April 27, 2013
Famous American writer Ernest Hemingway is known for his almost stoic attitude toward death. He believed that every man's life ends in the same way; the difference is in how they lived. In his book "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," the main character, Harry, is dying from gangrene at the very beginning of the story. The way in which Harry has lived his life makes the prospect of facing death very unnerving. Since he never was able to accomplish is writing that he wanted to, since he preyed on wealthy women that took care of him finically that he did not see the need to write anymore. Therefore, Hemingway's' short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is not only filled with recurrent images of death but death's presence overshadows the entire story as Harry slowly rots away from gangrene. Death is significant to the story because it helps define the underlying meaning of the story that is takes courage to face one’s death. The whiteness of the snow is also symbolic. White stands for innocence and purity, but in the fine print between the lines are the stories that Harry never told. In these stories the snow is dirtied in some way, which stands for the fact that Harry never wrote all the stories he wanted to write, as Harry tells the reader, "Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting. Well he would never know, now" (Hemingway). His purity is dirtied by the fact that he sold his talent out for money and comfort. As a result of not using his talent, he says that he therefore dirtied his purity and never fully accomplishes what he wanted in life. It was never what he had done, but always what he could do. And he had chosen to make his living with something else instead of a pen or a pencil"...