The Three Day Blow - Summary | The Magic of Words

Ernest Hemingway

The Three Day Blow - Summary | The Magic of Words

The Three Day Blow

“The Three Days Blow” is a plotless story in a dramatic way. Two friends Nick and Bill meet at Bill’s cottage. The weather is shown violent. There are rain and storm. So, this is an ideal situation to stay inside the home. They make fire, burn lots of logs and make themselves warm. They drink different alcohol and go on talking about different topics such as books, fishing, girlfriend, hunting, etc. without any plot, the story ends. The topics of the talk change suddenly from one subject to another.

There is no third character. We know a lot about the subject, which goes through their conversation only. Bill and Nick have no specific purpose of meetings or talking. The weather creates a situation for them. This keeps them inside when they talk about different topics. Hemingway creates the situation of drinking so that they can reveal their feelings. The scene moves forward excluding the opening exposition. He talks about the weather- rainfall, storm, wind, surf, etc. suddenly, he begins to have different sorts of drinks and talk about games of baseball. The topic of their talk shifts to books and writing. They slowly get drunk and talk about their habits. Then, they talk about Nick's girlfriend. This is the climax of the story. The theme of this scene lastly talks about hunting and go to.

When we read the drama, this scene opens one by one. The title of the story says something symbolically. Weather doesn’t remain the same always. Even a single day we can experience the fluctuation of weather. This is the principle of nature. Weather is dynamic; it doesn’t remain constant all the time. Just like the weather, mental conflict of the tension of suffering is presented in several scenes or sequence of events. In the beginning scene, nick looks calm but with the movement of different scenes, his calm face changes.

The setting of this story goes to be open with a nice scene. Nick is presented in the beginning on the way. He is going up to the village. The natural presentation is also seen. There is an orchard and we see the blowing of air, breeze that is the first autumn storm. Nick picks up an apple and keeps it in his pocket. The two characters Nick and Bill are presented inside the house. They have their personal talk. The story begins with the scene of woods, lakes, kitchen, sitting room, dining room etc. In the beginning, Nick is seen and the story ends with guns. They go down where Bill’s father was hunting. There are similar events between the weather and sequence of events of “The Three Days Blow”. There is conflict in the character Nick. He is getting confused about his girlfriend Marjorie. He wants to meet her again but Bill makes him leave her. He wants to marry her although her mother is bad. So the conflicts are similar. There is a union in both weather hand love of Nick with Marjorie. Weather becomes fair and love also becomes negotiable.

The story is dramatic because there are characters and dialogues and unity of time and place. There are two characters Nick and Bill who have continuous dialogues like in the drama. The setting of the story is also like a drama. There is internal and external scene. These scenes can be converted into the drama. They just talk about some little subject that is the subject matter of both drama and story. This story deals with love. Marjorie’s mother can be presented as an antagonist, Nick as a protagonist and Bill as an inciting force. So the story is dramatic.

The three-day blow and Nick’s mental condition are related. Marjorie’s business is the fundamental subject of the story. Nick, though he is not enjoyed with her, is going to get married. Because of her mother, he breaks relation from Marjorie, his beloved. After different kinds of talks, Bill and Nick’s conversations is concentrated. Marjorie’s business has broken his relation with her easily. So moment from Nick’s conflicts of love affairs, through suffering and separation to reconciliation ends. Thus Marjorie’s business is like a three day below that comes and disappears itself. The three-day blow comes, threatens and finally goes away. In the same way, conflict of love appears and disappears with despair and again with hope.

The Marjorie’s business is the fundamental subject of this story. Nick, though he was not engaged with her, was going to get married. Because of her mother, he broke relation from Marjorie, his beloved. His mother was very terrible. To marry her meant he would have married the whole family her mother.

Though the character Bill, the writer seems to be giving a practical message. Nick seems to be emotional but Bill is practical. Nick is ready to accept Marjorie although her mother was bad. He really loves her and ready to accept her. His life can be compared with the storm. The moment when he met Marjorie and he left her due to an unfavorable situation that moment is just like a violent storm, which doesn’t last for a long time in nature. Bill is practical. He says Nick to forget all the events related with Marjorie and lead his wife towards a new direction. Human life is a mixture of sorrow and happiness. If any disastrous event comes in our life also, we should control our emotion and lead our life towards a new phase and time happily. We should have the capacity to adjust with all the fluctuations that come into our life.

Important Questions

1. Discuss “The Three Day Blow” as a dramatic story.
Ans: Drama is a genre that tells a story through the speech and actions of the character in the story. Here, in “The Three Day Blow” the story is presented with the help of dialogues. In the drama, the story is presented in different places, in the same way in `The Three Day Blow’ there are scenes too. The whole story becomes clear by the dialogue between Nick and Bill in different places.

2. The story is presented in a sequence of approximately seven scenes. Can you find them?
Ans: In this story, Nick and Bill are the main characters. They are presented in different places. In the first scenes, Nick and Bill stand outside the cottage. In the second scenes, Nick and Bill drink sitting in Bill’s sitting room. In the third scene, nick is picking up the apricots he has dropped in the kitchen. In the fourth scene, they are putting the log on the fire in the sitting room. In the fifth scene, they were coming from the kitchen. In the scene, they are in the sitting room talking about Marjorie. In the seventh scene, both friends Nick and Bill are outside the cottage and they are ready to go for hunting.

3. What is the relationship between the Three Day Blow and Nick’s mental condition?
Ans: There is a similarity between the Three Day Blow and Nick’s mental condition. As the three-day blow comes suddenly and makes the tree leafless, similar kind of tragic blow comes in the love affair between Nick and Marjorie. Nick loves Marjorie but her mother is bad. The first-day blow indicates Nick’s hatred towards Marjorie’s mother; the second blow indicates his suffering from separation. The third-day blow indicates his planning for the reunion.

Questions for Practice

  1. What does Nick have to say about his married life in “Three Day Blow”? How does he say it?
  2. What did Nick and Bill talk about?

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