The snow of Kilimanjaro
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The snow of Kilimanjaro is layered with themes about a married relationship and a man dying. Also, the story takes a look at Hemmingway’s character and his fear of not finishing his work before he dies. In this way the man, Harry, dying represents Hemingway’s deepest fears. Harry is facing death from gangrene in his leg, and the couple is trapped on a desert in South Africa. Harry flashes back visiting different aspect in his life and argues with his wife as he drift further towards death. The story has many interpretations that are analyzable. Hemingway’s deep fear of dyeing before he could use his gift for writing is what the character of Harry portrays. Also, taking advantage of others is another theme that Hemingway’s is showing should not occur. Harry is disappointed in himself. He goes back and forth reviewing his life and knows that he has taken advantage of women and others. Harry always goes for rich women and is despises them, even if they are good to them. “You rich bitch” he refers to his current wife and has a negative view toward females.
Harry has a negative view of himself. He wants to be a writer but never writes. He fights with women, cheats on them, lies to them, and has had several wives in his young life. The flashbacks in the story show him as not the best man. However, right before death Harry is transcended into the air through the snow-capped Mountains of Kilimanjaro. The question is why would Harry’s final vision be so peaceful when the rest were of despair and his heated nature. One theory is that he is a type of con artist and not only can deceive others, like his wife, he can deceive himself, even in death.
The Snow of Kilimanjaro is different from many of Hemingway’s stories. The protagonist dies before the end and misses the rescue plane; unlike, as Henry Frederic of A Farewell to Arms and Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises, who learn to turn around their lives and live anew. Harry never has this chance. Harry passing before…


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