The Nick Adams Stories written by Ernest Hemingway is the stories about Nick Adams’ life from his childhood to the military service, the years of becoming a veteran, a writer, and a parent. This lifeway has a lot of coincidences with Ernest Hemingway’s life. Cross Country Snow is one of the stories from this book. This story presents the episode from Nick Adams’ life when he has gone skiing in Switzerland with his friend George. The story is connected with Hemingway’s marriage and the pregnancy of his wife as far as the dialogue between Nick and George is devoted to the memories about the time when Nick’s wife was pregnant.
As has been said before, the main characters of the story are Nick and his friend George. Nick Adams is the main character of a wide range of Ernest Hemingway’s stories. He is a young boy from the Midwest who has to go to the war and this war has changed all his life. This story presents the typical male friendship between Nick and George and their entertainment skiing in Switzerland. They are so absorbed with skiing that they do not need talking. The dialogue about the marriage responsibilities and pregnancy that arose between them spoiled their fun time in some way. They do not need words to spend time together. This story is a good demonstration of a real friendship between men.
The author uses different techniques to make emphasize on close relationships between them. George calls Nick “Mike” during their conversation which testifies to the fact that these two men are friends and they have gone through a lot of events together in their life. The reader doesn’t know whether it is a nickname or this name is connected with some situation or event that happened to them and this name arises some associations among them. There are always certain words between best friends which are understandable only to them. On the contrary to a friendship between women, men try to reveal their inner world and their true selves and this name helps to see another man, the man who is the best friend called “Mike”.
Ernest Hemingway uses a compositional element describing native woodcutters against the background of the discussion of unwanted fatherhood and marriage responsibilities which spoils friends’ carefree skiing. The depiction of woodcutters is considered to be an epiphany. Nick and George don’t pay for their inn and their behavior is opposed to the local woodcutters who “got up and paid and went out”. Metaphorically, Nick’s neglect is connected with his attitude to the unwanted pregnancy. Such ‘nonpayment’ doesn’t emancipate Nick from inescapable responsibilities connected with his wife’s pregnancy. The carefree time with his friend as opposed to the burden which has been caused by the pregnancy of his wife.
Cross Country Snow demonstrates the notion of friendship between male and their fears connected with responsibilities. The author uses interesting techniques to depict a male friendship such as their carefree spending time together in silence, their common hobby of skiing, and Nick’s nickname. Depicting the problem of male responsibilities touched upon by their discussion caused by the waitress who is pregnant is also skillfully depicted by the author. The use of epiphany demonstrates the ‘nonpayment’ of many men who leave a pregnant woman alone trying to escape the responsibilities. This story touches upon the problem of unwanted pregnancy which is so actual in modern society.