Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of English

Committee Chair

Olivia Carr Edenfield

Committee Member 1

Bradley Edwards

Committee Member 2

Joe Pellegrino


In the following paper, I discuss how Ernest Hemingway’s hyper-masculine persona influences how his male characters are interpreted by some readers. More specifically, I take the character of Nick Adams and look at him as being a representation of one of Hemingway’s male characters that diverges from the hyper-masculine persona that Hemingway had created for himself. To do so, I focus on eight of Hemingway’s short stories, with those being “Indian Camp,” “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife,” “Ten Indians,” “The End of Something,” “The Three-Day Blow,” “The Battler,” “Cross-Country Snow,” and “Fathers and Sons.” The development of Nick Adams from childhood to fatherhood is one that is presented in how he moves throughout the world both physically and emotionally. Across five chapters, I focus on how Nick Adams observes the men around him, such as his father Dr. Adams, and from his observations arises his own belief of how a man should act. In his teenage years before the war, I present Nick’s belief of masculinity in his interactions with his girlfriend Marjorie, and his friend Bill. As he continues to move throughout the world, his interactions with Bugs and Ad Francis allows him to step back into the role of the observer, where he sees firsthand men caring for men. As he approaches fatherhood, I focus on Nick outside of his community when speaking to his friend George, and his interaction displays a Nick Adams who has been shaped by the war and by his experiences in life. The Nick that is driving his son by the end of my thesis is now a fully realized man. He understands and empathizes with his son and wishes to make sure that his son knows he is being cared for. Nick Adams’ masculine journey presents a Hemingway character whose masculinity is transformative, and his experiences have allowed him to step into the role of fatherhood knowing how to care for other men.

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