Francis Macomber

1832 Words8 Pages
Masculinity and men are things in the world that always seem to go together. The correlation between the two is very present in the story, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, when defining Francis Macomber’s self worth. The main character, Francis Macomber, is many things: he is a husband, rich, and handsome. One thing he is not is brave. Francis Macomber pursues a mission to prove to people and himself that he is not the coward the people treat him to be. The repercussions of his decisions are fatal and lets the readers know that when a person’s ego has a bigger influence on their actions than logic does it becomes dangerous. Through life threatening acts, peer pressure, and recognition of self worth, Francis Macomber proves that he…show more content…
The author’s use of symbolism illustrates Francis’ pride as unwavering but also portrays his character as intimidated when it comes to face the unknown. The use of guns symbolises Francis’ need to be in control but he does not know how to handle intense situations. He wants to be the one shooting and hitting the targets but does not understand the reality of it. When he is finally experiencing the actuality of killing a ferocious animal the story states, “Macomber opened the breech of his rifle and saw he had metal bullets, shut the bolt and put his rifle on safety. He saw his hand was trembling.” (Hemingway 7). This proves that he is not ready for the responsibilities he put on himself but is too afraid to admit it because he does not want to be deemed a coward. One of the most significant symbols in Hemingway’s story is the use of lions. Lions represent everything Francis wants to be: manly, brave, and feared. It does take a little time for Francis to realize that these lions are not something that should be played with for social status. “He sat there, sweating under his arms, his mouth dry, his stomach hollow feeling, wanting to find courage to tell Wilson to go on and finish off the lion without him.” (Hemingway 10). This is a crucial quote because it lets the readers know that Francis has put himself into a situation where he does not know the…show more content…
Whether that means Wilson not having to constantly babysitting him during this trip or how his wife wants a husband she can be proud of, Francis never really lived up to their expectations. In comparison, Wilson is the one to act in the heroic manner that was expected. Where as Macomber comes to this land that is unfamiliar from a privileged life and he finds that he can not compensate his losses with money or his looks like he has done before. “He was dressed in the same sort of safari clothes that Wilson wore except that his were new, he was thirty-five years old, kept himself very fit, was good at court games, had a number of big-game fishing records, and had just shown himself, very publicly, to be a coward.” (Hemingway 1). The use of imagery here clearly tells the reader that the clothes he is wearing gives away who he really is. Instead of a experienced hunter look that he tries to copy from Wilson, he looks out of place. Hemingway also uses this description to build up his character to the readers only to be discouraged when Hemingway calls him a coward. Francis’ wife is one figure in his life that has a big negative impact in how he acts and the way he presents himself. Mrs. Macomber tends to treat to her husband in a way that makes the reader feel that this marriage has anything but love and support. She is manipulative and
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