Nick Adams goes through a rite of passage in
The most interesting connection between these two stories is in their portrayal of relationships. In "Out of Season," Hemingway delineates an unsuccessful and uncomfortable relationship between a man and a woman. In "Cross-Country Snow," though, he paints a portrait of a successful male-male relationship. In both of these stories, the activities that the characters engage in are indicative of the success of the relationship. In "Out of Season," the American husband wants to go fishing, but the wife is clearly reluctant. The two have had some sort of argument and cannot communicate. However, "Cross-Country Snow," shows two men happily skiing. The men talk some, but consciously decide not to try to express to each other the joy that they derive from skiing. Therefore, not only is the relationship successful, but the activity reflects that success in "Cross-Country Snow."
Interestingly, though, even as the two men get along well in the latter story, they do not communicate fluidly. Instead, they are most comfortable keeping their true feelings to themselves. Therefore, these two stories are important to put together because they seem to show a difference in relationships between men and women and those between two men. Yet, they also show the similarity of each of these types of relationships: a lack of communication.
The title phrase in "The Three-Day Blow" signifies when, during the fall, the wind kicks up and blows all the leaves off the trees. It is just beginning when Nick Adams and Bill get together in the story of the same name. "The Three-Day Blow" can also represent a time in one's life when all of the excess gets stripped away and only the most important things remain. For Nick and Bill, the important thing to remain is their masculinity, including their love of sports: fishing, hunting, and baseball. For him to become a strong, stoic, masculine man, Nick needs a strong wind to blow his emotions about Marjorie out of his system. Just as this wind prepares the trees for winter, blowing out his emotions will get Nick ready for a cold time in his life. He even says that the wind can blow away all of his worry and sadness. Of course, Nick is not sure that he is ready for such coldness. Part of him wants Marjorie back. But, Nick decides, at the end of the story, not to worry about Marjorie but to go hunting. He seems to be deciding to blow away all his softness and emotion.