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Hemingway Short Story

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 12 months ago

Big Two-Hearted River Project


Team Members: Dylan Storm, Mike Smith, Carlvert Green

Big Two-Hearted River project team


Plot Summary:


"The Big Two-hearted River" is a short story split up into two parts. In part one we meet the character Nick Adams as he returns to the town of Seney. The town has been completley burned out and destroyed by a fire and everything is black. He decides to hike the trail to the river and the account of that hike as well as Nick finding his camp is what takes up the bulk of part I. Part II opens with Nick awaking in his tent and preparing for his day of fishing. We encounter the river in this section and are given vivid accounts of Nick fishing. The story ends with Nick contemplating on his exploration of the swamp.


Selection From Text:

"Nick walked back up the ties to where his pack lay in the cinders beside the railway track. He was happy. He adjusted the pack harness around the bundle, pulling straps tight, slung the pack on his back got his arms through the shoulder straps and took some of the pull off his shoulders by leaning his forehead against the wide band of the tump-line. Still, it was too heavy. It was much too heavy. He had his leather rod-case in his hand and leaning forward to keep the weight of the pack high on his shoulders he walked along the road that paralleled the railway track, leaving the burned town behind in the heat, and he turned off around a hill with a high, fire-scarred hill on either side onto a road that went back into the country. He walked along the road feeling the ache from the pull of the heavy pack. The road climbed steadily. It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him."




Possible Projects:




In the story, Hemingway goes into detail to describe the different elevations Nick is at at any given time. This includes whether he is at the top of a mountain he just climbed, down in the river, upstream, downstream, etc. A possible project would be to map out the topography of the fictional location. This may also be developed in the form of a 3D model that would be able to demonstrate the different elevations. The second part of this idea would be to then make notes of what takes place at each particular elevation. This would include physical actions such as whether Nick caught more fish when he was in shallow water or deep water, as well as taking note of the frequency of language used by Hemingway at any given elevation. Frequently used words include: current, smooth, pebbles, hot, as well as the abundance of descriptors such as "very." These could be analyzed using the Wiki's toolbox, to help understand the frequency of the term and where is most commonly occurs. When such information is assigned to the different elevations in a final draft, one would be able to analyze a visual representation of the terrain, as well as assess if there is any connection between Nick's current elevation and what is taking place in the story.


Second Life


Another idea is that we as a group create a second life location that puts a viewer into the natural world that Nick is in. The story uses great natural imagery such as the sun, mountains, rivers, forests, and swamps. This realm would allow a participant to explore the world in which Nick feels so at home. It would allow someone to be visually simulated by all the imagery that Hemingway uses.


The Game


The "game" would be an experience where the player would go fishing as if they were Nick. This could be programmed in a way such that it included how circumstances played out in the story. For instance, if Nick catches more fish where there are larger boulders as opposed to small pebbles, there would be more fish available in the boulder area. This would allow a gamer through trial and error, to grasp an understanding of how the environment affects Nicks success and failure.



Using the MovieStorm application to recreate the short stories imagery. The possibly contrasting these images with images of war since Nick went away to this town to get his mind off of his shell shock. (something similar may be done with the WordEye program as well)


Questions Open to Interpretation:


What does the swamp represent? -Why does Nick feel that he can leave the swamp for another day?

Why is it so hot all the time? The sun is hot, his coffee is hot, and then the water is very cold. Is there something Hemingway is trying to get at here?

What is the correlation between the places where certain word appear and how Nick is feeling?

What do the different elevations and temperatures really mean?

What could the sudden shift in color represent?




Thought Process:







Word: Part I Part I Context: Part II Part II Context:
Hot  7

 2 times in Seney: Hot day (2)-on bridge, climbing the hill

1 time in Pine Plains: Nick was tired and very hot

1 time in Meadow: After the hot day

3 times at Camp site: the food was too hot (2), the coffee was too hot.



 2 times at Camp site: Hot day, skillet was hot

2 times in the River: The day was hot (2)

Cold  3

 2 times at River: The grass was wet and cold, the water was ice cold

1 time in Meadow: Away from the stream it was not so cold


 1 time in the Meadow: Cold grasshoppers

2 times in the River: Cold water



Word: Part I Part I Conext Part II Part II Context:
Up  33

 13 times in Seney: train went up, kingfisher flew up, shadow of kingfisher moved up the stream, trout tightened facing up stream, Nick walked back up, it was hard work walking up hill, Nick went on up (always climbing), grasshopper walked along the ground and up, grasshoppers fly up, Nick turned the grasshopper up, Nick tossed the grasshopper up into the air, Nick stood up, Nick came up slowly to the crest of the bridge.

 6 times in Pine Plains: the trunks of the trees went straight up, Nick lay on his back and looked straight up(3), There was a wind high up in the branches, Nick picked up the leather rod-case.

12 times at Camp: Pulled the tent up, Nick poked the pole he had cut up, Nick hung the pack up, the fire flared up, up away from the stream, hung up the bucket, the lid came up, it broke up the trip, rolled the shoes up, Nick sat up, Nick moved the match quickly up to it, Nick curled up.

