The short happy life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway is a written manifestation of
Hemingway's own life philosophy, which says that as a true man one should face the difficulties of
life with grace and steadfastness. For good reason he believes that nothing in life comes for free and
that first one has to endure in order to achieve. In the quest for the code failure has gruesome consequences. The man will live in anxiety without being able to prove himself and this narrowing of his manhood is bound to have some serious effect on his self-esteem. "It isn't done," says Wilson "why not?" Asks Macomber. These words sounds like a tutor to his apprentice. The words are a part of the learning process and they are normally a result of one persons wondering.
They are also the words, which best describe the interaction between Robert Wilson and Francis
Macomber and which describe one of the essential themes of the story.
Like a master of etiquette and self-righteous behavior Hemingway tells us what is done and what isn't done, as he pulls us through his catching story of the acquiring and obtaining of the true code of a man. A code that Hemingway himself followed and which may seem old-fashioned, male chauvinistic and pointless now a day, but which has a profound resemblance to the knightly virtues that were maintained during the Middle Ages. In The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber we meet Francis Macomber who is our protagonist
and the rich American boy-man who has to pass a rite of initiation (in this case killing an animal) in order to become a man. His wife, the unscrupulous, cynical Margot, has brought him on yet another safari in a hopeless attempt to make a ...
... middle of paper ...
...important to Hemingway, I have to conclude
that he observes Francis Macomber through the entire story with very subtle contempt.
Through this essay I have raised a lot of questions, that I've tried to answer myself and to sum up I
have to say that The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is a story about a man, who through his
continued failures to reach manhood wrecks his marriage and frustrates his consort. Francis
Macomber is indeed a coward and perhaps he doesn't deserve his manhood when he achieves it and
maybe that's why he dies. With this story Hemingway tells us that if you're not a man, you're
nothing, not even alive and Francis experiences the only true living time of his life just between the
buffalo shooting and his death and even though it was short it was happy and real hence the title:
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.
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