The short story Indian Camp was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1924, and takes place in the US in an Indian camp. The story revolves around a main character who comes into contact with experience and knowledge that the protagonist did not previously know. The text maintains a rite of passage of a father-son relationship.
The protagonist in Indian Camp is Nick Adams, a young man, who provides a perspective on Hemingway himself.
Firstly the story indicates that Nick and his father “got in the stern of the boat” and then “crossed over” from one area to another by use of water. The story deals with the transition from being a child to becoming an adult.
Nick Adams is around 10/11 years, and he goes from being a child to becoming an adult, which indicates that this is a story about growing up. The water Nick crosses corresponds to his travel from child to adult, but it also symbolizes the circle of life from birth to death. Nick experiences the beginning and end of life.
“This lady is going to have a baby, Nick” his father said, “I know” Nick answered, “you don’t know” his father said. Nick sees a child being born, his father (the doctor) continuously describes what happens during the birth.
Young Nick experiences what any young boy at his age would find disturbing and transgressive. Shortly after the birth, Nick is witnes to a suicide, the husband of the woman who just gave birth has killed himself, he observes the mans blood and his restless body, Nick then asks his father “is dying hard, daddy”.