The Snow's of Kilimanjaro
The Snow's of Kilimanjaro is a short story that author Ernest Hemingway related to on many levels. His mortality and his fear of dying before his writings were completed are also the fears of the lead character, Harry. Ernest Hemingway also utilized his own experiences on safari to Africa, to lend a sense of reality to his story. Another element on a personal level was the relationship between Harry and his companion, who happens to be Harry's wife. The relationship is a strained one, comparative to Hemingway's own relationships with his many wives throughout his life.
The Snow's of Kilimanjaro opens with references to death. The native people indigenous to this part of Africa translate Kilimanjaro's western summit into “Ngaje Ngai”, which when translated is the house of God. A leopard carcass is alluded to, a dried and frozen carcass, to be specific not just the skeletal remains but the actual carcass. Which is still well enough in tact to be identified as a leopard somehow represents it's dominance and stealthy attributes. The scavengers hold the leopard with such regard that it's prey is still fearful of the predator after it's soul has ascended to the heavens. The ominous bald headed creatures flying above and their mingling cousins perched stoically amid the bush, lured to the camp by the rotting stench of Harry's gangrenous limb.
The perpetrator of this life threatening and ultimately life taking injury was not a bullet or a knife, which when retelling of his death would have made Harry out to be more hero like. Harry's death would be at the end of a thorn. A scratch so insignificant that it deemed no immediate attention at the time of it's infliction. But, had now grown into an infection so severe, that even amputation could not save his life.
The internal dialogue Harry has with himself gives the reader insight into what he would have written about had he ever...