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Paper 2 - Final Draft

Of their own book depicting the growth of nick from

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of their own book depicting the growth of Nick from boyhood to war life and then to his post-war years. These small details all add to the larger debate of how Hemingway structured his novel and more importantly, why. The foundation of Moddelmog’s interpretation of In Our Time revolves around the argument of Nick Adams being the author of the stories and vignettes, similar to George Willard in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio being the writer described in the very first story “The Book of the Grotesque”. Moddelmog mentions how it was not Hemingway’s initial intention to make Nick the author in In Our Time ; however, because Nick and Hemingway share similar experiences, “turning [Nick] into the author of the
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3 Jung stories ex post facto required very little work” (Moddelmog 594). As she continually states in her essay, Hemingway only needed to make Nick a war veteran and a writer to make it plausible that he was the author of the stories and inter-chapters. If Nick in fact was the author of the novel, then the stories and vignettes would all be reflective of him and his mind whether they were real or not. Moddelmog argues that these stories are all memories or fragments of his imagination that are a consequence of his life experiences. Even the stories in which Nick Adams is not a central character have some relation to him – which is exemplified in greater detail in The Nick Adams Stories . She makes connections between the stories in The Nick Adams Stories and the ones in In Our Time that don’t mention Nick specifically. One convincing piece of evidence provided by Moddelmog of Nick being the author is in The Nick Adams Stories . Nick confesses that “‘His whole inner life had been bullfights all one year’ an obsession that explain why six of the fifteen chapters deal with that subject” (Moddelmog 595). Her connections between the stories about Nick and those that aren’t are very subtle, yet they add a different perspective on the novel as a whole. Moddelmog’s interpretation of Nick being the author allows her to make the argument that In Our Time is in fact a novel and not just a series of short stories. Additionally, Moddelmog goes into depth analyzing the last story of the novel, “Big Two-Hearted River” in an attempt to describe the psychological conditions of Nick and how that further proves he is the author of his stories. She sees Nick’s experience in the woods and fishing as way for him to escape all of the adult fears he experienced as a child. In “Indian Camp”, Nick had his first gruesome encounter with death. Shortly following that story, he experiences heartbreak. However, according to Moddelmog, all of these experiences directly reflect Hemingway, “The escape that [Nick]
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4 typically shows…is not a real option for Nick the writer. Nick’s fiction is [Hemingway’s] greatest effort to face life and himself” (Moddelmog 607). Making Nick the author of the stories allows Hemingway to unify his entire novel but also, “add[s] another layer of insulation between himself and the truths contained in his stories” (Moddelmog 609).
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