The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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This essay reviews the short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", by Ernest Hemingway. The main theme in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," is that all people should behave and live proactive, and they should take risks to experience the taste of their lives. The story serves as an example to those who live passively, sitting around and benefiting from others, and then become miserable, unsatisfied with their lives and overwhelmed with the feeling of emptiness. To recognize and better observe the theme of the story, Hemingway employed symbolic characteristics transformed into things and animals. During his youth, the main character and protagonist, Harry acts a procrastinator in the active world, who also lacks motivation and responsibility. He lives carelessly in the world of indulgence, as he is heading for a bitter failure upon realizing that he was not following his dream of becoming a writer. As the story begins, we learn that Harry is facing death. On his trip trough the African Safari, his leg develops an infectious wound from a thorn that poisons his blood and spreads into gangrene. The gangrene in his leg has developed from a neglect of the wound, which reminds us Harry’s neglectful attitude towards his own life and his lack of action plan without agenda. Harry's companion on the safari is his wife Helen, whom Harry hates and whom he blames for his failure to fulfill his early promise as a writer. Harry thought he had nothing to loose since he was dying, "he would not have to fail at trying to write" about any of the experiences he had always "saved to write," "put them off, and delayed the starting" (Hemingway, 1936, p. 2244). Harry has accumulated layer of memories, experiences and thoughts to transform, but as he is reflecting those during his flashbacks, he realizes that "he had never written a line of those" (Hemingway, 1936, p. 2246). Hemingway developed a credible story plot through the internal struggle in Harry. Harry, an ambitious writer,...
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