The Intentional Death Of Francis Macomber

October 25, 2018 General Studies

Ernest Hemingway has created a masterpiece of mystery in his story”The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. The mystery does notreveal itself to the reader until the end of the story, yet itleaves a lot to the imagination. At the end of the storyMargaret Macomber kills her husband by accident, in order to savehim from being mauled by a large Buffalo while on a safari inAfrica. The mystery is whether or not this killing was trulyaccidental, or intentional. If it was to be consideredintentional, there would certainly have to be evidence in thestory suggesting such, with a clear motive as well. What makesthis mystery unique is that Hemingway gives the reader numerousinstances that would lead the reader to devise an acceptablemotive, yet human nature tells the reader that this killing couldnot have been intentional. From a purely objective analysis of thestory, the reader would see far more evidence supporting thetheory of an intentional killing rather than an accidental one.

The clues supporting the idea that Margaret killed Francisintentionally can best be seen when observing and studying thebackground information on both Francis Macomber, and Margaretherself. (Hemingway 1402). What is also important is that Margotand Francis have very different personalities. This is clearlyseen when the narrator states, (Hemingway 1402).

With this small amount of background information, the true motivefor an intentional killing can be found. This can clearly be seenin the conversation of Francis Macomber after killing the buffalowhen he states, (Hemingway 1408. “(Hemingway 1409). Robert Wilson,the guide on the hunt, gives the reader an outside perspectiveinto this complex and troubled relationship. In response to thequote above Hemingway 1409).

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Robert Wilson seems to be right in his descriptions of the couple,and their relationship throughout the story. If this is true, andnone of his presumptions about the couple are false, then he gainsmore credibility towards the end of the story. It is at this pointthat he becomes the advocate of Margot actions, despite the factthat they were intentional. It is Wilson that gives the reader thebest description of the relationship between Francis and his wife.

It is his insight into Margot, however, that is the most detailed,and which seems to suggest that she might be capable of such anact.

From this astute analysis of the two, Wilson shows the readerseveral very important things. One is the fact, although somewhatmachiavellian, that over her husband. Another observation that Isomewhat important is the This is the cruelty that Wilson observesin the passage above.This, as she would soon see, was not thecase.

One of the most important passages in the story occurs in themoments just before Francis and Robert Wilson go into the bushafter the buffalo. After Margot fires the fatal shot, furtherevidence is given by Robert Wilson that supports the assertionthat the killing was intentional Hemingway 1411). Wilson, whoseems to be accurate in his assessment of the relationship, seemsa credible witness to the killing and due to these facts, hisopinion as to the motive of the killing is credible to the readeras well.. story.

From all of the evidence given in the story, and from an objectiveanalysis of the conversation and narration, it is safe to maketheassumption that the killings were indeed intentional. There issimply not enough tangible evidence given in the conversation ornarration that would suggest otherwise assertion. A CharacterAnalysis of Francis Macomber From Hemingway’s “The Short HappyLife of Francis Macomber”In Hemingway’s The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, theauthor demonstrates his undeniable ability to bring characters tolife by introducing the reader in great detail to the maincharacter, Francis Macomber, through varying literary mechanisms.

The reader learns immense detail about Francis, as well as theother two primary characters, Margaret and Mr.Wilson, throughcreative description that includes each character’s thoughts,their actions, and their reactions towards the events of thestory. Francis Macomber’s interior characteristics and impressionsare revealed through such omniscient statements as:In addition, more details are revealed about the character ofFrancis through the other principal characters and even throughthe characters who play a very small role in the story (e.g., thegun-bearers). For example, (p 250). By means of a combination ofthis type of information, Francis Macomber’s character is changeddue to constant abuse from other characters, an inner strugglewith fear and embarrassment, and, eventually, by hatred- a deephatred for Mr. Wilson and a


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