Think about a scary moment in your life. How did you handle the situation? How do you feel about how you handled it? Do you regret your actions? Everyone, at some point, is scared of something. Each person has different fears, reactions, and coping skills. Arachnophobia the fear of spiders and/or other arachnids leaves some crippled with fear, making them clam up, people with arachnophobia may avoid any situation where there could be a spider or even be paranoid about spiders under their toilet seat. A crippling fear has the power to alter a person’s life. The Central theme or universal lesson of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is people should not let their life be dictated by fear but rather should embrace opportunities because if they do not, they can never be happy with their existence or feel like they have lived a fulfilling life.
First, Hemmingway presents, the protagonist, Francis Macomber as a pitiful and ignominious man that you should not look upon admirably because of “cowardly” behavior, which opposes the universal theme of the story. Though, as the story develops so does Francis; he transforms from a lowly coward to an exceptionally brave man. Examples of Francis’ cowardice are seen in situations like after facing the lion. Before the word coward is ever mentioned by Hemmingway it is made very clear in the opening that Macomber is not a man to be admired. This is supported by a statement made by Macomber’s wife Margaret, “No, it is mine that is red today.”(Hemmingway 2), when speaking about the shade of Mr. Wilson, the safari guide, and Macomber’s faces. This statement is setting the st...
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...a ‘real man’ handles a scary or tough situation.
Last but most certain not least is the lion, who, though only given one paragraph, is the bravest and most admirable character of all. Hemmingway wants you root for the lion, not feel pity that it was shot. There is never any fear in the lions heart, but hatred and revenge. A coward would only think to run and hide, to get away as fast as possible. The only reason the lion retreats is to position himself better for an attack. The lion knew he was going to die, and accepted it gracefully. However the lion was not going to die without retaliation. In regard to the theme of the story the lion is the epitome of bravery and proves why it is so important not to let fear control your life. At this point the outcome for the lion was death, but his attitude about life let him die with zero regrets, much like Macomber died.
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