Snow of Kilimanjaro

3380 Words14 Pages
In this story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, the author Ernest Hemingway has basically two main characters, Harry and his wife, Helen. Throughout the story Harry has an infected leg, which seems to be seriously bothering him, it is actually rotting away. The author writes about Harry’s time on the mountain with his wife just waiting for his death. In his story, Ernest Hemingway shows a great deal reality and emotion through his main character Harry, in the books themes, and its symbols.
The author’s story is about Harry’s spiritual death as much as his bodily one. From the beginning of the story Harry knew he was dying but knows it with intellectual detachment. In the story Harry says, “Can’t you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names? What’s the use of slanging me?...Don’t be silly. I’m dying now. Ask those bastards.” (Hemingway, Page 2208 and 2209) Throughout the whole story Harry kind of has this arrogant, cocky dialect, and he is quite rude to his wife. During the story Harry is also lazy and drinks a lot, and at some parts of his life he just lets it waste away. In this quote, the narrator depicts part of Harry “He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and by prejudice, by hook and by crook.”(Hemingway, Page 2213) Harry’s talent was that he could do whatever we put his mind to, and he was just lazy and let it slip away.
In many modernistic stories the reader usually finds out that the main character is some what alienated from everyone. In this stories case that is true, also. Harry, goes through his own time and just wants to be left alone. He gets sick, and he just wants to give up all hope. It seems like once something goes wrong, or doesn’t go his way he just gives up. He drinks a lot during this story to wash away his troubles and he doesn’t care that his wife claims that it is harmful to his health. All he can say in return is that he is going to die anyways. This is a main part of the story.
The symbolism in this story adds to the depth of it. Symbols are used to represent ideas or qualities in a story. “Only by reading the story ironically, by regarding the symbols of permanence and purity as a mockery of Harry’s unwholesomeness, can one maintain this criti...

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...nfluence in his writings is his experiences on great expeditions to Africa.Watts, Emily S. “Iconography...” Ernest Hemingway and the Arts. Chicago: Illinois P, 1971. 51-95. Watts explains that Hemingway does not write much on the topic of suicide. One might think this would be a large subject in his stories, but he mentions suicide only briefly in one story. Although Harry in The Snows of Kilimanjaro does die, he has little choice in the manner.Works CitedBaker, Carlos. “The Slopes of Kilimanjaro.” Ernest Hemingway A Life Story. New York: Scribner’s, 1969.Hemingway, Ernest. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories. New York: Scribner’s, 1970.Nahal, Chaman. “The Short Stories.” The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway’s Fiction. Madison: Fairleigh, 1971. Plimpton, George. “An Interview with Ernest Hemingway.” Hemingway and His Critics. Ed. Carlos Baker. New York: Hill, 1961. Shuman, R. Baird. “Ernest Hemingway.” Magill’s Survey of American Literature. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Vol. 3. New York: Marshall, 1991. Watts, Emily S. “Iconography and technical expression: the agony of man.” Ernest Hemingway and the Arts. Chicago: Illinois P, 1971. Word Count: 2024
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