The Intentional Death of Francis Macomber

The Intentional Death of Francis


Ernest Hemingway has created a masterpiece
of mystery in his story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". The
mystery does not reveal itself to the reader until the end of the story,
yet it leaves a lot to the imagination. At the end of the story

Margaret Macomber kills her husband by
accident, in order to save him from being mauled by a large Buffalo while
on a safari in Africa. The mystery is whether or not this killing was truly
accidental, or intentional. If it was to be considered intentional, there
would certainly have to be evidence in the story suggesting such, with
a clear motive as well. What makes this mystery unique is that Hemingway
gives the reader numerous instances that would lead the reader to devise
an acceptable motive, yet human nature tells the reader that this killing
could not have been intentional. From a purely objective analysis of the
story, the reader would see far more evidence supporting the theory of
an intentional killing rather than an accidental one.

The clues supporting the idea that Margaret
killed Francis intentionally can best be seen when observing and studying
the background information on both Francis Macomber, and Margaret herself.
(Hemingway 1402). What is also important is that Margot and Francis have
very different personalities. This is clearly seen when the narrator states,
(Hemingway 1402).

With this small amount of background information,
the true motive for an intentional killing can be found. This can clearly
be seen in the conversation of Francis Macomber after killing the buffalo
when he states, (Hemingway 1408. "(Hemingway 1409). Robert Wilson, the
guide on the hunt, gives the reader an outside perspective into this complex
and troubled relationship. In response to the quote above Hemingway 1409).

Robert Wilson seems to be right in his
descriptions of the couple, and their relationship throughout the story.

If this is true, and none of his presumptions about the couple are false,
then he gains more credibility towards the end of the story. It is at this
point that he becomes the advocate of Margot actions, despite the fact
that they were intentional. It is Wilson that gives the reader the best
description of the relationship between Francis and his wife. It is his
insight into Margot, however, that is the most detailed, and which seems
to suggest that she might be capable of such an act.

From this astute analysis of the two, Wilson
shows the reader several very important things. One is the fact, although
somewhat machiavellian, that over her husband. Another observation that

I somewhat important is the This is the cruelty that Wilson observes in
the passage above.This, as she would soon see, was not the case.

One of the most important passages in the
story occurs in the moments just before Francis and Robert Wilson go into
the bush after the buffalo. After Margot fires the fatal shot, further
evidence is given by Robert Wilson that supports the assertion that the
killing was intentional Hemingway 1411). Wilson, who seems to be accurate
in his assessment of the relationship, seems a credible witness to the
killing and due to these facts, his opinion as to the motive of the killing
is credible to the reader as well.. story.

From all of the evidence given in the story,
and from an objective analysis of the conversation and narration, it is
safe to makethe assumption that the killings were indeed intentional. There
is simply not enough tangible evidence given in the conversation or narration
that would suggest otherwise assertion. A Character Analysis of Francis


From Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life
of Francis Macomber"

In Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of

Francis Macomber, the author demonstrates his undeniable ability to bring
characters to life by introducing the reader in great detail to the main
character, Francis Macomber, through varying literary mechanisms. The reader
learns immense detail about Francis, as well as the other two primary characters,

Margaret and Mr.Wilson, through creative description that includes each
character's thoughts, their actions, and their reactions towards the events
of the story. Francis Macomber's interior characteristics and impressions
are revealed through such omniscient statements as:

In addition, more details are revealed
about the character of Francis through the other principal characters and
even through the characters who play a very small role in the story (e.g.,
the gun-bearers). For example, (p 250). By means of a combination of this
type of information, Francis Macomber's character is changed due to constant
abuse from other characters, an inner struggle with fear and embarrassment,
and, eventually, by hatred- a deep