1 time in River: Nick rinsed the bucket and carried it full up to the camp.


 5 times at his Camp Site:the sun was up ,the sun was just up over the hill,nick picked them up,
while he was pickin up the hoppers the others warmed,then he walked up to the tent

3 times in the Meadow:tidied up the camp,at the water cooler on teh train up to St. Ignace,tipped up the bottle.

17 times in the River:he lifted the rod straight up in the air,floating belly up in some pool, he baited up, then he picked up the rod, he held it up, the very biggest ones would lie up close to the bank, you could always pick them up there,  the water piled up on you, pointing up river, then he pulled himself up on the log and sat, the water deepening up under his armpits, he didnt want to go up the stream any farther, then he pulled up the sack, when he held them back up in the water, with the sack spread out on the log, rolled them up in it, nick stood up on the log, he climbed the back and cut up into the woods.

Down 29 

 8 times in Seney: Nick: sat down, walked down, looked down (3), his shadow floats down stream,

Nick had gotten down off the train.
3 times at the top of the hill: Nick sat down, reaches his hand down, struck down the hillside.

4 times in Pine Plains: Two hundred yards down the fire line stopped, Nick dipped down,

Nick lay down, the sun was nearly down.

5 times at Meadow: Nick came down a hillside, Nick looked down the river (3),

the sun went down, The trout were all down stream,

the trout were making circles down the surface of the water.

 7 times at his Camp Site: hitting pegs down (into the ground), pushing the tour legs (down into the ground), Nick sat down by the fire, Nick walked down,

sucked the apricots down, coffee ran down, Nick lay down.


4 times at his Camp Site:down about two hundred yards,  took an empty bottle and went down over the edge, he turned the skillet upside down, he started down to the stream.

20 times in the River: he looked down at the swirl of water, it came to the surface a little way down 
down through his thorax, nick reached down his hand to touch him, he wallowed down the stream , it floated down towards the logs, his mouth dry his heart down nick reeled in, tough it would, be better to sit down , far down below the light, water running, down his trousers and out his shoes, laid the grasshoppers down, on one of the deep channels, when the sun was down they all moved out into the current, the glare before it went down, thebranches hung down into the water, hook in his hand walked down the stream, then let him down into the net, looked down in at the two big trout,
water from his trousers and boots running down into the stream, he laid his rod down and moved along, he looked down the river.

High  10

 2 times at Seney: pack high on his shoulders, a high fire scarred hill on either side.

6 times at the Pine Plains: Sweet fern growing ankle high, rolling high ground, branches were high above (3), wind high up in branches.

1 time in Camp: high ground to make camp.

1 time in Meadow: trout jumped high out of water.


1 time at his Camp Site: He went to the edge of the high ground.

2 times in the River: trout jumping high out of the water, returning to the high ground

Low  0  


 1 time in the River: the branches in the swamp grew low.
Deep  3

 2 times in Seney: many trout in deep fast moving water, a deep pool.

1 time in Camp: drove pegs deep.

 13  13 times in the River: the water being deep(13), watching for deep holes


Word: Part I Part I Context: Part II Part II Context:
Good 10

1 time in Seney: ground was good walking.

2 times in Pine Plains: Earth felt good against his back, his hands smelled good

6 times at Camp: It was a good place to camp, a good smell, plenty of good places to camp, but this was good, they said good-bye and felt bad, it made a good ending to the story.



 2 times in the Meadow:these were good grasshoppers (2)

1 time at his Camp Site: this is a good camp

 4 times in the River: he had a good feeling, he had good luck, he had good trout (2)

Bad 1 1 time in Camp: They said good-bye and all felt bad.


Joy 0    0  
Happy  3

 2 times at Seney: He was happy (just arrived), the day was hot, but Nick felt happy (he felt he had left everything behind).

1 time at Camp: Nick was happy as he curled inside the tent.

 1 1 time in the Meadow: he felt happy with his equipment on
Sad 0    0  


Animal Encounters:


Word: Part I Part I Context: Part II Part II Context:
Trout  12

 6 times at Seney: Nick watched the trout,

many trout in deep fast moving water, at the bottom were the big trout, It had been a long time since Nick had seen trout, a big trout, Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved.



 45  45 times in the River: 24 times he references trout while trying to catch them, 5 times he references trout when he sees them, trout is referenced 15 times when he is thinking about them
Grasshoppers  3 3 times in Seney (still climbing): Nick had started grasshoppers from with dust, They were not the big grasshoppers, the grasshoppers were all black now.  6

 4 times in the Meadow: Grasshoppers are good (3), grasshoppers jumping

1 time at his Camp Site: wanting to catch grasshoppers

1 time in the River: bottle: of grasshoppers hanging from his neck

Grasshopper  3 3 times in Seney: Noticed a grasshopper, the grasshoper was black, Nick tossed the grasshopper up.  9

1 time in the Meadow: grasshoppers lodging house

8 times in the River: grasshopper bottle swinging against his chest, tipped the bottle to get a grasshopper, grasshopper gave a jump out of the bottle, grasshopper took hold of the hook, he let out a line against the pull of the grasshopper, laid the grasshopper down on one deep channel, he dropped the grasshopper, took the cork out of the grasshopper bottle.

