Snow of Kilimanjaro

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In this story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", the author Ernest Hemingway has basically two main characters, Harry and his wife, Helen. Throughout the story Harry has an infected leg, which seems to be seriously bothering him, it is actually rotting away. The author writes about Harry's time on the mountain with his wife just waiting for his death. In his story, Ernest Hemingway shows a great deal reality and emotion through his main character Harry, in the books themes, and its symbols. The author's story is about Harry's spiritual death as much as his bodily one. From the beginning of the story Harry knew he was dying but knows it with intellectual detachment. In the story Harry says, "Can't you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names? What's the use of slanging me?...Don't be silly. I'm dying now. Ask those bastards." (Hemingway, Page 2208 and 2209) Throughout the whole story Harry kind of has this arrogant, cocky dialect, and he is quite rude to his wife. During the story Harry is also lazy and drinks a lot, and at some parts of his life he just lets it waste away. In this quote, the narrator depicts part of Harry "He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and by prejudice, by hook and by crook."(Hemingway, Page 2213) Harry's talent was that he could do whatever we put his mind to, and he was just lazy and let it slip away. In many modernistic stories the reader usually finds out that the main character is some what alienated from everyone. In this stories case that is true, also. Harry, goes through his own time and just wants to be left alone. He gets sick, and he just wants to give up all hope. It seems like once something goes wrong, or doesn't go his way he just gives up. He drinks a lot during this story to wash away his troubles and he doesn't care that his wife claims that it is harmful to his health. All he can say in return is that he is going to die anyways. This is a main part of the story. The symbolism in this story adds to the depth of it. Symbols are used to represent ideas or qualities in a story. "Only by reading the story ironically, by regarding the symbols of permanence and purity as a mockery of Harry's unwholesomeness, can one maintain this critical position. It ignores the formal characteristic of irony, the implied meaning of snow and mountains in Harry's past, and the self-evident validity of Harry's final vision"(Dussinger, Page 2) This quote shows that in Africa is where Harry had been his happiest in the good times of his life, so he had gone out there to start again. Africa is where Harry led a natural life style, one that was not filled with a lot of rottenness or greed from money. Since it is in Africa where he feels at home, that his Hemingway's symbol by showing that nature can be a therapy for the body. The main symbol of this story though is the mountain. "As the mountain symbolizes life-in-death, the plain on which the man is dying symbolizes death-in-life, and the essential contrast in the story is between the two."(Evans, Page 4) The mountain stands for somewhat of a perfection, because a person could usually only reach it if they were dead. The snow is symbolic of being pure. The snow is white and fluffy. It makes everything look tranquil and calm. These are all par of Harry's happy times. This story also has symbols in the face of animals. In this story are the hyenas and the vultures, they of course of lingering throughout the story because they are the object of Harry's death. These symbols play a huge roll in the story, they make the reader more aware of what is going on, or they also foreshadow events. This story has two endings. The use of these two endings kind of tricks the reader and makes the reader think a little bit more. This is a quote from when the plane...
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