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"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" by Ernest Hemingway is a short story about the Macombers a well-to-do and communally prominent American couple in Africa on hunting expedition and their paid tour guide Robert Wilson a professional hunter. The Macombers and Wilson begin discussing the morning's hunt which causes Francis Macomber a little embarrassment, as previously Francis had ran off when a wounded lion attacked him and his wife Margot tease Macomber for this act of fear. Then they decided to hunt buffalo, when they find the buffalo, it attacked Francis whereas he stands still and fires at buffalo and he successfully killed the buffalo while his wife Margot also fires a shot and killed her husband Francis Macomber.
Discuss the significance of Francis Macomber:
Francis Macomber is a filthy rich man who is in his middle age with good height and great physique, as well as an accomplished sports person and excellent at games like tennis and squash but unfortunately he couldn't do well in hunting the lion at first which shattered his confidence.
The significance of Francis Macomber in this short story is the way he showed his courage to attempt hunting for the second time even after knowing how badly he got failed the very first time. At first attempt in hunting the lion when he missed the shot and he couldn't kill the lion he just ran off in fear from the wounded animal
At Francis defeat his wife Margot was very embarrassed and angry but she did not leave him because of his money, what she did was she cheated on him. Whereas Francis even after knowing that his wife is not loyal with him, he showed some anger but later on did not show much care about it as he as well not in love with her.
In the second attempt of hunting initially Francis is little scared because of his first experience but sooner he gained his courage and face-off with a buffalo although he missed his first shot but in the second shot he successfully killed the buffalo and then quickly dies.
In this short story initially Hemingway portrayed the weak side of Francis Macomber but as the story proceeds the way he showed his courage to regain his dignity and confidence is splendid (Hemingway, 1936).
Discuss the crucial question concerning Margot is whether or not she shot Macomber intentionally
After reading "The short happy life of Francis Macomber" it becomes quite convincing that Margot intentionally killed her husband Francis Macomber, as their marital life is not doing well and they both got married to each other for their own selfish purpose. As Hemingway described Francis it gives the idea that he is not very attractive or handsome but the strong point about him is his wealth which is increasing with every passing year. On the other hand Margot is extremely beautiful. So the Francis wealth and Margot's beauty was the main reason behind their marriage.
Another reason behind killing Macomber could be; at first when Francis failed to kill the Lion and ran off from the wounded animal in fear, this fearfulness of his husband made Margot really upset as she always wanted a manly husband. Even after seeing her husband's cowardly display of running away from the wounded lion she did not leave him but what she did is she cheated on her husband.
The whole situation turned up side down when in the second attempt of hunting Francis got successful in killing the buffalo and he regained his confidence of manhood and a great sense of achievement. On the other hand this achievement is not a good indication for Margot as she knew her husband is aware of her infidelity and he might now leave her, due to this insecurity she fires a shot and killed her husband (Linkey, 2009).
Discuss the Point of view
At the beginning of the story, I understand Margot's dissatisfaction in her husband because the way Hemingway described Francis Macomber is a person who is very tall, well built and an excellent sportsman, but the way he ran off from the wounded animal was really unexpected. So I respected her contempt and agreed with her judgment that Macomber was weak and laughable.
Later on my views started to change about Macomber because in spite of his fear he wanted to attempt it again which showed that he did have the courage to try to regain his dignity, on the other hand I stopped to sympathize with Margot when she cheated on her husband just because he couldn't killed the lion.
In this short story according to me Macombers marriage associates the hunting expedition because it is a constant battle for both of them. The marriage between Francis and Margot is not one of truthfulness and love but one filled with mistrust and fretfulness. Francis is well aware of his wife's infidelity even that could not affect Margot because she knew that Macomber will never leave her because he always took his beautiful wife as an award.
In conclusion I would say that the second attempt of buffalo hunting when Francis finally killed the buffalo and recovered his confidence and a sense of happiness is indeed worthwhile. Although Francis short, happy life sparkles, and then dies quickly, and according to me Margot is a real culprit (Hemingway, 1936).