The High Cost of Living

1200 Words5 Pages
The High Cost of Living Mankind continues to ponder the meaning of life and how to live that life fully yet honorably. The 1920’s were a decade filled with vast opportunity, endless wealth, and even more alcohol. The consequences this new age brought are expressed in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” a short story written by Ernest Hemingway shortly after that era ended. The protagonist of the story, Harry, was once a young and promising write who had even produced some notable work, but through his relations with the upper class, has now been transmuted into a soft and subdued mercenary, marrying women solely for their wealth. Having his vast talent chastised by the wealthy, Harry plans a retreat with his current wife to Mt. Kilimanjaro, where he eventually cuts his leg and develops a deadly case of gangrene. As the infection progresses, Harry enters into a hallucinogenic state resulting in a deep reflection on the morals and values of that time. Hemingway explores the causes of corruption and moral sin in a person’s life and demonstrates the devastating consequences and regrets they may bring through the use of flashbacks. In due course, the author includes key points and details to express his own anxieties and fears as a talented author, which Hemingway represents through Harry. As a bright and promising author, Hemingway feared that any corruption in his life, particularly women and wealth, would weaken his writing ability. In the story, Harry spends most of his last few
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