Ernest Hemingway created a masterpiece of mystery in his story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". The mystery does not reveal itself to the reader until the end of the story, yet it leaves a lot to the imagination. At the end of the story Margaret Macomber kills her husband by accident, in order to save him from being mauled by a large Buffalo while on a safari in Africa. The mystery is whether or not this killing was truly accidental, or intentional. If it was to be considered intentional, there would certainly have to be evidence in the story suggesting such, with a clear motive as well. What makes this mystery unique is that Hemingway gives the reader numerous instances that would lead the reader to devise an acceptable motive, yet human nature tells the reader that this killing could not have been intentional. From a purely objective analysis of the story, the reader would see far more evidence supporting the theory of an intentional killing rather than an accidental one.
The clues supporting the idea that Margaret killed Francis
intentionally can best be seen when observing and studying the
background information on both Francis Macomber, and Margaret
herself. (Hemingway 1402). What is also important is that Margot
and Francis have very different personalities. This is clearly
seen when the narrator states, (Hemingway 1402).
With this small amount of background information, the true motive
for an intentional killing can be found. This can clearly be seen
in the conversation of Francis Macomber after killing the buffalo
when he states, (Hemingway 1408. "(Hemingway 1409). Robert Wilson,
the guide on the...
... middle of paper ...
... a man with values and
feelings and morals; a man capable of living happily ever after,
regardless of the span of his life. The character Francis
Macomber, a wealthy American, and his wife, Margot, are on safari
with their English guide, Robert Wilson. Macomber wounds a lion
and runs away in fear. The guide is horrified at his bad
sportsmanship Macomber redeems himself by killing a buffalo
cleanly and bravely. he faces another buffalo, a charging, badly
wounded bull. From the car where she has been watching, Margot
takes aim and shoots at the charging buffalo, apparently to save
her husband's life.
Hemingway, Ernest. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." DiYanni, Robert. Literature: reading fiction, poetry, drama, and the essay. 3rd ed. Ed. Steve Pensinger and James R. Belser. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990.
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