Homework Help

Why the father in "Indian Camp" (the husband of the woman who had the baby)...

user profile pic

kimaone | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 20, 2008 at 7:16 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Why the father in "Indian Camp" (the husband of the woman who had the baby) kill himself?

just i want to know why the indian father's suicide as i don't understand this point and thank you extremly much

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 20, 2008 at 9:48 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The story is really about a clash of cultures. The doctor was white and delivered the baby but really didn't care about the horrible pain the mother was feeling. He was so detached that he barely noticed it. The woman's husband, an Indian, identified strongly with his wife and her physical pain. He finally could not stand the to see and feel her in such pain. So he killed himself to kill to kill the pain he felt coming from his wife. Hemingway is contrasting how the two cultures reacted to pain in another human being. The white doctor is all busineess, and although he saves his patient and her baby, he is insensitive to her plight. The husband is so in tune with his wife that he takes his own life because her pain is so unbearable.

user profile pic

mattjammar | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 2, 2008 at 6:24 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Well how sure are you that it was suicide? Throughout the story their are subtle hints that Uncle George and not the Indian is the father of the baby. In the beginning of the story Uncle George is handing out Cigars to the Indians, traditionally new fathers give out cigars upon the birth of their child. Furthermore in child birth the father of the child is usually by the side of the mother, and as we can see Uncle George and not her husband is by her side. As for the death of the Indian we don't know when he dies, all we know is that he is found dead some time later. another detail is the mysterious disappearance of Uncle George after they find the husband dead, this suggests that Uncle George may have killed the father and run off. As far as suicide goes, it is very difficult to cut your own throat from ear-to-ear, this is a little gruesome, as you would have to saw through the cartilage and bone in your neck.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes