While reading Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Big Two Hearted River,” one might think that it is just about a man named Nick Adams returning to Seney, to go camping and fishing. It may not be clear to some readers why the town of Seney is burned down or why Hemingway talks about each of Nick’s action in great amount of detail. While first reading the story one might not notice that Hemingway has many symbolic parts, so that he can get the true meaning of the story across to the reader. The story is truly about Nick Adams wanting to get on with his life enjoying to its fullest and putting all of the awful events that have happened to him in the past. When Nick arrives at the town of Seney, he sees that the town is completely burned to the ground. When Nick was on the bridge he looked down at the water and saw trout in the water going against the current. Nick realized that the trout were changing their positions only to steady themselves once again:
Nick looked down into the clear, brown water, colored from the pebbly bottom, and watched the trout keeping themselves steady in the current with wavering fins. As he watched them they changed their positions by quick angles, only to hold steady in the fast water again (472).
Hemingway is trying to show that the trout are better then Nick, since they are not bothered by emotions or their surroundings. Nick is, he is bothered by the war, which created internal emotions that he is trying to resolve. Hemingway used the trout in the river to represent the inner peace that Nick is trying to gain. When Nick got to the country he saw that it was untouched by the fire that had burned the town down. He started to walk through the ferns and jack pines and Nick was becoming exceedingly content. Nick was thinking that, “…the country was alive again,” (474). Hemingway left the country untouched by the fire because he wanted to show to the...
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