TEN INDIANS SHORT STORY ANALYSIS

Ten Indians is one of the short stories which was written by Ernest Hemingway. Nick is together with the Garner’s family on the road to back home after celebrating the independence day of America. They are on a big wagon which is ridden by Joe Garner then pass nine drunken Indians along the road. Joe Garner stops the wagon and drags one of the Indians who is unconscious into the bushes. Along the trip, the Garners family always talk about Indians. One of their object is an Indian girl named Prudence Mitchell who is in a relation with Nick, but Nick always avoids that he is in a relationship with this girl.
After arriving at the Garners’ residential, Nick leaves there and directly going home to meet his father. By arriving home, Nick gets his father is sitting and reading in the light. While Nick is getting supper, his father tells that he has met Prudence Mitchell in Indian Camp this afternoon. Prudence was not only in the Indian Camp, but also she was in wood with Frank Washburn. Then, Nick is getting shocked and asks his father for few times to ensure that he was wrong at looking, but his father is sure that he has looked them. After getting father explanation, Nick cries and going to bed and he feels that he is in heart-broken.
At the beginning of the story, Nick together with Garner’s family upon his return from town in the big wagon which is ridden by Joe Garner, then pass nine Indians who are drunken along the way, then drag one of the Indian who is unconscious into the bushes. Joe’s action that drags an Indian shows how bad they treat the Indians. Bush is a symbol that the Indians are only fit to live in a bad place, a place that we can find everything bad from it. We can see the expression of their disappointment against injustice and exclusion by white people through the way they celebrate American Independence Day with drunkenness. The Indians here are described as people who are not educated, who can only get drunk on the street. This story shows that the Garner family embodies a colonialist mindset and the Indians are drunk and lifeless, one group vocal and dehumanizing, the other silent and marginalized.
Hemingway’s description continues through Mrs. Garner’s character. She says “Them Indians” for a couple of times to clarify her sense of dislikes towards the Indians. Mrs. Garner’s word indicated that the Indians just as the object of their hypocrisy, who only judges the Indians just from the negative side and she wants to show the environment that the Indians are people who do not deserve to be given equal opportunity as same as the white people. In addition to the word “Them Indians” that refers to “Prudence Mitchell”, Nick’s lover, Mrs. Garner implies that Indian woman does not deserve to make a relationship with the white man and Indian woman is a woman who only deserves to fellow Indian only. Prudence Mitchell is the product of the colonial condition, not its redeemer. Given by her Western name connotes good sense and sexual temperance, Prudence’s supposed infidelity is either ironic or erroneous. Nonetheless, she is a colonial subject, constituted by the white man’s attitudes. Prudence exists only as a constituted subject/object, “disappearing” as an Indian subject when the father removes her from the parameters of the camp and places her in the woods.
One of the conflict and climax points that most emphasized discrimination against Indians are when Nick wants an answer from his father who said that he saw Prudence Mitchell with Frank Washburn when he was taking a walk in the Indian camp. Nick wants the correct answer from his father. He replied that is true that he had seen Prudence Mitchell with Frank Washburn in the wood, near to the Indian camp this afternoon. He replies as he turns away and gives his back , it indicates that he is lie. He doesn’t want his child establish a relationship with an Indian because Indian women in the view of white people are women who do not deserve to make a relationship with the white man. The hypocritical character also looks at Nick, he is told by his father that Prudence in a relationship with another man, but he doesn’t immediately call and ask Prudence whether it is true or not. Nick doesn’t want the circumstances know that he is in a relationship with an Indian woman.
This story ends with an open ending because there is not certain conclusion that we can find from it. Nick just goes to bed and fall asleep, he doesn’t try to ensure himself that his father is right or wrong. In this story, there are some characters. The first character is Nick. Nick is a major character in this story. He takes role as the protagonist, who gets the main attention from the reader. While Prudence Mitchell takes the main role in the story. Although she doesn’t appear on the dialogue, but her role is very important, through this character we can see the discrimination clearly, so she is the deutragonist. Then Joe Garner, his wife, Carl, Frank, and Nick’s father are the supporting/supernumerary characters in this story. They are portrayed as the Americans character in common. While the other nine Indians are the supporting characters too. They just appear once in the story. Characters of the actors in the story are round, because they are completely described, so we can interpret them well.
This story takes place in one of American region while the Americans celebrate their Independence Day on the fourth of July. We can see that this story displays the discrimination. The white Americans treat the Indians not as the native Americans, but they are treated as the people who don’t deserve to live like the other white Americans. In fact, the Indians are the native Americans who have been lived for centuries before the white people attacked the American continent. Indians are the native residents of the America far before Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent. But the reality is the existence of the Indians is increasingly constrained by the existence of white American who always underestimate them. They tortured and murdered the Indians with great cruelty and hatred. The left Indians eventually displaced from their homes and ended up staying in the township which doesn’t deserve to live. The other evidence of the wickedness of the people that the majority of the migrants had been genocide Indians in the America by European colonizers since 1492.
The portrayal of the author in this story is dramatic, we can’t see him, he doesn’t judge the characters, but as the reader, we can interpret it by ourselves. The author places himself as the third person omniscient in this story, because he describes the characters and their characters distinctly. Based on the author’s life, he likes to live in the remote area by himself and he portrays his view through this story. He doesn’t follow the white American characters in common who are hypocrite and always say the truth, in fact their ways to say the truth are being forced by their prestige. He is as a neutral observer who doesn’t just takes one side. In fact, he is a white American, but he tells the truth about discrimination towards the American Indians in their own selves region.

7 thoughts on “TEN INDIANS SHORT STORY ANALYSIS

  1. shimmy says:

    hey , such an amazing analysis , u won’t even know how much u helped me.
    i’m from Saudi Arabia u know😉
    more than thankful🙂

  2. Paul maken says:

    Hey! I read this short story in my early twenties. Im almost sixty now. It is such a sublime story and (seems) to be so simple in design. My fascination was with Nick’s girl who never even speaks! A master writer, indeed.

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