Big Two Hearted River

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Mr. Flood
Junior English Period 3
Communing With Nature Equals Psychological Healing
In the story “Big Two-Hearted River” the main character Nick comes back from WWI and has gone through a lot. Nature is the healing tool for all man kind. Nature is not confined to forest and field nor even to the far away stars, but becomes part of our every detail in life. Nick Adams uses this forest to help heal him from the psychological ravages from the war. In the beginning of the story Nick expects to see the scattered houses of the town and the intact railroad station, instead he looks out over the “burned over stretch of hillside”(Hemmingway,1) and realizes things are different. “Seney was burned, the country was burned and changed, but it did not matter, it could not all be burned”(Hemmingway,2). Nick realizes that the pines and the river were still there and that he could continue his quest to find peace within the natural setting. Nick looks off the horizon and sees the pine forest and listens to the solitude with only the bubbling of the river as it rushes over the rocks. He thinks to himself that this is the first time he has actually felt happy.

The rich text that Hemmingway uses throughout the story provides us with elaborate detail and allows us to visualize the natural setting of the story. Nick Adams finds nature to be the best escape from his troubled world. As Nick walks along the river he’s looking for a good place to set up camp “between two jack pines the ground was quite level and this leveled piece of ground was large enough to sleep on”(Hemmingway,4). Nick had found a nice place to make camp and he was happy with himself for finding such a good spot. As Nick finishes setting up camp, he was quite pleased with himself for building his tent and realizes he’s created his own personal heaven. This symbolizes spiritual renewal for Nick. “Nick was happy as he crawled inside the tent. He had not been unhappy all day. He had made his camp,...
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