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
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Without Hemingway 's use of Wilson’s inner dialogue readers wouldn’t know what his thoughts on the affair are, neither would they know about his biased and role giving ways. Despite his prior judgments of Francis, near the end of the story Wilson shows a shift in his judgment when Francis, filled with anger, chases down and kills some buffalo. He says that Francis would “Be a damn fire eater now” and that Francis had his “Fear gone like an operation.” Because Francis gains the courage to hunt the buffalo without falter, Wilson believes that he is a “real man” now. This shows the shift in Wilson’s judgment of Francis, as well as how he perceives the role that Francis should fill. He views Francis as a coward who had never truly came of age before the buffalo hunt, which shows that Wilson believes that men should be fearless and able to hunt. Without Wilson’s perspective readers wouldn’t realize the amount of shift Wilson had in his judgment, nor would they have as much insight on Wilson’s ideals and standards. By allowing the readers to view multiple perspectives, the author allows the readers to see the judgmental, self biased, and role giving side of Wilson. He shows the growth of Wilson
Francis reveals his lack of self-confidence and control over the situation. ?If he had been better with women she would probably have started to worry about him getting another new, beautiful wife but she knew too much about him to worry? (Hemingway). His lack of self-confidence has given her all the power in the relationship and it was a major contributing factor in her infidelity. Later on in the story, the growth of Francis?s confidence during the buffalo hunt and Margot?s displeasure with it is the final clue in determination of the death of Francis Macomber. The buffalo hunt gives Francis a new found sense of ?happiness?. This ?new wealth? of confidence is powerful for Francis and devastating for Margot . ?Fear gone like an operation. Something else grew in its place. Main thing a man had. Made him into man. Women knew it too. No bloody fear? (Hemingway). Margot knew at this point that if Francis survives the trip, he might possess enough personal strength and finally leave her, and that is what encourages her decision to kill him. At the end of the story Wilson confirms the reader?s suspicion when he reacts to the shooting by saying to Margot, ?That was a pretty thing to do? (Hemindway). That statement reinforces the belief that Margot was indeed taking advantage of the opportunity to ensure her long-term wealth and eliminate the possibility of being
"Irony is a device that protects him (the artist) from the pain of his experience so that he may use it objectively in his art(Susquehanna. "New Critical")." In The Glass Menagerie, it is ironic how Tom speaks badly of his father and his leaving home but in the end he leaves home just like his father, the man "in love with long distances (Williams 30)''. The fact that Amanda wants what is best for her children is ironic because she worries so much over it that she doesn't realize what is best for them.
Women in Hemingway’s stories are portrayed to be heavily sensitive and emotional, and unable to deal with the realities of life. They do not seem to understand how life is not necessarily always going to be a picture perfect world. In “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, Margot Macomber is shown as a very emotional women in many circumstances, as if she is not able to deal with obstacles that life will throw at her. One instance of this is when the two men are having a discussion about killing the lion. At one point, she is making jokes and seeming perfectly fine, then the next thing she starts to cry. Her husband, Francis, and Wilson even acknowledge this as well. They describe how they “both saw
In the short stories “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, irony is the main element used. Like many authors, these authors both use irony to their advantage. One story is about a hunter being hunted, an ironic twist, for a reason yet not stated. And the other is about a murder being committed using reverse psychology which takes place in a family catacomb with a fondness for wine ironically enabling the crime.
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “ The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,,” Hemingway uses the author’s craft of perspective along with dialogue and internal dialogue to create a multi-part claim that develops an overall negative characterization of the story’s characters. Hemingway develops the characterization of Margaret, one of the main protagonists, by using multiple perspectives to assure on her character traits of cruel, manipulative, and fearful.
The literary technique of foreshadowing is employed by many authors to add a suspenseful tension to a novel, or to help explain later events. Additionally, diction and imagery can be employed to provide more sensory involvement to help draw in the reader, and provide more tangibility to the story. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles’ inimical diction and imagery foreshadow certain aspects of the novel, and characterize Gene’s adult character.
