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Ten Indians
 The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife

So, in these two stories we see two different relationships. Let’s start with "The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife”. Here we finally meet Nick’s mother. The young boy appears only in the end of the story. The main characters here are Nick’s father and mother. I can’t say that their marriage is happy. Probably they love each other. I suppose, they are tired of each other and their relationships. Misunderstanding prevails in their marriage. Nick’s father is a realist, a doctor. He prefers to see real life. On the other hand, his wife is religious. She realizes the world rosily. The wife avoids any sighs of evil in the world.

Nick understands what’s happening in the relationships of his parents. He instinctively strains after his father. The young boy wants to learn real life. Yes, sometimes it is cruel, but still. So, Nick realizes that his mother can’t help him to understand the reality of life. But his father, the doctor, doesn’t need to show his son the real world. The doctor just explains to Nick some things, answer his questions.

In "Ten Indians” we see Nick’s "relationships” with the young Indian girl. Nick comes home in the evening, and again there is a moment when the boy learns something new about this world. And this moment is in a conversation between Nick and his father. The doctor tells Nick that he has seen the Indian girl with another boy. Nick’s heart is broken now. He cries. I can’t say whether Nick loves this girl or not, but she is dear to him. What does he learn? Betrayal. But, maybe the Indian girl has promised Nick nothing… Or Nick hasn’t interpreted her words and actions in a proper way… Nevertheless, now the boy feels pain and dudgeon.

Now we see the relationships between Nick’s parents and the relationships between Nick and the Indian girl. Nick experiences one of the possible beginnings of the relationships. His father and mother are in the middle or in the second part of their marriage. For Nick everything can be changed. He is young. But the doctor and his wife… They can’t ruin their relationships at once; they must cope with the misunderstanding.

(by Seagull)


Having read three more stories I can say it for sure now that Hemingway is not the author whose works interest me. On the contrary, it’s very difficult for me to read them as it’s always difficult to do the thing you don’t like.

As for the essence of the stories… I’m not going to compare them as I see nothing to be compared. I’ll speak about each of them and begin with "The doctor and the Doctor’s wife”. The only episode that I consider worth discussing is the last page, the final scene. I mean the idea of Nick "choosing” his father. Maybe, the idea is the following: the Doctor and his wife hardly understand each other. She goes in for Christian Science and doesn’t admit that Evil exists. She is kinda weak. And he is brave and very realistic. I believe, when Nick has to choose between his parents, he goes with his father because he’s a boy. He understands that he will have to show his bravery some day.

"Ten Indians" show us the drama of Nick’s feelings and emotions. But I’m not going to speak about it because it’s vividly seen. The idea I want to discuss is the title of the story. Why ten?! As we remember, there were nine drunken men on the road. So, ten is nine plus one, plus the girl Nick is (or was) in love with. But why?! Maybe, the author wanted to make a contrast between men and women again? Nine "rotten” characters and one not-so-bad? Or, maybe, TEN Indians because she isn’t better than they. She’s also somewhat unworthy. I really wonder, why the title is "ten indians”…

(by Asya)


There are many events in these two stories which are very important. But I would like to concentrate the whole attention on one scene when the doctor comes home very angry. He quarreled with one man Dick Boulton because he didn’t want to help the doctor, so he didn’t want to work for the debts. Here the author shows us the emotional state of the doctor very good. He is furious, angry, and I guess he behaves so not only because of money but also because this Indian man doesn’t want to respect and listen to him. And even his wife can’t stop the doctor. He just takes the gun and goes somewhere. This is quite natural for many writers to show only good relationships and friendship; but Hemingway describes this charged atmosphere, and I must admit he does it very successfully. 

The relationships between the characters are quite difficult and complicated. We almost don’t feel the appearance of the mother. The author shows us the relationships between Nick and his father. So perhaps he just tries to say that boys should be brought by their fathers. And here Nick’s father is shown as a protector of his son, on the one hand, but on the other hand, only the father can show a real life to his son. But still we can’t understand whether Nick is very happy because of this or not. There is not an open conflict between the father and the mother. We just can see this inner tension. The boy understands and feels these emotions. And maybe this makes him such a closed person who just observes life.

