The Battler by Ernest Hemingway

680 Words3 Pages
Throughout life, the people that you may encounter and form relationships with will be the ones that shape who you are and ultimately influence your decisions, actions and personality. In “The Battler” by Ernest Hemingway, Nick Adams, a young man of roughly twenty years of age encounters an older gentleman named Ad Francis, a once-famous boxer who claims to have gone “crazy” after his life as a fighter. Ad is accompanied by his best friend Bugs, a black man who accompanies him on his travels throughout the country and helps keep Ad in-check. At one point, Bugs offers Nick and Ad some ham and eggs that he had just cooked on the fire, and asks for nick to cut the bread with his knife. At the sight of the blade Ad demands that Nick hand over the knife. In order to keep Nick out of any danger that might arise from a conflict with Ad, Bugs whacks Ad in the back of the head with a frying pan, rendering him immobile and unconscious, keeping Nick out of harms way. After Bugs knocks out Ad with the pan, he proceeds to make sure he did not hit him too hard, making sure his eyes can close and that he is still breathing. The strong, unassuming black man then goes on to explain why Ad is like the way he is, crazy and unpredictable in a way that is threatening to others. He also goes on about how after Ad left the ring, he got himself into some trouble on the streets, fighting whenever and wherever he found an opportunity, landing himself a cell in the local jail where he met Bugs
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