Big Two Hearted River Analysis

1133 Words5 Pages
Big Two-Hearted River In the short story Big Two-Hearted River written by Ernest Hemingway a man named Nick attempts regain a positive mental state by isolating himself from the destructive aftermath of WWI by connecting with nature. Mark Cirino author of "Nick's Psychology of Mental Control," describes, "Mental control, a slippery concept in the philosophy of mind, describes when people “suppress a thought, concentrate on a sensation, inhibit an emotion, maintain a mood, stir up a desire, squelch a craving, or otherwise exert influence on their own mental states” (Mark, 116). Nick leaves for a camping trip somewhere in the woods of North Michigan searching for a way to restore his mental well-being and put this horrific ordeal behind…show more content…
Perhaps, bonding with nature, being in isolation and living off the land, would bring a sense of peace to his otherwise crazy mental state he was in. His journey begins in a deserted area of northern Michigan, where from a hilltop he can see a lake. There is no town, just a charred over country, this was all that was left of a town called Seney. Nick is hoping to leave behind his past of desperation to find a new rich, colorful life. On the way to the river, after leaving he train, he stops at a bridge to watch the trout in the stream below. The trout in the stream symbolize life and give Nick the hope that there is a chance for healing. As he is gazing at the fish, a bird called kingfisher, with brightly-colored feathers, dips into the water to grab a fish. Light hearted and free, the bird helps to set free the unpleasant thoughts of his past. Leaving the burnt and charred ashes of what use to be the town, made Nick happy. From here, Nick knows that the river is only a mile or so further upstream. He takes off his backpack and sleeps almost until sunset. After awakening he smoothed the ground and
Open Document