Cultural and Racial Inequality in Hemingway's Indian Camp

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Cultural and Racial Inequality in Hemingway's Indian Camp Hemingway's "Indian Camp" concerns Nick Adams' journey into the unknown to ultimately experience and witness the full cycle of birth and death. Although Nick's experience is a major theme in the story, cultural inequality also is an issue that adds to the the story's narrative range. Throughout this short story, there are many examples of racial domination between Nick's family and the Indians. Dr. Adams' and Uncle George's racist behavior toward the Native Americans are based on the history of competition between Caucasians and America's indigenous peoples. "Indian Camp" begins at the shore where Nick, his father, and Uncle George are picked up by Indians in rowboats. When…show more content…
This first exchange between the cultures identifies a subtle, unequal dynamic of dominator and dominated (Strong 21). Doctor Adams goes to a place distant from civilization to deliver a baby. Darkness, wilderness, and dirtiness are images presented throughout the story that apply to the appearance of the India Camp. The description of the Indian Camp highlights racial inequality between the two cultures. After Dr. Adams delivers the baby, he feels exalted: A word that connotates a rise in status, dignity, power, honor, and wealth (Strong 23). This usage of the text is an example of how Dr. Adams sees himself superior than everyone in the room. In addition, he has an immediate desire to record thee operation into the medical journal. His medical journal symbolizes an ultimate authority: a removed, consecrated sign of medical, legal, and institutional power (Strong 23). After successfully delivering the baby, Dr. Adams discovers that the husband of the pregnant Indian woman has slit his throat. During the birth, the husband watches as Dr. Adams and Uncle George holds his wife down. The Indian husband could have possibly been upset at the fact that he sees a woman, his wife as well, body as a territory under the complete control of white men (Strong 22). Hinkle talks about early superstitions: "Many believe... a knife under the pillow would help cut the

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