Hemingway: Big Two-Hearter River

Essay by nadyastoyanovaCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2005

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 19 times

Human vs. Harmony

In his collection "In Our Time" Hemingway deals with the problem of war. A senseless act of human cruelty, it can be dangerous enough to ruin what the human civilization has been creating and accumulating throughout the centuries for a month, a week, even a couple of days. In "Big Two-Hearted River," however, the author emphasizes on the fact that there is still one thing that unlike all temporary human creations could resist time innocent and respectful--the eternal nature. Nick, the main character in the short story, who has faced the human attempts to change the world around them by force and destruction, has come back to nature with the knowledge and willingness to appreciate its calm harmony and eternal cycle of life. As a fisherman, Nick is greatly moved by the place he has been fishing and all the experience related to the fishing itself.

In the very beginning of the first part of the story the author gives the full picture of the remains of a town, which is completely burned and erased from the face of the earth. It seems that the landscape corresponds to the war that Nick has just come from. Everything is burned, even "the surface has been burned off the ground"(133). Strange to think about human progress when a single ignition can cause everything to disappear in a few seconds. It seems that what is left is "nothing but the rails" and the "foundations of the Mansion House hotel"--two sad signs of great ideas. Having transportation throughout the big wilderness that would connect people and make their isolation less unbearable and providing a boarding house, initially a symbol of hospitality are two of the greatest contributions of the human progress. Unfortunately, with their destructive nature, people tend...