Hoppers  1  1 time in Seney: These were just ordinary hoppers but all a sooty black.  4

 2 times in the Meadow: under the shelter of the eadge were hundreds of hoppers, while he was picking up the hoppers the others warmed.

2 times at his Camp Site: the hoppers were already jumping, so the hoppers could not get out.

Hopper  3  Seney (at top): black hopper, took hold of the hopper, go on hopper.  8  8 times in the River: another hopper poked his face out of the bottle, he could see the hopper in the little waves of current, leaned back against the current and took a hopper from the bottle, he threaded the hopper on a hook, tossed the hopper out ahead into the fast dark water, the hopper clung to the end of the bottle, the hopper flowed into the hollow log, the hopper floated in.




Word Part I Part I Context Part II Part II Context
Light 2

 1 time at Seney: heat light over the plain

1 time at Camp: Inside the tent the light came through

 4  4 times in the River: down below the light, shallows, light glittering, he struck a match to light his cigarette, half- light would be tragic fishing.
Dark 3

 1 time at Seney: ahead islands of dark pine trees,

2 times at Camp: It was quite dark outside,

across the river in the swamp in the almost dark.

 2  2 times in the River:the water is smooth and dark, fast dark water.
Sun 7

 3 tims at Seney: trout in the sun, Nick sweating in the sun,

caught glints of the water in the sun.
3 times in the Pine Plains: Nick kept his direction by the sun, leaving in the sun this bar space, the sun was nearly down.

1 time in Meadow: The trout were rising to insects come from the swamp on the other side of the stream when the sun went down.


 2 times in his Camp Site: the morning the sun was up, the sun was just up over the mountains.

4 times in the Meadow: before the sun dried the grass, could not jump until the sun warmed them, other warmed in the sun, warmed by the sun they were jumping,

11 times in the River: his side flashing in the sun, smoking drying in the sun, the sun warm on his back, the logs warm in the sun, it was getting hot the sun hot on his back, the current in the forenoon sun, after the sun had crossed, when the sun was down, just when the sun made the water blinding, as a mirror in the sun, the sun did not come through



TAPoR Web Site 






Preview of your graph



Preview of your graph


 The interesting thing about these graphs is the system that we devised to give objective values to Nicks feelings and also how we

had to judge the elevevation because in the story Hemingway never gives us any specific heights so we had to go through the story

and create a numbering system for the different heights. These graphs along with the tapor information helped us refine our project

to what it finally became.





Big Two Hearted River the game 


This is a game I created using a program called "Scratch". The object of the game is to "catch" the fish by using the pointer or hook

and clicking on the fish as it bounces around the screen. It is somewhat more difficult than I had anticipated but as Nick never gave

up niether can you.







 Starting to shape the landscape from foam blocks.



 Hand shaping the pieces of land.




 Giving the land a little color.



 Getting the layout just right.




 Putting on the final details.





 The finished project.









Our project came about in a much different way than most of the groups in this class. What we saw were groups that had an idea that is to say a project idea, already in mind without the literature in mind. Our group took another approach; we wanted to find a piece of literature that we could then turn into a project idea. We wanted the text that we chose to shape our ideas for our project not the other way around. Our thinking behind this is was in line with what we believe is the philosophy of the class that is to say taking literature with a capital L and looking at it in a completely different way, using techniques and technology in a completely new and interesting way to look at literature. By picking the text first we can then look at how that text affects us and how we interpret the text then look to what kind of technology or technique can help us get a different look at the text. What we saw as the best technique for the story that we chose was to turn to something less focused on only using new technology but using new technology combined with the techniques that we are familiar with we believe that we would be able to come up with a new interpretation.  We did of course want to use the tools and technology that we had available to us and because of that we knew that we wanted to create along with our main project something to go with it that would use the tools that were given to us and also hopefully give us even more insight. So with this basic framework we set out to find the right piece of literature and the project that would fit well with that text.

The piece we ended up choosing is of course Hemingway’s short stories “The Big Two Hearted River” Part one and two. After reading the story several times we agreed that the style that Hemingway uses lends itself to some kind of visual interpretation. With that in mind we thought of creating some kind of topographical map of the area in the stories that would reflect Nick’s attitudes and emotions as the story progressed. What this initial idea turned into is more of a 3D physical model of the areas in the story with the results of our use of the TAPoR’s tools displayed within the model. We believe that this physical creation of the areas in the story allows us to delve deeper into the story as we had to closely read the story even to simply re-create the surroundings.  With the close readings we focused on the attitude of Nick, that is to say how he was feeling at any given point in the story, combining that with the physical re-creation allows us to see if there are in fact any correlations between where Nick is located, the temperature and how he is feeling at any given moment. After all was said and done this project first of all gave me a much greater knowlege of Hemingway his writting style and this story in particular but secondly and more importantly it showed me that the way we are used to dealing with literature with the close reading and analyzing is something that will never go away. What this project did show me was how much more you can get out of piece of literature when you use other discourses and technology. These new ways of looking at literature getting our hands on it and creating something from it gives you a whole new appreciation for lieterature and the power that it has.


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