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Ernest Hemingway The Fifth Column and the First Forty - Nine Stories

To be honest I’m very glad that I had to read these short stories because when I read Farewell to Arms I was really disgusted of that book. I hated Hemingway’s style of writing, because I thought it’s too brief and has poor vocabulary for novels. However this language is as much tedious in novels as magnificent in tales. I was really surprised when I read this stories, because they are amazing how much they can express human’s relationships. I was truly rapt in that book.
The complete Hemingway’s bibliography is in my previous essay.

I have read seven stories from the book The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories. Now is time to analyze these stories:

Indian Camp

Once upon a time a local doctor was called to a small Indian camp, because there was a bearing woman with extraordinary hard childbirth. He tooks his brother George and his son Nick for help. Finally he had to perform cesarean section. The operation was done successfully and doctor was pleasant and glad until he discovered that woman’s husband kill himself by razor. He cut his own throat. Unfortunately doctor’s son Nick was a witness of all this. Very interesting was that he wasn’t shocked and confused, but he was concerned in death. I think the main idea of this story is relationship between son and father. Nick admired his father and thought, that he is the wisest man and he needn’t to afraid of anything especially not of death. Nick thought that his father could protect him from everything, even from death.

I think Nick was too young to see childbirth and he was terrified from that: (“Vidíš, je to kluk, Nicku,”řekl otec.“Jak se ti líbí asistovat?“Nick řekl“Fajn“.Odvracel pohled,aby neviděl,co otec dělá.“ PG.85)
Nick had huge confidence to his father and thought he knows everything:(“Proč se zabil, tati?““Nevím,asi málo vydržel.““Hodně se chlapi zabíjejí,tati?““Moc ne,Nicku.“ PG.86)
Nick thought, that his father is almighty and he can protect Nick from everything:(„Toho časného jitra na jezeře, na zádi loďky, s otcem u vesel, cítil naprosto jistě, že nikdy nezemře.“ PG.86)
The relationship between son and father was very close:(“ Indiáni veslovali rychlými, prudkými zaběry”.”Nick ležel na zádech, otec ho objímal paží.” PG.83)

Hills Like White Elephants

This story is about a couple waiting for the train to Madrid.

The whole story is described by dialogue between them. I think their relationship is quite cold and they can’t tell anything important to each other:(“Je pořádné vedro,“řekl muž.“dejme si pivo.“ PG.240)
They are talking only about things, that they see or about drinks:(“Chtěla jsem zkusit tohle nové pití. Neděláme přece nic jiného-koukáme se na věci a zkoušíme nové pití.“PG.241)
The whole story they are talking about unclear, mysterious operation, I think it’s interruption, because the man told:(“Já chci milovat jenom tebe, nic jiného.“PG.243)
I think the woman really doesn’t want to go to that abortion, but she knows, that the man believes that is the best choice:(“Je to jediná věc, která nás trápí. Jediná věc,pro kterou nejsme šťastni.“PG.242)
Woman is very afraid of that operation:(“Pak si to dám udělat, Na sebe kašlu.“PG.242)
Almost every sentence could express emotions, but it’s easy to know, there is no emotions:(“Já tě mám rád I teď.Víš,že tě mám rád.“PG.242)

Old Man At The Bridge

This story tooks place also in Spain during WW2. One very sunny day a soldier went to check the situation on the other side of the bridge. When he went there he met an old man sitting and resting near the bridge. He started talking with him and the old man told him that he had to leave the animals, which he was care for. The strange is, that the old man wasn’t afraid of his own life, but of those animals:(“Všeho všudy to byly jenom tři zvířata.““…Kvuli těm dělum jsem je musel opustit.““Jejich kapitán mi poručil abych kvuli nim šel pryč.“PG.71)
The soldier tried to help him, because he told him where to retreat for advancing army:(“Tohle není dobré místo k zastavení,“řekl jsem.“Jestli dokážete dojít nahoru po silnici až tam,kde odbočuje na Tortosu,najdete tam nákladní auta.“PG.71)
It’s hard to say if that old man was insane or just too old, but I think it’s not important. In my opinion the main idea is how war destroys human’s life. The old man’s whole life was his animals, he loved them, but war took them. That’s why there wasn’t any happiness left in his life:(“…Tahle okolnost a dále to, že se kočky dovedou o sebe postarat, bylo veškeré štěstí, které toho starce jěšte čekalo…”PG.72)

The End of Something

I suppose this is the best story I have ever read. So much emotions are expressed on so little space. I think H. compares two perfect and function things, witch suddenly ended-rich sawmill and love.

