not the main character. In some cases, he does not even appear in the story at all.
Additionally, the stories are not in a chronological order. It goes back and forth between
Nick’s boyhood, to scenes of war, to stories of relationships and bullfights. This makes it
easy for the book to be accepted as a fragmented novel.
However, despite the arguments about structure provided by Moddelmog and
Brogan, both scholars fail to acknowledge the key message Hemingway tries to prove
through his book. He portrays a lot of scenes revolving around war through the graphic
short stories and vignettes as well as the characterization of Nick Adams. Without a
doubt, it is clear that Nick Adams is a young boy in the opening stories. In “Indian
Camp”, Nick goes to an Indian camp with his father who performs a C-section on a
pregnant lady. The dialogue between Nick and his father make it clear that Nick is still
naïve, and is unaware about life and death. After the Indian woman has her baby, her
husband commits suicide and Nick experiences death for the first time. He asks, “‘is
dying hard, Daddy?’” (Hemingway 19). Shortly after they leave, as his father is rowing
away from the camp, “[Nick] felt quite sure that he would never die” (Hemingway 19).
The feeling of immortality that Nick briefly experiences is juvenile and shows that he is
not at a mature age. Even the environment he surrounded by shows how Nick would have
the feeling of immortality, “The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass jumped, making
a circle in the water…It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning (Hemingway 19).
Aside from the violence he just experienced, this serene setting, with a new day starting,
gives Nick the impression that nothing could ever go wrong. Further in Hemingway’s
novel, he depicts an image of Nick actually in war and introduces very graphic scenes
describing it. In one of the vignettes, named “Chapter VI”, Nick was physically hurt,