The Theme of Carpe Diem in Francis Macomber and Capital Of The World Essay

The Theme of Carpe Diem in Francis Macomber and Capital Of The World Essay

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The Theme of Carpe Diem in Francis Macomber and Capital Of The World  

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Capital Of The World    A lot of Hemingway’s stories deal with life and death. Death even found it’s way into some of the titles we have read so far. However, in discussing death, we first have to look at life or rather how a life was lived, to truly understand what death meant in the particular instance. Both short stories, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and The Capital Of The World deal with lives cut short by a chance and accidental encounter with death, while the soon to be deceased seem to gamble and court death. Both also seem to have secondary characters that serve as guides of sorts into this journey. However only one of these characters seems satisfied when cut down, and that is what Hemingway thinks makes all the difference.

 For example, in The Capital Of The World, were are introduced to the character of Paco. Early in the story, Hemingway writes, “Madrid is full of boys named Paco”(29). And, as stated in class, Francis, from The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, to bears a rather unusual name. While “Paco” is told to be common, we recognize “Francis” as being an odd name for a man. The names are different, but the effect seems to be the same. Hemingway named his characters to give us a picture of who they are. With “Paco”, we see just another faceless boy, and with Francis we assume a poor example of a “Hemingway man”. Both of these are then set up to be unremarkable characters that may have to prove their worth. And that is what drives each particular story.

 Both stories also have characters that drive each respective protagonist into his...

... middle of paper ...

...;The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber ends with Wilson saying, “ ‘I’m though now”, he said,’I was a little angry. I’d begun to like your husband’”(28). What Hemingway is telling us plainly is that Macomber was able to achieve something. His death, although tragic, is not as tragic as Paco’s. As we have said many times in class, Hemingway knows death does indeed come for everyone. From short stories like The Killers to novels like For Whom The Bell Tolls, death can almost even be described as a reoccurring character in Hemingway’s work. However death impact is weighed by comparing it to life. For Macomber, death came at his highest point. He went down like man. Paco however, lost his life before he could lose his innocence. He was not even given the chance to live. And that is what Hemingway thinks is all the more tragic. To die not like a man, but a boy.


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