The Short Happy Life Of Frances Macomber

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The Short Happy Life Of Frances Macomber Essay, Research Paper That Which was Happy was Very Short in Duration In Ernest Hemingway?s story, ?The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,? Francis Macomber, according to Hemingway, is a very unhappy man because of his cowardly display after facing a wounded lion and because of his inability to stand up to his wife. However, Francis Macomber regains his happiness, contentment, self-control and bravery while out hunting buffalo. At this point in time Macomber put his insecurities and shortcomings behind him. Unfortunately, his wife did the very same with his life with one short white flash. This story takes place in Africa. Francis Macomber, a wealthy man in his mid-thirties ?very tall, very well built?and considered handsome? and

his pretty wife Margot hire a guide named Mr. Wilson to take them on a hunting safari. (6) The Macomber marriage is one of codependence, based on wealth, beauty, control and leverage. (18) Early on the very first day of the safari Macomber displays himself as a coward. The ordeal started the night before when Francis was awakened by the sound of a lion roaring, which frightened him for the rest of he night. In the early morning Francis, Margot and their guide Robert Wilson go out to hunt for this lion. After coming upon the lion, Francis shoots at the lion three times, hitting it twice and only wounding it. The wounded lion went trotting off into the tall grass, hiding and waiting for the hunters to come after him. Before the men go in after the lion, Macomber sat, ?sweating

under his arms, his mouth dry, his stomach hollow feeling, wanting to find the courage to tell Wilson to go on and finish off the lion without him.? (16) As the men enter the tall grass, the lion came charging at them. The next thing he knows, Macomber is ?running wildly, in panic in the open, running towards the stream.? (17) Wilson finishes the lion off with two shots from his rifle. Unfortunately for Francis, his wife has seen the whole ordeal. All Francis could think about was facing the torment of his wife. Francis knows with certainty that as long as he posses this fear his wife posses a controlling power over him. Immediately upon returning to the vehicle Mrs. Macomber kissed the ?beautiful red faced Mr. Wilson? on the mouth in front of her husband. This was Mrs.

Macomber?s way of displaying her disappointment in her husbands cowardice and her approval and respect for Mr. Wilsons bravery. (17) Mr. Macomber excels at court games and has quite a number of big-game fishing records, yet, this morning he has just shown himself to be a coward. Later that night, as Macomber lies on his cot, he knew that it was neither all over, nor was it the beginning. It was exactly as it happened and he was miserably ashamed of it. Mr. Macomber also feared that the Swahilli gun totters would carry this lion story to the Mathaiga Hunt Club. About three o? clock in the morning, Francis was awoken suddenly, ?frightened in a dream of the bloody-headed lion standing over him.? (19) As Francis looks over at his wife?s cot, he notices that it is empty and stays

awake until she returns. A couple of hours later, Margot returns to the tent and Francis confronts her with the accusation of committing adultery with Mr. Wilson. Mrs. Macomber responds with laughter and Francis reminds her of the promise she made of no indiscretions prior to the safari. Obviously frustrated, Francis calls Margot a ?bitch? and she responds with ?you?re a coward?. (19) The next morning Mr. Macomber continues expressing his disgust of his wife?s indiscretion as they eat breakfast, and prepare for departure. Mr. Wilson thinks ?God only knows what?s in that woman?s heart? as they depart to look for the next creature to be hunted, the buffalo.(21) Shortly after departing Mr. Wilson spotted three huge buffalo moving like tank cars across the open prairie. He suggested