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The story I picked for this paper is The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway. This short story was published in 1938, and the writer was attempting to show how the lives of the authors had been changed by different changes during that time. I’m going to explore the different simple components that the writer has used to convey the message in a short story.
Harry is the main character in the novel. The writer describes Harry as a man who, in his early life, liked to engage in alcohol and sex. In the story, Harry decides to go to Africa and settles around Mt Kilimanjaro (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961, p. 46). The story ends with Harry dying from gangrene in Africa upcountry while in his mind, a plane has taken him to a modern hospital in the city. The second character in the story is Hellen. She is the wife of Harry even though the writer describes that she had been married earlier and had two children from that marriage. The writer portrays Hellen to be a wealthy woman who financed Harry with all his needs. Other characters in the story include Molo who is portrayed as a servant to the two couples and Compton the pilot. Compton is part of the ultimate dreams Harry has before he dies. In his dream, Harry thinks that the pilot has saved him and taken him to a hospital (Hemingway, The snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961, p. 60)

The setting of the short story is in the African savanna beneath Mount Kilimanjaro. In the story, the main character and the wife are in a Safari in Africa. At the beginning of the story, Hemingway writes that while Harry lay down, he looked across the plains to the edge of the bush. The writer goes on to describe the scene that Harry was observing. Harry was, looking at a herd of zebra that appeared to be white against the green of the bush and a few tommies.In the short story, Hemingway goes on to describe the setting where the story is built on as an area with a good camp under trees that were against a hill. In the case where Harry drifts to the past, the setting changes to the World War I where he remembers the various encounters he had during that time. In another instance, the setting changes to Paris and Constantinople where Harry remembers the people he interacted with while in those places, and he also remembers the details of war (E, 1899-1961, pp. 48-49).

The plot of the short story is mainly about Harry and his wife Hellen who decided to take a Safari in Africa and hoped that the new adventure will give Harry back the inspiration to write. Unfortunately, an infectious thorn scratches Harry, and this results in health complications. In the process of going to seek medical attention, the truck they were using burns out, and this renders them with limited options since they are in rural areas; their only hope is the airplane which is yet to arrive. Before Harry dies, he looks back at his life and evaluates the gains and losses he made. Despite the fact that the woman (Helen) tries to encourage the husband that he will survive the infection, he does not seem to have any hope. He prefers to indulge in alcohol, and he continually drifts into hallucination. The story ends with Harry hallucinating that a plane has come to rescue him but in reality, this is an illusion, and he is dying from the gangrene infection (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961, pp. 46-60).

There are a number of themes that run throughout the short story. One of the central themes that the writer brings out in the story is that of death. Harry talks about dying to Hellen and in cases where he shifts to dream; his thoughts remain on the specific subject matter. The opening statement in the story is “The marvelous thing is that it’s painless,” he said. In this instance, Harry is explaining to the wife that death is painless. Further on in the text, Harry exclaims that “Can’t you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names?” (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961). This shows that Harry has resigned to death and despite the fact the wife encourages him that he will be well, he does not seem to agree with her.

The writer employs the use of the symbolism to signify death in the story. At the beginning of the story, Hemingway writes about a leopard that is frozen near the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. This is symbolic of the life Harry lived; he failed in some instances despite the fact that he strived to be the best. In one case, the writer describes how Harry hates the hyenas and the large filthy birds. This is mainly because the birds and hyenas are scavengers meaning they feed on dead carcasses. Towards the end of the story, when Harry is dreaming that an airplane is taking him to a hospital in the city, he sees as though that it turns dark and the rain is so thick that they are flying through a waterfall. When they pass through the storm, Harry describes that he sees the square top of Kilimanjaro which is exceptionally white and wide as the earth. Though he is dreaming, what he sees in his dream signifies death that is moving from the troubled world (dark) to a resting place (white) (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961, pp. 46-60). When he dies, the hyena howls in a strange manner which is symbolic of death

Another theme that runs in the story is that of regret. Harry looks back at his life and regrets some of the choices he made. In one of the flashbacks, he remembers the kind of life he lived in the beginning of his career where he excelled as an author in Paris. He regrets the choices he made to when he decided to indulge in alcohol, going after rich women, traveling a lot and taking part in game hunting. He blames himself for mixing with the rich who had no purpose in life and who derailed him from his career. At one point he blames his wife for giving him the money that afforded the luxuries he detested. There is also a theme of guilt and anger. Harry is guilty as to the way he treats Hellen because he tells her that he does not love her. He also constantly uses sarcasm to criticize the positive outlook Hellen has towards the situation at hand (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961, pp. 50-57).

The writer employs the use of a number of styles in the short story. To start with, the narration and the point of view the writer uses are mainly based on a narrator that describes what is going on in the mind of Harry. In instances where Harry is talking to the wife, the narration is short sentences that are devoid of emotion; but when Harry shifts to hallucinating, the narrator employs the use various literary figures like imagery and metaphors to describe his previous life. In such scenarios, the sentences the narrator uses are usually long and portray deep emotions of regret and nostalgia.

In addition to that, the writer has made use of flashback throughout the short story. In the flashback, Harry looks at how he has lived his life. The narrator in his mind explains the life of Harry from the days he fought in the World War 1 and served in the U.S army. The writer uses flashback to give the reader a peek into the past and relate it to the current state of mind Harry is in.Apart from evaluating his writing career, Harry also reminisces about the women he loved and how his desire for perfection made him fight with these women, and he consequently left them. The flashback also shows how experienced Harry is since he has traveled widely and had numerous successes in his career (Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1899-1961).

The tone that comes out in the story is that of despair and resignation to fate. Towards the end of the story, Harry seems to resign to the fact that he will die and constantly opposes Hellen when she says that he will be okay. He thinks about the pieces he was to write and postponed to do so since he was engaged in other activities. At one point in time, Harry concludes that the fact he will leave some of his creative works pending signifies that it was meant to be. Fate had it that he would die before finishing all his work. However, despite this tone of despair, Harry still seems hopeful that the plane will come and carry him to the hospital and that he will not die.

References

E, H. (1899-1961). The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway. In The Snows of Kilimanjaro (p. 48).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The snows of Kilimanjaro. In The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (p. 60). Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/358381005/Ernest-Hemingway-the-Snows-of-Kilimanjaro-PDF

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway (p. 52).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway (pp. 46-55).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway (pp. 46-60).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway (pp. 50-57).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway (pp. 46-60).

Hemingway, E. (1899-1961). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (Finca Vigía ed. ed., p. 46). New York, NY 10020: Library of Congress Gilahging-in-Publication Data. doi:813′.52—dc20 90-26241

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