Sep 01 2016

Margaret’s Masculinity

Posted at 8:31 pm under Uncategorized

Margaret Macomber uses her sexuality and masculinity to control Francis Macomber and their marriage. As described by Hemingway, they are essentially trapped together: Margaret can’t leave because of his money, and Francis can’t leave because of her beauty. Because of this, Margaret attempts to cope, taking great joy in mentally and emotionally manipulating Francis, humiliating him, denying him the dominant role in their relationship, and having sexual relations with multiple other men. The only reason Francis tries to be brave when hunting the lion and the buffalo is not to impress Margaret, but to turn the tables on her. For what seems to be the majority of their marriage Margaret has played the masculine role, and it’s obvious that Francis has trouble controlling her. Toward the end of the story, when Francis kills the buffalo, there was a clear change: “Macomber’s face was shining. ‘You know, something did happen to me,’ he said, ‘I feel absolutely different.’” The power had finally shifted to Francis, as was clear by Margaret’s reaction to his confidence. She seemed to shrink, remaining in the corner of the car, acting like a petulant child rather than the strong woman she normally appears to be. This is obviously why Margaret shoots her husband. She was losing her power quickly, and so she ended him. It was no accident that she killed him.

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