Indian Camp by Ernest Hemingway


This story takes place on an Indian camp in Michigan. An Indian camp is a place where Indians live.


Nick Adams: The main dude of the story, he's a young kid. His dad is a doctor.

Dr. Adams: Nick's dad. He is a medical doctor.

Uncle George: Nick's uncle.


Dr. Adams gets called to come to an Indian camp to treat a lady who is sick. So Dr. Adams brings his son Nick and Uncle George. They are brought by boat then led through a forest by some Indians. They get to the Indian camp and they go to the hut with the sick woman. Dr. Adams sees that she is pregnant. The woman is having A LOT of trouble giving birth. Then Dr. Adams decides he has to cut her stomach open and do a C-Section. All he has to cut though is his pocketknife. Dr. Adams tells Nick what he is doing and Nick helps him out (like an intern). So some of the Indian men and Uncle George hold the chick down and Dr. Adams starts cutting her open. Dr. Adams has nothing to giver her for the pain and she screams real loud because it hurts like hell. Dr. Adams finally delivers the baby and everyone is happy. Dr. Adams gets pretty cocky because he did a C-Section with a small little knife. But then everyone sees the woman's husband. They find he has committed suicide because he couldn't take his wife's screaming. Dr. Adams tells Uncle George to take Nick out of the hut. The doc feels bad that he brought his young son and his son had to see the bloody pregnancy and the guy's suicide. On the way back, Nick is curious and asks a lot of questions about the childbirth and the suicide.


  • This is like a "coming of age" story. Nick starts off as a naive little boy, but after seeing a woman give birth and a guy commit suicide he has grown up.
  • Another big theme of the book is life and death. The woman gives birth and creates life, right after the husband takes his own life away.
  • This is not a well known theory but it can make you look really smart: Uncle George is a shady character in this. He seems to be well known around the Indian camp. He also calls the screaming woman a squaw bitch, which can be read as a sign of intimacy. Also, Uncle George gives some of the Indian men cigars when he arrives to the camp. This could be just a gift to the men, but the giving of cigars by the father of a newborn baby is a well known thing. Uncle George also stays behind after the birth so, maybe Uncle George is the father of the baby? Maybe the reason the husband committed suicide is not just the screaming, but because his wife is having a baby that is not his. There is a paper in our paper's section under English and the title is Indian Camp that is about this whole theory.