The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

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The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

In Ernest Hemingway's story, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,"

Francis Macomber, according to Hemingway, is a very unhappy man because of his

cowardly display after facing a wounded lion and because of his inability to

stand up to his wife. However, Francis Macomber regains his happiness and

bravery while out hunting buffalo; unfortunately, it is short lived.

Francis Macomber is a man in his mid-thirties, "very tall, very well built…

and considered handsome." He excelles at court games and has quite a number of

big-game fishing records, yet, this morning he “has just shown himself to be a


The ordeal started the night before when Francis was awakened by the

sound of a lion roaring, which frightened him for the rest of he night. In the

early morning Francis, Margot (his wife) and their guide Robert Wilson go out

to hunt for this lion. After coming upon the lion, Francis shoots three times,

hitting it twice and only wounding it. The wounded lion went trotting off into

the tall grass, hiding and waiting for the hunters to come after him. Before

the men go in after the lion, Macomber sat, "sweating under his arms, his mouth

dry, his stomach hollow feeling, wanting to find the courage to tell Wilson to

go on and finish off the lion without him." As the men enter the tall grass,

the lion came charging at them. The next thing he knows, Macomber is "running

wildly, in panic in the open, running ...

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