Feminist Literary Criticism in Indian Camp By Ernest Hemingway

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Feminist Literary Criticism in Indian Camp By Ernest Hemingway In the short story “Indian Camp”, by Ernest Hemingway, many controversies arise about the idea of feminism in the text. Feminism is a general term used to describe advocating women’s rights socially, politically, and making equal rights to those of men. Feminist criticism is looked through a “lens” along the line of gender roles in literature, the value of female characters within the text, and interpreting the perspective from which the text is written. Many of Hemingway’s female characters display anti-feminist attributes due to the role that women play or how they are referred to within a text by him or other characters. There are many assumptions that go along with the…show more content…
Roles depicted in the story of “Indian Camp” are mostly dominated by men. “His female characters are typically shallow, and at best, are merely passive receptors of the dominant men that surround them” (Wray). The roles of the men are active compared to the women, whose roles are generally passive. Nick’s father, the doctor, has to perform a cesarean section on the Indian woman. This creates the idea that the woman cannot handle having the baby on her own and suggests that a man is needed to complete the job that is typically performed by a woman in the Native American culture. He takes away the natural process of a woman producing a baby, which is the one valuable thing that a female is able to do that a man cannot. The word “Cesarean” itself suggests power or control as a result of its root “Caesar” (Anderson). The Indian woman that assists the doctor is just used to retrieve water as the doctor requests and then just stands there. She has no part of taking action in the situation besides what the doctor tells her to do. The other women present are only mentioned once to show that they are just there. Three Indian men and Nick’s Uncle, George, holds the Indian woman down as if she cannot allow herself to let the doctor perform his operation and gives the men power or strength over the woman. The woman’s husband commits suicide by cutting his own throat. “The Indian lay with his face toward
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