as a person, but in her physiology as a case study. When they find her screaming in bed, Nick's father dehumanizes her by saying: "[Her] screams are not important. I don't hear them because they are not important." *Paragraph Break*Bitten by the young woman during labor pangs, Uncle George reacts instinctively: "Damn squaw bitch!" She is not seen as a co-participant with the men overseeing the birth. Instead, she is merely an object they are operating on, a "bitch" soon to whelp her pup, so to speak. The "studied control of the father and doctor as rational man" (DeFalco 30), a carefully constructed pose, stands in contrast to the young woman's inarticulate helplessness in childbirth. The likening of the docto... ...on to leave behind his hometown with its plethora of beauties underscores his view of young women as inconsequential objects of pleasure. *Paragraph Break*Both "Indian Camp" and "Soldier's Home" place young women in a secondary, objectified role. Hemingway takes this approach to focus attention on the psyches of his male protagonists, self-obsessed in their youth or war-weariness. It may not endear the author to feminist readers, but it does make for some powerful short fiction. Bibliography: 1.DeFalco, Joseph. The Hero in Hemingway's Short Stories. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963. 2.Flora, Joseph M. Ernest Hemingway: A Study of the Short Fiction. G.K. Hall & Co., 1989. 3.Westbrook, Max. "Grace under Pressure: Hemingway and the Summer of 1920." Ernest Hemingway: The Writer in Context. Ed. James Nagel. University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.