Essay 2 (Hemingway & Faulkner) - 1 Engl. 224, Sec. 19 Dr....

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1Engl. 224, Sec. 19Dr. Adam Gussow4/17/14Topic 2: “Indian Camp” and “Barn Burning”In the United States, the turn of the 20thcentury opened the door to a momentousperiod of transformation; just fifty years after the bloodiest conflict in our history, America founditself a key player in the First World War. This was a time of great uncertainty for the generationborn into it, and the unfamiliar challenges gave rise to new, difficult questions about life andidentity. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Indian Camp” and William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning,” twoyoung men in considerably different circumstances both look to their fathers for guidance as theyface challenges beyond their understanding. While both narratives demonstrate a coming of agestory for the boys involved, each is unique in the way that it presents their transformation intomanhood. In “Indian Camp,” a boy named Nick is calculatedly exposed to life’s harsh realitieswhen he follows his father’s footsteps into the realm of masculinity. In contrast, “Barn Burning”follows young Sartoris Snopes as he inadvertently rises to the occasion of manhood in order toescape a life controlled by his father’s violent actions. While these fathers used very differentmeans to achieve a similar result, both “Indian Camp” and “Barn Burning” substantiate theimportance of a masculine influence in the process of teaching a boy what it means to be a man.At the beginning of Hemingway’s story, young Nick “lay back with his father’s armaround him,” illustrating a close relationship between the two (Hemingway 15). Nick’s father,the doctor, brings the boy along to watch as he births an Indian woman’s child. When they reachtheir destination, they find the woman in labor inside being helped by older women, while themen have left to smoke “out of range of the noise she made” (Hemingway 16); it suggests that

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