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The Three-Day Shots By Nick Hemingway

Decent Essays
Hemingway develops the fictional character Nick Adams, a protagonist in a collection of his short stories, who parallels him and his own life experiences. Many stories in the Nick Adams collection demonstrates an initiation or new experience that matures Nick, pushing him closer to adulthood. Critic Arthur Waldorn believes that the Nick Adams stories illustrate “the terror of learning to live with the terrible.” Hemingway utilizes motifs, dialogue, and the setting in “Three Shots,” “The Battler,” and “The Three-Day Blow” to justify Waldorn’s perspective of learning to live with the terrible reality of the nada, violence, and heartbreak. In “Three Shots,” Nick’s father and Uncle George go fishing and leave Nick alone in the woods,…show more content…
“The Battler” exhibits Nick’s first initiation into the real world without his father’s guidance. Nick’s journey begins after the brakeman kicks him off the train when he finds Ad, a former prize-boxer, and Bugs, Ad’s close friend, up the track near a swamp and joins them for supper. However, after a conflict over a pocket knife, Ad turns violent and Bugs politely asks Nick to leave, which Nick complies with. The brakeman exhibits the first act of violence when he administers a punch, giving Nick a black eye that Nick “[wishes] he could see.” Initially Nick glorifies his wound as a prize of his first street fight. This wound represents the irrational hostility of life and the presence of destruction and death; however, this wound makes Nick feel tough and possibly like a man. Yet, when Ad initiates a fight, Nick “[steps] back” and responds, “I [do not] want to hit you.” Nick’s second violent encounter frightens him and contradicts his initial bravery and toughness, possibly, because Nick understands Ad’s mental state. Regardless, Nick faces the hostile workings of chance and accident, bringing him into this violent encounter. Hemingway also employs the motif of the battler to emphasize the idea that how one deals with his battle determines his future. Nick faces the real world alone with no particular destination as he “climbs up the embankment and [starts] up the track.” Ad and Bugs’ shelter acts as Nick’s first
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