(…“Byla to obrovská pila, všichni v měste Na ni bohatly“…“odvážejíc sebou všechno, co dělalo pilu pilou a Hartons Bay městem.“PG.95)
The sawmill had to be dismissed, because there was no wood left near the city.
It seemed that love was also all right. Marjorie truly loved Nick, but he want to separate:(“Hrozně ráda chytala ryby, hrozně ráda chytala ryby s Nickem.“PG.96)
It is described how ugly ends something so beautiful like love, Nick is very cold to her:(“Už to není ono.““Už vubec nic není ono.““Ani láska už není fajn?““NE“PG.98)
However in the end it is known that Nick is also very frustrated and desperate:(“Prosím tě, běž pryč,Bille!Běž na chvíli pryč,chci být sám,“řekl Nick“PG.98) There was one thing I didn’t understand, what’s Bill part in their relationship?

The Soldier’s Home

Theme of this story is typical for the lost generation and in my opinion is similar to Remarque’s Three Friends. This entire story is about impossibility to conform oneself to normal life without war. Harold Krebs returns from WW1 and he can’t adapt to normal life, he cannot solve normal ordinary problems, because he’s too tired from war. Nobody understand him, there is nobody to speak with. It seems that he is lazy, but I think he is exhausted from war:(“Jaksi nejasně si přál mít dívku,ale nechtělo se mu podstupovat tu námahu,aby ji získal.“PG.131)
He doesn’t want more lies or struggles. Almost all of his emotions are dead, because of war, or he cannot express them:(“Máš mně rád?““Ehm,j-j-jo.“)
He is able to tell his sister that he loves her, but it’s difficult for him, however he doesn’t love his mum anymore, because almost all his feelings are dead:(“Copak nemáš rád svou matku,hochu muj nejdržší?““Ne.““Nemám rád nikoho.“PG.135)
In war, there died also his faith and his fortune:(“Tak,a ty se taky pomodli, Harolde,“řekla.“Já nemužu.“PG.135)
Idea is that war takes everything and gaves nothing. People, who came from it, are empty.

Cat in the Rain

This story wants to tender dissatisfaction from marriage. The wife feels that there is something missing in her life and when she sees a cat, which is outside in terrible storm she thinks it is the right thing, which could fill hole in her soul:(“Je pryč?““Já ji tolik chtěla.““Chtěla jsem kotě.“PG.150)
She really want to change something in her life, because she is not satisfied with her life:(“Nemyslíš, že by to nebyl špatný nápad, kdybych si nechala dorust vlasy?““Ne takhle se mi to líbí.““Já už toho mám po krk.“PG.151)
(“Chtěla bych jíst u stolu vlastním stříbrem a chtěla bych svíčky.

A chtěla bych,aby bylo jaro a chtěla bych si před zrcadlem vyčesávat kartáčem vlasy a chtěla bych kotě a chtěla bych nějaké nové šaty.“PG.151)
That annoys her husband; he isn’t interested about it:(“Prosím tě, přestaň a vem si něco na čtení,“řekl George.Už zase četl.“PG.151)
In my opinion their problems come from their different personalities, perhaps she want a baby instead of kitten.

The Snow of Kilimanjaro

This tale was huge disappointment for me, because it is known as H.’s masterpiece. To be honest it’s boring and improbable. A man with gangrene, who is near death can’t be conscious and can’t talk so rationally. The whole story is about writer, who is dying. He thinks about his previous life. He used to date with very rich women and his currently girlfriend is the richest one. He is desperate that he became lazy, because of so much money:(“Měl jsem to všechno napsat, byl jsem však příliš líní, kvuli té hromadě peněz.“PG.52)
He thinks that guilty is his girlfriend, that’s why he behaves to her very cruel:(“Kdepak jsi to četla?Jsi taková zatracená husa.”PG.49)
I think she loves Harry very much, I suppose he is her reason of life. However Harry doesn’t love her and he lies, that he love her:(“Ty přece neumřeš.““Nebuď hloupá,už umírám.“....“Nikdy jsem tě nemiloval.““Harry,copak to říkáš?““Nejsi při zmyslech.“PG.51)
I was shocked, because both of them drink so much:(“Přines mi whisky se sodou, prosim.““Přinesu,dám si s tebou.“PG:53)
When I thought, that Harry will survive he suddenly died in aeroplane. That was nasty end. I don’t like this story.


When I started reading this book I really thought it would be great suffering. Now I’m very pleasant, because this book prepared me great time. Before I read this book I didn’t know why
is H. considered to be so magnificent writer, now I know, why he is so famous.

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