Emotionless in depicting gruesome images

“He pulled back the blanket from the Indian’s head. His hand came away wet. He mounted on the edge of the lower bunk with the lamp in one hand and looked in. The Indian lay with his face toward the wall. His throat had been cut from ear to ear. The blood had flowed down into a pool where his body sagged the bunk. His head rested on his left arm. The open razor lay, edge up, in the blankets.

[…] ‘I’m terribly sorry I brought you along, Nickie,'” said his father, all his post-operative¬†exhilaration gone. ‘It was an awful mess to put you through.'” (18)

Notes: emotional restraint – complete emotionless from narrator, limited emotional perspective from characters



1 thought on “Emotionless in depicting gruesome images

  1. This is a very interesting part in the book. The first time I read this, I had to reread it because of shock. To the reader, it is a powerful image. As you said in your notes, there is less emotions in the novel when looking at the narrator. I think that this was also done because it shows the idea that masculinity we have talked about in class. This is the idea that Nick did not cry or freak out the scene before him. His father only apologized for letting his son see such a scene. He did not ask if he was alright or how he was feeling. If he did so, that would mean feelings would shown, and could be taken as a moment of weakness. Hemingway tends to avoid situations like these, regardless of how gruesome the factors may be. Good passage!

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