Symbols and Symbolism - Light and Dark in Hemingway's Indian Camp Essay

Symbols and Symbolism - Light and Dark in Hemingway's Indian Camp Essay

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Light and Dark Symbolism in Hemingway's Indian Camp


The thematic usage of light and dark throughout "Indian Camp" symbolizes racial prejudice as well as the personal growth of the protagonist. The narrative showcases a world of Indian oppression and bigotry that degrades Indians to the role of dark ignorant stereotypes. The white men, on the other hand, seem to live in a self-made utopia of light and understanding. This concept of the lighter skinned white man holding supremacy over the darker skinned Indian permeates throughout the entire narrative. These themes of light and dark are not merely limited to the skin tone of two clashing cultures, but are also symbols of understanding and unenlightenment that affect both the Indians and the story's young protagonist, Nick Adams.

"Indian Camp," much like the boat that takes Nick Adams to shore, starts "off in the dark" (1). This dark engulfs Nick Adams as he begins his journey on an unknowing night that parallels his own lack of awareness. Not sure of where he and his father are being led, Nick is rowed toward his future by an I...

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