(by Luck)



Hemingway’s stories are very peculiar in the sense that they create a unique atmosphere, and more than that, they have one more outstanding feature. The author doesn’t even intend to give the readers any descriptions of his characters, of their dreams and strivings. He is keen on showing people through their actions and utterances.

The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife seems to be one of the most multifaceted stories by Hemingway. We are given both a brief sketch of Adams’ family and a deep observation of the nature of each character. Nick’s father turns out to be weak-hearted and craven. He can’t gain his point in an argument; he easily winds up and is unable to regulate his conduct. He also appears to have nothing in common with his wife whose temper is just the opposite of her husband’s one. She is a sort of wise woman who willingly and amply supports her views with quotations from the Bible. But she lacks that candid empathy which we usually find in committed Christians. This is the atmosphere little Nick lives in. It is not possible to say that he’s suffering a great deal or he’s having hard time, we even have no right to claim that he faces a lot of misunderstanding – nothing like that, he is very close to his father and his parents obviously care much about him. But there is always something that is called ‘the fly in the ointment'. Their relationships are apparently somewhat strained and it influences Nick to some extent. 

The plot of Ten Indians is clearer for me and its positive mood makes the reader feel less strung-up. The story gives an opportunity to look back at your own childhood, to recollect those first bitter moments of the first disappointments in life (which are, according to the proverb, very sweet to remember now). As for the strange title, many critics tend to explain it like the following. The nine drunken Indians, lying along the road, symbolize a kind of treachery as they are celebrating The Fourth of July, the holiday of those people who made their life so humiliating. The tenth Indian is Nick’s beloved, a light-minded and flighty girl who "stabs Nick in the back”. Thus, this is just one more demonstration how diverse and many-sided Hemingway’s oeuvre is.

(by MissJane)



"The Doctor and the Doctors Wife” tells us about not only an important character named Nick Adams but also about his parents. As my point of view this story is based on the authors’ own father who was in Hemingway’s mind. We can see all relationships between Nick and his parents. We can see Doctors wife as an obstinate, reserved woman and we are not surprised to learn that Nick prefers his father’s company.

The story "Ten Indians” is written from the two point of view. We can see how Nick preserves all things which surround him and we can see the author’s point of view. He fells and understand everything as Nick Adams. This story provides really interesting information about Indians and it suggests that the story will be about them rather than about Nick. And the moment where Joe had stopped the wagon? Jumped off and pulled an Indian have a symbolical meaning. This moment shows us one of the characteristic moments of American life of that time. Another theme in this story is a theme of love. This story centers around a young Indian girl named Prudie. Nick is in love with Prudie, even though he tries to deny it with his friends. But the author tries to express Nick’s love through the eyes.

(by Tanya)


The Doctor and the Doctor's wife.

The Doctor and his wife... But are the relationships between these two people really shown in the story? Their dialog is just some lines in the five-page story. This dialog and the scene in the woods are in the focus of the story, being the most important in revealing the author's idea, and all the narration seems to be just a mounting. The relationships between the characters are not easy to comprehend. There is certain stiffness between the parents – their relationships are quite chilly. When the Doctor's wife asks him questions, his replies are very short and even sharp – as if he just tries to get rid of this "interrogation”. The author gives us a hint – the Doctor's reluctance to talk shows his real attitude towards his wife. Another scene – the one in the woods – shows the reader that the relationships between little Nick and his mother are also difficult to understand. Even being aware that she's waiting for him, the boy goes shooting squirrels with his dad. He does not ignore her. He just prefers his father with his gun and with the prospect of hunting. He prefers action to inertia, he wants to choose and not to obey. That is what makes Nick and his father close, what unites them and what moves them away from the mother. Recalcitrance against submission. That is the main reason for the complication of the relationships.

Ten Indians.

Little boy Nich is the main character of the story which shows the reader not only social problems (the idea of ten Indians – nine drunk men and one girl – symbolizes the degradation of people's nature), but also personal ones. The author gives the reader one more chance to understand Nick's real self. This little boy hasn't faced serious problems yet, but he behaves as if he knows a lot about this life. His reaction and emotions aren't shown in the story and we can only guess what he really feels. His remarks are very short but they explain a lot – he's quite determined and he really knows what he wants. He says that his heart is broken, but everything is OK the next morning – he's got certain ability to regenerate. A small boy with great desire to live and even to fight is it is necessary.
(by Rina)


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