Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

1 January 2017

A few distinct stories that contain this theme include The Snows of Kilimanjaro, In Another Country, and The Gambler, The Nun, and The Radio, The Killers, and Fifty Grand. Each of the protagonists in these novels go through their own “death-in-life”, which they believe has occurred due to their many sins and transgression sin the past. The two most prominent stories that demonstrate this the most are The Snows of Kilimanjaro and In Another Country. The one that displays this the most is the novel, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Death is the main theme of The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

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This novel is a story of imminent death, and as such, images, ideas, and character attitudes pervade the entire story. The plot of this story is that Harry, a writer dying of gangrene, and his wife, Helen are stranded while on a safari in Africa. Harry’s situation begins to make him irritable, and he speaks about his death in a matter-of-fact way that upsets his wife, predicting that the rescue plane will never come. He quarrels with her over everything, from whether he should drink a soda to whether she should read to him.

He then ruminates on his past life experiences, and on the fact that he feels he never reached his true potential as a writer. While Harry is lies on his cot reminiscing, he feels the presence of death and associates it with a hyena and a snow leopard, that are running along the edge of the campsite. Harry then falls asleep and dies dreaming about the mountain, Kilimanjaro. Hemingway uses the figures of the snow leopard and the hyena to contrast two attitudes to death: while the leopard suggests the possibility of permanence through fame, the hyena represents the inevitability off death.

Also the emphasis on Harry’s fate as a failed writer, his gangrenous leg, and his dream of ascending to the white snow on the mountain are all examples of Hemingway suggesting that because we are deeply flawed by our nature of being human, the shadow of deaths sharpens our desire to aspire to greatness. In the novel, In Another Country, Hemingway uses the nature of death in a slightly different way than in The Snows of Kilimanjaro. This novel begins with a young boy, named Nick Adams, who accompanies a doctor to an American Indian Camp.

Once there Nick watches as the doctor uses a jackknife to slice into a woman’s abdomen and deliver a baby boy. This event causes Nick to make a vow that he will never die. Later, he defies death and sanity-threatening wounds that he receives in Italy during World War I. While in rehabilitation, Nick meets three other soldiers that also have serious injuries. He befriends each of them and explains to each of them how he wished to never die. However, the veterans tell Nick that his ideal is wrong.

They believe that although death can never be avoided, it is for that reason that everyone should live their life to the fullest while they still can. Nick listens to their opinion and decides to think about it. That night the hospital catches on fire and the three veterans, along with many others, are killed. At that moment Jack decides to accept their ideal and live every moment of his life for them. In this story Hemingway again suggests that we should all live our lives as best we can, because eventually we all will die.

Each of the stories, in The Snows of Kilimanjaro and other stories has their own particular style and writing. However, there is one theme that stands out among all of them. This theme is death. Ernest Hemingway’s usage of death gives all of his heroes a sense of integrity. It also allows them to feel vulnerable but not be defined by their vulnerability. The two most distinct stories that demonstrate this usage are The Snows of Kilimanjaro and In Another Country. Ernest Hemingway’s style of writing makes him a renowned author.

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