Foreshadowing causes the reader to think about and concern oneself about what is going to occur later in “The Most Dangerous Game”. This is evident in the conversation Whitney and Rainsford have while aboard the ship heading to the Amazon. During their conversation they talk about how “the old charts call it Ship-Trap Island” (15). Rainsford and Whitney are believing in a myth leading to the reader wondering what will happen to their mythical beliefs. This quote makes the reader wonder what is going to come of this island. In addition, foreshadowing causes the reader to think while the story is unfolding. During the conversation, Whitney says about the island “a suggestive name isn’t it” (15). The name of this island leads the reader to wonder
Between the stories of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Poe, and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway, the authors are able to control these stories through the use of irony, defined as a “contrast or incongruity between expectations for a situation and what is reality. This can be a difference between the surface meaning of something that is said and the underlying meaning” (http://www.literarydevices.com/irony/). Within these short stories, each author has been able to bring the reader into the story by giving them the opportunity to endure the thoughts and feelings of individual characters which include the taste for revenge, and the bitter truth of a marriage. The way irony is placed into the stories has
Throughout the story this book displays great usage of many techniques help the reader understand and relate to the story. One technique that was constantly used was foreshadowing, foreshadowing is a technique that hints future events in the plot to allow the reader to predict and relate to future
“We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” Known by many, this common phrase has few words, but a intense meaning. In Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” the overcoming of fear is shown throughout the story. Francis Macomber and his wife Margaret Macomber are on an African safari with a man name Robert Wilson. Hemingway portrays Francis Macomber as wealthy and beautiful, yet cowardly. Macomber's wife Margaret also young and beautiful, but seemingly dissatisfied with her husband of eleven years. Robert Wilson is portrayed as a fearless man that has little regard for anyone but himself. The story is focused around Francis Macomber’s cowardly actions and his attempt to become
Margot seemed distraught in the story and said “I wish it hadn’t happened. Oh, I wish it hadn’t happened” (2). She went to her tent and appeared to be crying because her shoulders were shaking. Francis’ cowardice makes him less of a man in Margaret’s eyes than he already was, putting an even bigger strain on their marriage and opening the door to infidelity with Wilson who is painted as a strong male character throughout the story. Wilson thinks to himself in the story “Well, why doesn’t he keep his wife where she belongs? What does he think I am, a bloody plaster saint? Let him keep her where she belongs. It’s his own fault” (12). Hemingway uses this line to display the idea that a man can’t control his own urges and he has to keep his wife in check with his own actions. Wilson takes no responsibility for the infidelity and blames it all on Francis’ cowardice. If Francis had shown courage in this moment it could have reignited the passion in Francis and Margaret’s marriage rather than put an unnecessary strain on it further complicating their dichotomy. He should have been the brave man his wife needed to see providing for her so she could feel some sense of passion with him.
Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” chronicles a rich American couple’s safari hunting trip. Francis Macomber, a seemingly perfect man- handsome, wealthy, and athletic- and his wife, Margot Macomber travel to Africa for a hunting trip. The story opens on an afternoon cocktail hour, after a morning of hunting. Quickly, Margot’s frustration towards her husband emerges. She is embarrassed of his cowardness, and torments him. Richard Wilson, their safari guide, listens to the argument. Wilson is brave and athletic, essentially the qualities Macomber lacks. Earlier that morning, Macomber ran away from a lion, leaving Wilson to mercy kill it. Later, in an effort to win back Margot’s admiration, Macomber successfully gunned down three buffalo. However, an injured one charges, leaving Margot to shoot the buffalo, and Macomber. Hemingway’s use of literary elements enhance and deepen the reader’s understanding of the characters. He develops their actions and motivations through a code hero, symbolism, and allusion.
“The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” also contains the theme of arduous moral situations for the characters. Margot, the wife of Francis, is challenged by the temptation to have relations with their tour guide. Eventually, she commits the crime of adultery, and her husband finds out about her crime and is deeply shaken. “‘Well, why doesn’t he keep his wife where she belongs? What does he think I am, a bloody plaster saint? Let him keep her where she belongs. It’s his own fault’” (Hemingway 13). By the tone of Wilson thoughts, it is inferred that he is not able to find fault in himself and decides to blame it on the most vulnerable person, Francis. In spite of Wilson being the only man to blame for this whole incident, Margot can also take part of the blame. She appears to be a faithful and caring wife, but her actions do not justify this statement.