'Islands In the Stream' Is Published
The first act, "Bimini", begins with an introduction to the character of Thomas Hudson, a classic Hemingway stoic male figure.
Hudson is a renowned American painter who finds tranquility on the island of Bimini, in the Bahamas, a far cry from his usual adventurous lifestyle. Hudson’s strict routine of work is interrupted when his three sons arrive for the summer and is the setting for most of the act. Also introduced in this act is the character of Roger Davis, one of Hudson’s oldest friends. Though similar to Hudson, by struggling with an unmentioned internal conflict, Davis seems to act as a more dynamic and outgoing image of Hudson’s character. The act ends with Hudson receiving news of the death of his two youngest children soon after they leave the island.
"Cuba" takes place soon thereafter during the second World War, where we are introduced to an older and more distant Hudson who has just received news of his oldest (and last) son’s death in the war. This second act introduces us to a more cynical and introverted Hudson who spends his days on the island drinking heavily and doing naval reconnaissance for the US Army.
"At Sea", the final act, ends leaving the reader to assume Hudson dies after being wounded in a shoot out which capped a pursuit (by him and a team of irregulars) of German sailors whose U-boat was presumably sunk in the Gulf Stream, although the ending is slightly ambiguous. Hudson becomes intent on finding the fleeing Germans after he finds they massacred an entire village to cover their escape. In this last act Hudson stops questioning the death of his children. This chapter rings heavily with influences of Hemingway’s earlier work For Whom the Bell Tolls.