The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and other stories, each possess their own unique form of writing and style. However, each of the stories, written by Hemingway, demonstrates the use of one particular theme. This theme is Ernest Hemingway’s usage of death in his short stories. Hemingway uses this theme to characterize his heroes by their integrity. They do not compromise. They each feel vulnerable but are not defined by their vulnerability, and are often defiant of what society expects them to be. A few distinct stories that contain this theme include The Snows of Kilimanjaro, In Another Country, and The Gambler, The Nun, and The Radio, The Killers, and Fifty Grand. Each of the protagonists in these novels go through their own “death-in-life”, which they believe has occurred due to their many sins and transgression sin the past. The two most prominent stories that demonstrate this the most are The Snows of Kilimanjaro and In Another Country. The one that displays this the most is the novel, The Snows of Kilimanjaro.
Death is the main theme of The Snows of Kilimanjaro. This novel is a story of imminent death, and as such, images, ideas, and character attitudes pervade the entire story. The plot of this story is that Harry, a writer dying of gangrene, and his wife, Helen are stranded while on a safari in Africa. Harry’s situation begins to make him irritable, and he speaks about his death in a matter-of-fact way that upsets his wife, predicting that the rescue plane will never come. He quarrels with her over everything, from whether he should drink a soda to whether she should read to him. He then ruminates on his past life experiences, and on the fact that he feels he never reached his true potential as a writer. While Harry is lies on his cot reminiscing, he feels the presence of death and associates it with a hyena and a snow leopard, that are running along the edge of the campsite. Harry then falls asleep and dies dreaming about the mountain, Kilimanjaro....
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