Ernest Hemingway’s Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber tells the story of Francis Macomber, who was on a hunting trip in Africa with his wife, Margaret. At the beginning of the story, Francis was shown to be a coward after he panicked and ran off when a lion charged after him. Margot was upset and disgusted by his cowardice, and later cheated on him with their hunting guide, Robert Wilson, who was a brave and handsome man. However, after the incident, Francis’ personality changed drastically. However, his newfound confidence and bravery was short-lived as he died in the hands of his own wife. Francis Macomber’s personality and his personality change can be described and explained in several ways. Based on Eysenck’s personality model, …show more content…
Francis’ high level of agreeableness was obvious when he accepted all of his wife’s complaints and mockery without any complaints. He also followed all of Wilson’s orders during their hunt without hesitation. His level of conscientiousness was also very high when he was shown to be a responsible shooter. He listened to all of Wilson’s instructions and worked hard to improve his shooting skills and managed to shoot his targets precisely. He also had a low level of openness to experience, as Francis was very anxious and cautious when hunting the lion. However, at the end of the story, his level of agreeableness became low as he started to show hostility towards Wilson and Margot. He was cold and rude towards them. He even almost shouted at his wife, something he had never done earlier in the story. His conscientiousness level also became low when he became careless when he was about to shoot the buffalos from the car, which could have cost Wilson his hunting license. His level of openness to experience increased drastically as he was shown to be more adventurous after he succeeded in killing two buffalos and was excited to search for his other missing buffalo. Based on the needs and motives perspective, Francis showed different needs and motives throughout the story. At the beginning of the story, Francis had a high need for intimacy as the reason for their hunting trip was to revitalize his relationship with his wife. His need for affiliation was also high
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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
Margot Macomber as the Hemingway Code Hero in “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”
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
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 story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” Francis is portrayed as a coward. His wife uses this to her advantage. She cheats on him and openly admits it only because she knew that he would not leave her because he was not good with women. The only reason she was with him was his money, which makes it that much easier to convince people that she purposely murdered him at the end of the story. Macomber’s newfound confidence made Margot nervous and agitated.
Over time in the story Francis feels suicidal in multiple ways. Francis feels suicidal due to his war injury because he does not feel or look like anyone else anymore. “I went to war because I wanted to die.” (Cormier, pg. 113) “When I fell on that grenade, I wasn’t trying to save those GIs. I saw my chance to end it all, in a second. But a freak accident happened. My face got blown off and I didn’t die.” (Cormier, pg. 113) At the end of the passage, the question was never answered if Francis had killed himself or not. Francis suicidal not just because of Nicole but because of the way he looked. Francis didn’t fit in with the normal people so he thought he didn’t belong. Yet, Francis made an impact and should feel like he is wanted because if people knew his story they would understand.
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.
Firstly Francis is the first person narrator of the novel. It is told through his eyes, directly to the reader which gives us insight into his thoughts and feelings and engages our sympathy. It is clear at the starting of the novel Francis has just come back from the war. Cormier clearly shows that Francis has some Facial disfigurements “the war is over and I have no face”. This is from an act of bravery in the war when he saved his platoon by jumping on the grenade. Cormier made sure that the interpretations of Francis were that he was ugly, worn down with people’s ruthless comment, and alone. The author initially made Francis into a character, who thinks very little of himself, dislikes the way he looks and who doesn’t fit into everybody’s idea of a hero. Here Cormier has made us
novel also match the people Hemingway knew during that time. In Paris they both each got
“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
The other male character used often by Hemingway is the coward or the “messy man”. This is the man who follows no code and has no honor or bravery. He is often dominated by a woman, by far the most humiliating condition according to Hemingway. In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway writes “Cowardess is the worst kind of luck any man could ever have” showing his despicable view towards any man lacking masculine qualities. One of the best examples of the coward is portrayed in “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Francis. He is dominated by his wife and looked down upon by manly hunter Wilson. But as the story goes on, Macomber overcomes his cowardliness and becomes the sought after “code” hero for the short while before his death. The hunting expedition serves as an opportunity for Francis to learn the code and reassert his power over his wife. The male characters used by Hemingway in his stories say a lot about his own views of masculinity.
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.
Death did not stop him, because no matter what anyone did or said about him, he had won; he beat his stereotype. Life is the lion to Francis Macomber, the “worst one can do is kill you” and in a way it did (Hemmingway 1587). He was the only one to be physically depraved because of his early death. He, ultimately, was desperate to be a man and desperate to have “no bloody fear” in leaving Margaret (Hemmingway 1587).