Snow of Kilimanjaro

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fiction Pages: 8 (3451 words) Published: May 23, 2005
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...

Bibliography: aker, Carlos. "The Slopes of Kilimanjaro" Ernest Hemingway A Life Story. New York: Scribner 's, 1969. Baker discusses Hemingway 's determination to produce as much quality work as possible. Hemingway after suffering from insomnia and wild mood swings decides to write less, but more quality. Hemingway also had a fear of dying without finishing a work, and could well express the feelings of Harry in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Nahal, Chaman. "The Short Stories" The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway 's Fiction. Madison: Fairleigh, 1971. 80-119. Chaman points out that in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" the different uses of writing style. Harry the dying hunter has flashbacks describing exciting events that have happened to him in his past adventures. Chaman goes on to point out that although these seem like flashbacks to the reader, they are "very real moments" to Harry.Plimpton, George. "An Interview with Ernest Hemingway" Hemingway and His Critics. Ed. Carlos Baker. New York: Hill, 1961. This interview, conducted by Pilmpton with Hemingway, discusses some Hemingway 's influences on his writings. Hemingway states that in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" that he was drawing on his knowledge and memory of his last hunting trip to Africa, and trying to convey the feelings felt while on his trips. It is evident in this interview that Hemingway is extremely dedicated in trying to make his writings as enjoyable and meaning as possible.Shuman, R. Baird. "Ernest Hemingway." Magill 's Survey of American Literature. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Vol. 3. New York: Marshall, 1991. Baird discusses the life of Hemingway, beginning with his birthplace and ending with the taking of his own life. Hemingway was well versed in the finer things in life with his mothers teachings but much preferred hunting and more masculine activities with his father. Another important influence in his writings is his experiences on great expeditions to Africa.Watts, Emily S. "Iconography..." Ernest Hemingway and the Arts. Chicago: Illinois P, 1971. 51-95. Watts explains that Hemingway does not write much on the topic of suicide. One might think this would be a large subject in his stories, but he mentions suicide only briefly in one story. Although Harry in The Snows of Kilimanjaro does die, he has little choice in the manner.Works CitedBaker, Carlos. "The Slopes of Kilimanjaro." Ernest Hemingway A Life Story. New York: Scribner 's, 1969.Hemingway, Ernest. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories. New York: Scribner 's, 1970.Nahal, Chaman. "The Short Stories." The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway 's Fiction. Madison: Fairleigh, 1971. Plimpton, George. "An Interview with Ernest Hemingway." Hemingway and His Critics. Ed. Carlos Baker. New York: Hill, 1961. Shuman, R. Baird. "Ernest Hemingway." Magill 's Survey of American Literature. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Vol. 3. New York: Marshall, 1991. Watts, Emily S. "Iconography and technical expression: the agony of man." Ernest Hemingway and the Arts. Chicago: Illinois P, 1971. Word Count: 2024
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