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The Intentional Death of Francis Macomber
Ernest Hemingway has created a masterpiece of mystery in his story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". The mystery does not reveal itself to the reader until the end of the story, yet it leaves a lot to the imagination. At the end of the story
Margaret Macomber kills her husband by accident, in order to save him from being mauled by a large Buffalo while on a safari in Africa. The mystery is whether or not this killing was truly accidental, or intentional. If it was to be considered intentional, there would certainly have to be evidence in the story suggesting such, with a clear motive as well. What makes this mystery unique is that Hemingway gives the reader numerous instances that would lead the reader to devise an acceptable motive, yet human nature tells the reader that this killing could not have been intentional. From a purely objective analysis of the story, the reader would see far more evidence supporting the theory of an intentional killing rather than an accidental one.
The clues supporting the idea that Margaret killed Francis intentionally can best be seen when observing and studying the background information on both Francis Macomber, and Margaret herself. (Hemingway 1402). What is also important is that Margot and Francis have very different personalities. This is clearly seen when the narrator states, (Hemingway 1402).
With this small amount of background information, the true motive for an intentional killing can be found. This can clearly be seen in the conversation of Francis Macomber after killing the buffalo when he states, (Hemingway 1408. "(Hemingway 1409). Robert Wilson, the guide on the hunt, gives the reader an outside perspective into this complex and troubled relationship. In response to the quote above Hemingway 1409).
Robert Wilson seems to be right in his descriptions of the couple, and their relationship throughout the story. If this is true, and none of his presumptions about the couple are false, then he gains more credibility towards the end of the story. It is at this point that he becomes the advocate of Margot actions, despite the fact that they were intentional. It is Wilson that gives the reader the best description of the relationship between Francis and his wife. It is his insight into Margot, however, that is the most detailed, and which seems to suggest that she might be capable of such an act.
From this astute analysis of the two, Wilson shows the reader several very important things. One is the fact, although somewhat machiavellian, that over her husband. Another observation that I somewhat important is the This is the cruelty that Wilson observes in the passage above.This, as she would soon see, was not the case.
One of the most important passages in the story occurs in the moments just before Francis and Robert Wilson go into the bush after the buffalo. After Margot fires the fatal shot, further evidence is given by Robert Wilson that supports the assertion that the killing was intentional Hemingway 1411). Wilson, who seems to be accurate in his assessment of the relationship, seems a credible witness to the killing and due to these facts, his opinion as to the motive of the killing is credible to the reader as well.. story.
From all of the evidence given in the story, and from an objective analysis of the conversation and narration, it is safe to makethe assumption that the killings were indeed intentional. There is simply not enough tangible evidence given in the conversation or narration that would suggest otherwise assertion. A Character Analysis of Francis Macomber
From Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"
In Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, the author demonstrates his undeniable ability to bring characters to life by introducing the reader in great detail to the main character, Francis Macomber, through varying literary mechanisms. The reader learns immense detail about Francis, as well as the other two primary characters, Margaret and Mr.Wilson, through creative description that includes each character's thoughts, their actions, and their reactions towards the events of the story. Francis Macomber's interior characteristics and impressions are revealed through such omniscient statements as:
In addition, more details are revealed about the character of Francis through the other principal characters and even through the characters who play a very small role in the story (e.g., the gun-bearers). For example, (p 250). By means of a combination of this type of information, Francis Macomber's character is changed due to constant abuse from other characters, an inner struggle with fear and embarrassment, and, eventually, by hatred- a deep hatred for Mr. Wilson and a somewhat quieter hatred for Margaret Macomber.
An initial cause in the final changes of Francis' personality can be attributed to the constant abuse suffered at the hands of his wife, and, briefly, by Mr. WilsonFor example, in p 259. Francis and Margaret have obviously reached a point of stagnation- stagnation in their feelings for each other and stagnation in their desire for the relationship. The attention from society press (and society people), discussed in p 237-p 238, is more than likely an additional driving force for Margaret as well. The reader gets the impression that she craves the attention, good, bad, or indifferent. Howeverhe demonstrates cowardice without fear of remorse from his wife. However, it is the remorse that he himself, deep inside, feels, that begins to turn Mr. Macomber around. Additionally, Mr. Wilson also contri
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