How does Dr. Adams, in “Indian Camp,” explain suicide to Nick? What does he say about men who commit suicide and women who commit suicide?thanks a lot

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At first the father apologizes to Nick for putting Nick through such " an awful mess". He tells Nick that women generally don't have such a hard time delivering babies and explains that he doesn't know why the husband committed suicide. He cryptically says “ He couldn’t stand things, I guess.” There is no indication that Dr. Adams is has accepted the pain the wife's scream had on her husband or the fact that his uncle refused to use something that would ease the woman's pain. He tells his son that not many men commit suicide, making the act seem more like the Indian husband's fault and negating any of his own actions that might have contributed to the suicide. Nick then asks if many women commit suicide and finally Dr. Adams says, "Oh,yes, They do sometimes." But then he tells Nick that "dying is pretty easy" as if the Indian husband chose the coward's way out. Nick, thinking his father would never take the coward's way out, is comforted. Nick naively thinks he himself will never die. Ironically, Hemingway's own father, an obstetrician, did take his own life, as did Hemingway himself.

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Indian Camp

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