The Importance of Controling One's Own Happiness in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

The Importance of Controling One's Own Happiness in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

Length: 881 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Only one can control their happiness and be in control of their life. In “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” the author Ernest Hemingway demonstrates the importance of controlling ones happiness and assuming there position of power through characterization and symbolism. This story displays the coward who Frances Macomber is characterized to be, overcoming being defeated by his wife Margot. Also the characterization and position of the people that had influenced his life challenge. The symbolisms of animals predominantly play a role in comparison to the characters moreover.
The ways that Frances Macomber interacted with other characters gave indications to his personality and who he was. Frances Macomber was a wealthy man but proven to be a boy. He showed much cowardice through his actions. Macomber states, “I bolted like a rabbit…” (Hemingway). He has proven himself through this quote to be fearful of lions and wanting to be more like a man; whom Mr. Wilson had resembled. Francis lived most of his adult life under the controlling and dominant power of Margot whom he did not respect. Margot said quietly “If you make a scene I’ll leave you…” (Hemingway). Although cowardice it is implied that he did have the courage to regain his self-possession. He redeems his sense of manhood and respect of others after charging a water buffalo and disobeying what his once powerful wife had to say. He had re-gained admiration when he finally conquers the first real challenge of his life; Happiness. Wilson communicates, “It had taken a strange chance of hunting, a sudden precipitation into action without opportunity for worrying beforehand, to bring this about” (Hemingway). Victorious in his self-defeat Macomber dies. Not only is it a normal death, Frances’s now “re-born”.
Margot Macomber was Frances’s beautiful wife whom he had been married to in an unordinary conjugal. She was a very deviant human being who did not truly love Macomber only loved his money and he only lover her for her beauty. The narrator states, [S]imply enamelled in that American female cruelty…” (Hemingway). She took advantage of Macomber as he showed being a coward and was very embarrassed to claim him as her husband after losing the encounter with a lion. She enjoyed seeing Frances weakness to not killing the lion at the beginning of the story and took psychological control over him. Margot explains, “I won’t leave you and you’ll behave yourself” (Hemingway).Wilson had also influenced Margot proving to be the man that she wanted and admired.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Importance of Controling One's Own Happiness in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Feb 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=355106>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »
Margot punished Macomber for his cowardice by sleeping with Wilson. She knew that there was nothing that Frances could do about it because she had complete control over him since she was so beautiful. As Macomber began to reclaim his manhood Margot shoots and kills him because she feared the man that Frances had become. Margot said sneeringly, “You’ve gotten awfully brave, awfully suddenly…” (Hemingway). She did not want Macomber to re-gain control over her. Therefore after all of the disloyalty Margot is considered to be the villain of the story; she is both betrayer and killer.
Not related to neither Frances nor Margot, Wilson is the hunting guide to the couples African adventure. He is very handsome, extremely courageous, and a man of no terror. Robert Wilson assumed the position of expert and intimidated in his strong, manly traits. Wilson did not fear killing a lion or anything for that matter. Wilson explains, “Let’s have a spot of the giant killer…” (Hemingway). He believed that all American men are weak in their position which is why he had also defeated Macombers happiness by sleeping with his wife. The author shows Wilsons idea of American men: “[T]heir men have softened or gone to pieces nervously they have hardened” (Hemingway). After this betrayal Wilson seemed to be sympathetic toward Macombers childlike situation and wanted to see him prosper. Seeing Macomber become a “manly man” installed in Wilson that he could not let Margot take control. He was a man free of woman and did not let Margot conquest his position. Robert reveals his dominance: [P]lease is much better now I’ll stop” (Hemingway). At the end of the story Wilson takes dominance over the once controlling Margot and proves to be the man that he has always been.
The animals in the story “The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber” symbolize the characters and the traits that represent them. Frances is considered to be like a rabbit skittish and afraid of the world. While Wilson represents the lion; no fear and dictating those around. He is king of the jungle and needs to be conquered by man. The lion does not only represent man, Macomber is compared to the lion by the animal’s hatred. The author states [H]is big yellow eyes, narrowed with hate, looked straight ahead…” (Hemingway). While it is implied that Frances is like a rabbit and has comparisons to a lion he is also associated to the buffalo that he lied dead next to after being killed himself. “Francis Macomber lay now; face down, not two yards from where the buffalo lay on his side…” (Hemingway). Though he had been killed Macomber did mostly resemble that of the lion at the end. The animals may seem like nothing more than a hunt but Hemingway had a way of incorporating them into the story to symbolize the characters. In the essence to look for happiness Frances does just that through the animals. Leading himself Macomber relates to the idea that lion needs to be defeated by man; which is just what he had did.
Achieving his piece of happiness, Macomber rose and overcame his life’s biggest challenge. He was no longer a coward or dwelling in his defeat by others. He was now the king of the jungle; a lion. All of the characters in “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” written by Ernest Hemingway validate the importance of controlling ones happiness and assuming there position of authority through characterization and symbolism. They all proved through their experiences on this safari the individual whom they were. Strong willed and influential the characterizations brought out the evidence of Francis, Margot, and Mr. Wilson.

Return to 123HelpMe.com