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The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber

1209 words - 5 pages

“The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber. (1048 Words) First Draft

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 in the Jeep. Using his wife’s actions as motivation, Macomber is overcome with feelings of courage and self-confidence when he kills a buffalo that charged at him. Margot, shocked and speechless at what happened fires a bullet into the back of her husband’s head upon realization of him having the power and ability to leave her. Wilson is also suspicious of Margot’s supposedly accidental actions: “Why didn’t you poison him? That’s what they do in England” (Hemingway 34).
Men and women both play symbolic roles in this story. The narrator uses Wilson and Macomber’ guns as symbols for their masculinity: “He heard the ca-ra-wong! Of Wilson's big riffle, and again in a second crashing ca-ra-wong and turning saw the lion” (Hemingway ). Margot is attracted to Wilson because of his manly characteristics, which her husband does not possess. In a way to furthermore exhibit Wilson’s superiority over Macomber, the author symbolically gives Wilson the bigger more powerful weapon. When Margot chooses Wilson over her husband, it illustrates that masculinity is a desirable trait to women. The differences in masculinity between the two male characters is also illustrated inside the head of Robert Wilson when Macomber cowards away from...

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