Snows of Kilimanjaro Essay

1175 Words 5 Pages
In the American literature scene, not many authors have the name recognition and notoriety of Ernest Hemingway. His adventurous lifestyle, copious amounts of classic literature, and characteristic writing style gave him fame both in days when he was alive and now after he has long passed. Of his most well-known works is The Snows of Kilimanjaro. This short story centers on a man known only as Harry, who is slowly dying of an infection of gangrene in his leg. He is a writer who laments not writing enough, and the short story deals mostly with the psychology of him dying while lamenting and recalling various things in his life. This leaves room for copious amounts of interpretation, with many scholarly essays having been written about The …show more content…
Baker is suggesting that Harry does not attribute his oncoming death to classic subtle imagery such as the scythe and the skull, but rather the distasteful animals of the night that surround and torture him. He makes no argument for Harry’s heroism or any sound commentary on his will to keep on living. Rather he stays on the topic of death symbols, and how they conform to Harry’s locale and his ever-grim situation. Another critic named Marion Montgomery, in an essay written in 1961, chose to focus more specifically on two of the main symbols of the hyena and the leopard, rather than the overarching theme of death at large in the story. The leopard carcass receives little attention in the story itself, but as with many of Hemingway’s small symbols it receives a good amount of literary criticism. At first, Montgomery seems skeptical of even analyzing such a small portion of the story. “This is the only direct reference to the leopard, and therein, perhaps, lies a weakness of the story, a point to be considered later. What is important to note at this point is that a contrast seems to be implied between the leopard of the headnote and the hyena that slinks through the story itself” (Montgomery). She goes on to analyze Harry’s impending death, how he relates the “evil-smelling emptiness” (Hemingway) to both the Hyena and the concept of death itself. Harry relates death to several different things in the story (the policemen on bicycles
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