Aug 31 2016

Short Happy Life

Posted at 12:52 pm under Uncategorized

Ernest Hemingway emphasized masculinity and a part of what makes a man a “man” in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. Hemingway did this through immersing the readers into a safari in the “Darkest Africa” where Macomber is overcoming fear in hunting. Hunting can be a normal practice, but when exotic animals are involved it feels more wrong. Regardless of morality, it gives the opportunity to show sportsmanship and courage with lions, rifles, and bromance, oh my! Hemingway shows the theme of masculinity not only directly, but through contrasting it with femininity and cowardice. I thought it was interesting that Hemingway told the story through several points of view, emphasizing the feelings of others. He mentioned several times that Macomber was unaware of how others were feeling: the lion’s alertness, Wilson’s aggression, and Margot’s disinterest.

I don’t like the way Hemingway portrays women or the relationship in this short story, but it provided a real conflict that fit with the story. Margot built a case for herself throughout the short story where she could kill Macomber, but it still doesn’t seem right. If Margot knew she wouldn’t leave him, would that mean she could kill him, or that she wouldn’t? The buffalo was about to kill Macomber, so if she didn’t shoot he still would’ve died, which makes me believe she shot to kill the buffalo. His happiness only begun shortly before his death, after he shot three buffalo and had “no bloody fear.”

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