The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber

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Ernest Hemingway was an intricate and dedicated writer who devoted a significant portion of his life to writing multiple genres of stories. Throughout his stories, the similarities in his style and technique are easily noted and identified. Two of the short stories he wrote contain themes and motifs that specifically explain the plotline. The first story, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” sets its scene in the depths of a desolate area in Africa, where the main characters, Harry and his wife, decide to make their home. After living there for a few years, Harry ventures out and falls into a thorn bush, thus infecting his leg with gangrene. A few weeks later, he finds himself on the brink between life and death, unable to treat such a severe infection. Throughout the whole story, his life is flashing before his eyes as he recalls all of the major events that occurred in his past. By nightfall, Harry is acting unusual, and he begins to feel as if life is not worth living anymore. After he drifts off to sleep that evening, his wife goes to check on him and discovers that her husband has passed away (Hemingway 52-77). The second great work of Hemingway, “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” is also set in a deserted section of Africa. Francis and his wife, Margot, are on a safari adventure along with their tour guide named Wilson. The way these three characters interact with each other creates tension and provides an adequate plot for the story. The trip begins with the couple intending on hunting big game. At first they track down a lion that continuously roars throughout the night, and later decide to chase after buffalos. To add to the complications of the trip, Margot has an intimate relationship with their tour guide. The story c... ... middle of paper ... ...Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.’” Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 211-18. 27 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Oct. 2009. “‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro.’” Short Stories for Students. Ed. Jennifer Smith. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 243-51. 27 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Oct. 2009. Stallman, R. W. “A New Reading of ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro.’” The Houses That James Built: And Other Literary Studies. New York: Ohio University, 1961. 173-99. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Carol T. Gaffke and Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 25. Detroit: Gale, 142 vols. 89-92. Print. Stoltzfus, Ben. “‘Sartre, Nada, and Hemingway's African Stories.’” Comparative Literature Studies. New York: Garrett, 2005. 205-28. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena Krstović. Vol. 117. Detroit: Gale, 142 vols. 214-21. Print.

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