The Snows Of Kilimanjaro By Ernest Hemingway A Critical Analysis of The Snows of KilimanjaroBy Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingways background influenced him to write the short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro. One important influence on the story was that Hemingway had a fear of dying without finishing a work. Hemingway confirmed this fear in many interviews. Baker, in The Slopes of Kilimanjaro, states that Hemingway could well express the feelings of Harry because they both feared death in the event that they may have unfinished a work (50). Similarly, in The Snows of Kilimanjaro Harry, the protagonist, is constantly facing death.
In an effort to get his ideas and feelings expressed, Harry resorts to flashbacks, which to him were very real moments (Chaman 111). In addition to his feelings on mortality, another influence on the story is Hemingways history with women. Hemingway married many times, possibly inciting the bitter feelings toward the women in his stories. By comparison, Harry is very bitter towards the woman, his companion on the wild African Safari.
He demonstrates bitterness best in comments like you bitch, you rich bitch (Hemingway 9) and she shot very well this good, this rich bitch, this kindly caretaker and destroyer of his talent (11). Perhaps the most important influence on the story is that Hemingway had been on many safaris in Africa.In an interview with Pilmpton, Hemingway states that for The Snows of Kilimanjaro, he drew on his knowledge and experience acquired on the same long hunting trip and tried to convey the feelings felt while on his trip (qtd.
32). This background together with a believable plot, convincing characterization, and important literary devices enables Ernest Hemingway in The Snows of Kilimanjaro to develop the theme that a person should neither waste the gifts he holds nor lead his life taking advantage of others. To develop this theme, Hemingway creates a believable plot through an internal conflict and a determinate ending. Hemingway formulates a believable plot through the internal conflict in Harry.Harry, an aspiring writer, came to realize in his dying all that he had not accomplished. He began to blame others for the death that was awaiting him and for all the things, he never wrote. Harry shows his disappointment of not being able to write by stating he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well (Hemingway 5).
Harrys first blame for not being successful was his present wife, whom he married for her money. Harry emphasizes his quest for a better life and more money in the statement, Your damned money was my armour.My Swift and my Armour (9). He further separates himself from his wife by implying he did not like doing things with her. Harry established this feeling with the statement, the only thing I ever really liked to do with you I cant do now (9). Harry also changed his opinion on dying many times. At times, he seemed to welcome the thought of ending it all, and at other times he was bored with the idea of dying.In the end, Harry was afraid of dying and tried to fend off his death; he tried to send it away without speaking(15).
Along with the internal conflict, Hemingway further creates a believable plot in his story by using a determinate ending. With the reference to the dead leopard on the mountain, Hemingway foreshadows the ending of the story from the very beginning. This short preamble indicates someone in the story will fall short of his or her goals. While dying of gangrene, Harry can see the vultures that were once circling above now beginning to perch around the camp sight (3). The next clue that Harry was going to die was the appearance of the hyena. Whenever the hyena appeared, it was to symbolize the onslaught of death.
When Harry faced the realization of his death, it came with a rushof a sudden evil-smelling emptinessthat the hyena slipped lightly on the edge of it (15). Furthermore, when the death actually occurred it was the hyena that announced it with a strange, human, almost crying sound (27). In addition to creating the theme with a believable plot, Hemingway also develops the theme of The Snows of Kilimanjaro by convincingly characterizing Harry, the protagonist. Harry was a convincing character because he was constantly facing his death. From the beginning when the reader finds out he had gangrene, the story tells the reader that even if his leg was removed, he would still die.
This whole short story is centered on the death of the protagonist, Harry. He went through many stages throughout the story, at first denial, then acceptance, and finally fear of death. Besides being convincing because he behaved consistently, Harry was a convincing character because his love of money motivated him to lie and even fail at his dream of being a writer.
Harry, while in one of his fits, says to his wife, if you had not left your own people, your goddamned Old Westbury, Saratoga, Palm Beach people to take me on—, hinting that the higher class from which she came was at blame. Harry had, in fact caused the downfall of his writing career by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and prejudice, by hook and crook (11). He had chosen to make a living other than by the pen- by chasing the money of others. Finally, Harry is convincing because he is plausible.Harry, like many others when faced with a problem, was looking for another reason for his destruction and not facing the truth. The truth is that in all his pursuits for money, he has forgotten his own dream of being a writer. He is also not unlike others who, when faced with final death, become frightened and try to escape the weight on his chest.
Perhaps the most important way Hemingway develops the theme of this story is that he uses foreshadowing and symbolism. Hemingway uses symbols, including the memories that Harry recalls and the different animals to enforce the theme of The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Perh …