Bravery, courageousness and fearlessness all are words that can be used to describe someone who is manly or masculine. None of these words are can be used when talking about Francis Macomber. Rich and successful, Macomber never needed to prove his masculinity to nobody. Even though undefined, in the short story “The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber” Masculinity is the main theme developed through the uses of imagery, symbolism and irony. At the beginning of their African Safari Hunt, Francis Macomber struggles to deal with his fear of death, while his wife takes part in adulterous activities with the leader of the hunt, Robert Wilson. Wilson is everything that Macomber is not. Brave and courageous, Wilson is desired by Margot for possessing all of the masculine qualities, and even her marriage to Macomber does not stop her from getting what she wants. Francis Macomber must overcome his fears and reach the epitome of his masculinity if he hopes to return from this African Safari with his wife, and most importantly his own life.
Francis and Margot Macomber are anything but alike. Early on it is clear that they are held together, not by their feelings for one another, but because of the social status Francis holds back in America. Hoping to re-spark their marriage, the couple embarks on an African safari-hunting trip with professional guide, Robert Wilson. Their plan has the exact opposite effect when Francis Macomber cowardly flees from a lion mid-hunt. Embarrassed at her husbands actions, Margot begins an affair with Wilson, the more masculine of the two men. When hunting for buffalo the next day, Francis Macomber becomes enraged when Margot kisses Wilson i...
... middle of paper ...
...e story. Once again using whiskey as a symbol to manhood, Macomber enjoys the strong spirit out of celebration of his newfound masculinity and happiness. Francis Macomber’s happiness is short lived when his wife ironically shoots him down, right after he explains his newfound joy to Wilson:
You know, I don't think I'd ever be afraid of anything again, Macomber said to Wilson. Something happened in me after we first saw the buff and started after him. Like a
Dam bursting. It was pure excitement. (p. 38, Hemingway) Clearly this quote states that no longer did Macomber fear death. Macomber develops from someone who is a coward in the eyes of his wife Margot, into someone who has reached the epitome of their masculinity.
Hemingway, Ernest. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." 1936. The First Forty Nine Stories. London: Cape, 1946. 9-43. PDF File.
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