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Nobody Ever Dies

Research papers on the short story by Ernest Hemingway titled Nobody Ever Dies, illustrate that the story is a brief exercise on freedom from slavery.  Hemingway never divulges very much in the way of background, setting, or time, but implies an era that is about fighting for liberty from slavery in America.  In actuality this can represent any time period where those who are oppressed find the passion to make a stand for what is theirs.

Nobody Ever Dies

Hemingway's Very Short Story - Nobody Ever Dies

Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Nobody Ever Dies” delivers a powerful message in a strikingly short amount of text. Though just a few pages in length, Hemingway’s story is able to demonstrate the power of dedication to a cause, arguing that no one ever dies when they are fighting for something they hold dear to their heart; instead, they become martyrs, taking their cause to the next level and acting as motivators for the next generation. Writing about the Spanish Civil War and the failures of the revolutionaries, Hemingway’s story was not incredibly popular with American audiences; however, the underlying message of dedication to a cause and the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for something one believes in rings true in every generation since.

The beginning of Nobody Ever Dies has Enrique hiding out in an empty house.  He is aware of someone watching it.  In the stillness, while he awaits a visit from someone else, the bird in the cage is ever present to his watchful eye.  Finally, he sets the bird free. There is significance in this act.  It is not evident at this moment in the story but as the story evolves and the reader picks up on Enrique’s tale, the gravity of the bird’s freedom is cleverly developed by Hemingway.

Ernest Hemingway’s Nobody Ever Dies is another example of his focus on death and war in his short stories. When examining Nobody Ever Dies, one must look closely at what Hemingway is saying about death. This would be a great subtopic for your research paper.

Death in Nobody Ever Dies

The following are a few instances within the story that Hemingway specifically mentions death:

  • Enrique professes that dying helps others

  • Maria believes death is inevitable

  • Enrique’s death makes Maria question her belief that “No one dies for nothing”

Hemingway's nobody ever diesUltimately, within the story, what Hemingway is saying about death is that every person has to come to their own acceptance of death. The story reflects an apathetic view of death and leaves one empty, as Hemingway seems to be saying that death is out of the control of everyone so one might as well not worry about it.

The person watching the house is a Negro.  He has his own set of principles as to what freedom is.  He is moved by his culture and this involved the perceived power of his voodoo beads.  Enrique knows it is the Negro watching the house but feels he is not in any proximate danger.  He believes he has covered himself adequately in the empty darkness of the house.