The Macabre Life of the Macombers
Margot Macomber blows her husband’s brains out with a high powered hunting riffle in this macabre tale full of grotesque and gruesome gore.Through an omniscient all-knowing narrator the reader is taken on a hunting expedition in the wilds of Africa and witnesses the deaths of animals and the main character Francis Macomber.
In “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” the omniscient narrator focuses mainly on the thoughts and feelings of the two male characters, Wilson and Francis, and even allows the reader to feel what the wounded male lion senses. Margot the female antagonist of the story is mostly experienced through her words and actions, rather than her feelings and thoughts. By doing this,…show more content… Even from the title, it’s ironic that Francis is not happy and the only time he achieves true happiness after his transformation from killing the buffalos is a short time before he’s killed. It’s ironic that Wilson who is the main witness to the murder can not testify against Margot because he has committed several illegal acts throughout the story. Through Margot’s own words, Hemingway uses irony to establish her as the catalyst that spurs Francis into killing more animals to prove himself, establish his own masculine identity or gender role, and come of age. For example, she says, “They’re not dangerous, are they?” when talking about the game they are hunting, and constantly provoking her husband to be more manly and less cowardly, but in reality she’s the one who is dangerous. She constantly argues that she is coming when the males repeatedly tell her she can’t come. Wilson thinks on several occasions how cruel she is even though he still sleeps with her. The night before his hunt, Francis says, “It was neither all over nor was it beginning” and he’s tormenting himself for being afraid, but a short time after having the thought, it was all over for him and just possibly keeping that fear could have saved his life.
Hemingway uses foreshadowing throughout the story to add suspense and intrigue to the hunting trip. The reader is excited for