An Analysis of The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

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An Analysis of The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

During his life, Ernest Hemingway has used his talent as a writer in many novels, nonfiction, and short stories, and today he is recognized to be maybe "the best-known American writer of the twentieth century" (Stories for Students 243). In his short stories Hemingway reveals "his deepest and most enduring themes-death, writing, machismo, bravery, and the alienation of men in the modern world" (Stories for Students 244).

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is a proof of Hemingway's artistic talent in which the author, by portraying the story of a writer's life self-examination, reveals his own struggles in life, and makes the reading well perceived by the use of symbolism. The reader learns about Harry's attitudes toward death, war, artistic creation, and women, which are concepts of what Hemingway writes about.

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" tells the story of a dying writer who is on a safari in Africa with his wife, Helen. The plains of Africa in the vicinity of Mt. Kilimanjaro are also places that attracted Hemingway in the past. Furthermore, Carlos Baker reveals in his book Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story the events in the author's life that determined him to write this fiction. It all began in 1934 in New York when a rich woman offered "to stake" Hemingway to a safari in Africa. He refused, but then he started to think about what would have happened if he had agreed. Baker also adds: "The dying writer in the story was an image of himself as he might have been. Might have been, that is, if the temptation to lead the aimless life of the very rich had overcome his integrity as an artist" (289).

In the story, the writer has received a scratch on his leg, but he failed to take c...

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...Short Story Criticism. Vol. 25. New York: Gale, 1997. 97-102.

Montgomery, Marion. "The Leopard and the Hyena: Symbol and Meaning in ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro.'" The University of Kansas City Review 27 (1961) : 277-82. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 25. New York: Gale, 1997. 81-83.

Smith, Jennifer, ed. Short Stories for Students. New York: Gale, 2001.


Baker, Carlos. Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1972.

Hemingway, Mary Welsh. How It Was. New York: Knopf, 1976.

Lee, Robert A., ed. Ernest Hemingway: New Critical Essays. Totowa: Barnes & Noble, 1983.

Litz, A. Walton, and Molly Weigel, eds. American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, A Retrospective Supplement. Vol. 1. New York: Scribner's, 1998.

Unger, Leonard, ed. American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies. Vol. 2. New York: Scribner's, 1974.

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