I am currently reading In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway, I love the way he wrote the book, because each chapter is an individual mini-story, but they all tie into each other. I also like how he put a short clip of memories before each story, and I like to figure out how they connect to the actual story. Below I have written my thoughts about each story so, enjoy:)
This was a confusing story. One minute an Indian woman has a baby boy, and the next the father slit his throat on the upper bunk bed. I had to re-read that section, because I thought I skipped a page or something. Also there was the doctor’s son in the picture who couldn’t have been older than 12. I can only imagine what a 12 year old would feel like in that situation, I would be really scared! The story also had a unique view on life and death. To see birth and death in that short period really makes you think about how fragile life really is.
The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife:
I have come to the conclusion after reading two of Hemingway’s stories that you have to really focus or else you won’t understand what is going on at all. In this story Hemingway covered stealing and what sounded like anger issues. The “Doctor” seems to have a strict moral code and that to even thinking about cutting up fallen lumber that wasn’t his seemed extremely wrong. So wrong that the “Doctor” became very angry with Dick that it almost became violent. The wife seemed to be worried that something would happen to her husband or worse he would do something. I thought that it was interesting that the husband wouldn’t really open up about what was wrong, and that he seemed to have lied to her. I wonder where Hemingway got the motivation to write this chapter? Did he maybe experience something like this himself? I guess he is the only that really knows and we are all left guessing.
The End of Something:
This chapter/story kinda talked about romance. In the beginning of the story it talks about an abandoned factory or section of town and how it became that way but then in my eyes it just kind of switched topics half way through, so in the end the story seemed like it was talking about romance. I felt like Nick was breaking up with Marjarie, which is interesting because I didn’t see that they had a huge connection before. So maybe he was just telling a friend off. Whatever it was I got this feeling/thought that led me to the idea, that like in movies guys never understand a girls emotions, or understand girls. I think that Hemingway carefully planned out the book, I just wish I knew why he put the stories in this order.
The Three Day Blow:
This story was almost a continuation of the last story. In this story Nick and his friend Bill were hanging out and talking. At first they were talking about common things like baseball and reading, but then they saw alcohol and decided that they wanted to get drunk. I thought that it was interesting how the boys were secretly thinking about how they wanted to be a responsible and smart drunk, while trying to make the other one seem foolish. This reminded me of movies about college and how they all just want to paryt and get drunk. As the story evolves the two boys begin to talk about Marjarie, who Nick just broke up with. Bill said something I thought was funny because you hear it so often with couples who are engaged or are looking to get engaged. Bill said something like: “Marrying Marjarie would be like marrying her whole family as well because it is a package deal.” I understood this is maybe even a joke which I know that Hemingway doesn’t often do.
The Battler was very intriguing by the way that Hemingway wrote the characters. I found it interesting that Nick seems to be in like the middle of nowhere and happens to run across a carved up, crazy guy (who admits that he knows that he is crazy). It almost sounded like the beginning of a horror movie. As the story goes on Nick meets Bugs who is friends with the crazy guy, although he is not crazy himself. It almost looks like Bugs is the crazy guy’s caretaker. I am still trying to figure out the point that Hemingway is trying to make, but I do know that he did talk about the consequences of fighting.
A Very Short Story:
The title says it all, I was surprised by what took place in this chapter. Nick was injured and ended up meeting another girl, Luz. They had planned to move to Chicago separately and get married later on. Which I thought was cute. But then near the end of the story they get in a fight before Nick leaves which makes things tense. The story ends with Nick contracting gonorrhea from a sales girl. I wonder if gonorrhea was going around when Hemingway wrote this, because it seems like such a random thing for Nick to get. I also wonder what Nick’s life would be like if he and Luz did end up getting married.
Wow, in the beginning it was really intense with all of the war stories. I found it interesting that he felt that he had to lie so that people would want to listen to him. I also though it was interesting that he felt like he needed a girl, but near the end he lost whatever motivation that he had. This makes me wonder what life is like for soldiers who come home from war. I know that my grandpa was in WW2 and he refused to tell anyone about the war up until the day he died. Afterwards we discovered a partially written memoir that he had started. War can really mess a person up, so I felt bad for Krebs when his parents kept putting pressure on him to find a girl and do something with his life. Which if you think about it he kinda already has.
Overall Hemingway has a very unique writing style, he is almost coarse in the way that he tells a story, and I wonder what his purpose for that is?