Symbolism In The Last Good Country

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Throughout the whole of “The Northern Woods” section of The Nick Adams Stories, one can simply describe Nick as a child, who is both naïve and, in reference to “Three Shots,” cowardly. As mentioned in previous blog posts, Nick’s firing of the three shots—simply due to his fear of the thought of death—is the epitome of his cowardice. However, being afraid is perfectly normal for a child, perfectly summed up by Mr. Adams’ statement upon hearing the shots: “I know he’s an awful coward...but we’re all yellow at that age” (Hemingway 14). Furthermore, Nick’s naivety, as seen by the fact that he constantly questions his father in “Three Shots,” “Indian Camp,” and “Ten Indians,” is also a common characteristic of children—they’re curious and always want their questions answered in an attempt to learn more about the word. While these two characteristics categorize Nick…show more content…
Gone is the cowardly and naïve young boy from “The Northern Woods”—in his place is a tough-skinned outlaw, on the run for illegally hunting and selling his captured prey. Furthermore, Nick is now thoroughly experienced when it comes to hunting, fishing, and camping and possesses a better understanding of the world, as seen by the absence of his constant questioning as seen in the first section. Additionally, the aforementioned insensitivity also reemerges, as seen by Nick’s rather graphic threat towards the two wardens. While having a conversation with Littless, Nick states, “I’d like to have the rifle and go down now to the edge of the timber and kill both of those bastards while they’re on the dock and wire a piece of iron on them from the old mill and sink them in the channel” (Hemingway 74). Quite obviously, this shows a rather corrupt Nick who can now easily think of ending the life of another individual and is no longer afraid of the thought of
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