In the Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway a young boy by the name of Nick Adams goes through his life’s tribulations slowly learning and experiencing new things. Nick Adams is a young boy that is very naïve and still has many things to learn before he is considered a true man. Contained in these stories are the experiences that Nick goes through, helping him understand many topics and ideas such as: life, death, and relationships.
In the story of the Indian Camp nick has his first experience. In this story Nick learns about life and death. In the Indian camp a young Indian woman is giving birth to a child and Nick’s dad is dedicated to performing as a doctor by helping the woman with her birth. Nick decides to go along with his father. The birth was a very brutal process, with only a pen knife and fishing leader and with no anesthesia for the woman, it was hard not to be. In the process of the woman giving birth, the husband of the woman could not bear the pain he was feeling for his wife and decided to cut his throat. Nick witnessed life and death first hand in this story. Nick who has observed the proceedings asks, “Is dying hard, Daddy? Nick learns that giving birth to a child is a very grueling task and that death can come very easy to any man or woman without much effort.
Another experience of death that Nick encounters is in the story of The Killers. Nick decided to go into a local café to get something to eat, and before he knew it he was caught up in a deadly affair that threatened his life. Two thugs came into the cafeteria and wanted to kill a man by the name of Ole Anderson, a Swedish man. Nick was soon part of the crime. The thugs kept him there because he was a witness to the scene. The thugs just planned to kill him as soon as they popped off Ole. Gladly Ole never showed up and nothing happened, but this was an experience that Nick would never forget. It showed him that death was not something that had to be at his fault in any way, shape or form. It was just something that everyone had to deal with in their every day lives, and even at all costs could not be avoided.
Nick is very inexperienced when it comes to relationships with the other sex. He begins to understand this topic in the story of The End Of Something. Nick takes a girl by the name of Marjorie fishing by the shore of the bay. Once the two were done fishing they stopped at the shore and lit a fire. As they sat and watched the moon rise Nick began to get frustrated with Marjorie and how she just had to know everything. At this time Nick decided to break the relationship with Marjorie and not to continue between them. This taught Nick how to cope with the loss of a relationship and it also taught him when it is time to let go of a relationship.
Nick and his friend Bill experience a strong relationship in the story of The Three Day Blow. Nick and bill just start out with basic conversation about various books and sports players and soon are getting into more deep talk about women and love relationships with the other sex. During this whole conversation they are drinking and having fun and decide to get really drunk. Nick learns that nothing is more important than a good friend that he can ask questions and tell anything, someone that is there to support him in times of trouble.
Now that nick has been through these experiences, he now can better understand life, death, and relationships to a much fuller extent. He now has much more of knowledge to these topics and can apply them to his life in many ways. We all have a lack of experience in one area or another holding us back from something, but it is experience that feeds the knowledge of the topics that we encounter in everyday life.