Hemingway Story Analysis

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Based on the stories I studied in the collection The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, it seems Ernest Hemingway had a very naturalistic and pessimistic view of life. His stories often emphasize gruesome violence and tragic deaths or the pain the world has to offer in different places, such as lifelong shortcomings of character or tumultuous relationships. Naturalism is evident in that characters are never the masters of their fate. For good or for bad the world does not let on what’s in for the characters, and it could care less. His stories are not all completely pessimistic, but he puts a lot of emphasis on his point that most stories are not happy endings. His protagonists usually end up either dying, failing, or somehow unsatisfied, either because the world is simply not fair or because they lacked some kind of grit or manliness. The chief theme recognizable is Hemingway’s commentary on manliness. First of all, it is important to define what he saw as most important and desirable in a man, which was un-cringing grit and a cold sense of pragmatism, covered in an optional façade of swaggering male sexuality. Men somehow lacking this in his stories usually end up falling victim to the cruelty of the world, probably because he saw them as inferior. He does not seem very concerned with whether his characters are good or bad, and shakes off ideals like purity, and male genialness. Also he plays much into the idea of all that glitters is not gold, where many things that seem so glamorous on the surface are depressing and bitter on the inside. One story that embodies many of many of these themes is The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. The story revolves around three people; Francis Macomber, a young submissive man, who has made his way in the world, but is only playing around with his identity as man; then there is his wife Margot, who is attractive and playful, who has clearly has lost interest in Francis, and only stays with him for his money;...
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