Big Two Hearted River Ernest Hemingway Analysis

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Throughout the Nick Adams stories many recurring themes are presented. In many of Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories, the theme of avoidance is evident. Nick shows reluctance toward what his future will hold, primarily his romantic future, and coming to terms with his feelings about war. This theme is prominently featured in “The End of Something,” “The Three Day Blow,” “Cross-Country Snow,” “Big Two-Hearted River: Part 1,” and “Big Two-Hearted River: Part 2.” In Hemingway’s short story “The End of Something,” Nick’s avoidance of his romantic future with Marjorie creates a strain on the relationship. Marjorie becomes frustrated with him and decides to leave him. Nick’s fear of the future causes him to find little flaws in Marjorie to justify his reluctant attitude toward her; Nick points out to her that it annoys him that she is a know-it-all, but the flaw is really within him because her being a know-it-all makes him feel inferior. Nick takes…show more content…
His avoidance isn’t of the future, but of the present. Nick avoids going to the swamp to fish and the story repeats: “Nick did not want to go in there now…Nick did not want it.” His lack of interest of confronting the swamp reflects his lack of interest of confronting his feelings of the war. The effect of the war is shown in the setting where burnt nothingness is what’s left of the town Seney. The war has changed Nick drastically; he doesn’t see the world the same anymore. Fishing for him is an escape from the war as well. Not only is his reluctance to go to the swamp a reflection of his avoidance tendencies, but the whole trip is a tool for him to avoid his thoughts about the war. Hemingway’s setting of a war-torn town reinforces the idea that Nick will never be able to escape his thoughts about the war. Nick’s tendency to avoid is not limited to his
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