Francis Macomber is on an African safari; Macomber is thirty-five years old, a trim, fit man who holds a number of big-game fishing records.
Francis Macomber is on an African safari; Macomber is thirty-five years old, a trim, fit man who holds a number of big-game fishing records. However, at the moment, he A short happy life of marcober just demonstrated that he is a coward. However, members of the safari are acting as though "nothing had happened.
In a flashback, the reader realizes that Macomber and his beautiful wife, Margot, are wealthy Americans, and that this jaunt is their first safari — and that Macomber, when faced with his first lion, bolted and fled, earning the contempt of his wife. She makes no secret of this as she slips off in the middle of the night for a rendezvous with the safari guide, Robert Wilson.
Next day, as she observes Francis gaining a measure of courage as he engages in a standoff with a charging water buffalo, she realizes that if Francis continues to prove himself strong and willful and courageous, he might leave her and rid himself forever of her sharp-tongued ridicule.
For example, Margot points out that the face of Robert Wilson, the safari guide, is red from too much sun ; Francis Macomber replies that his face is also red; however, his is red from embarrassment. In contrast to the two men, Margo comments that her face is the one that is red today because of all the shame she feels for her husband.
Interestingly, Hemingway points out that Wilson always carries a double-size cot for just such occasions as this one; obviously, Wilson is a womanizer and in a sense a prostitute. In this story, the situation of the hunter and the hunted takes on far more significance than merely humans hunting for African lions and water buffaloes.
Consider who is stalking whom in this story. Francis Macomber even admits that he feels "beaten," defeated by this sexual safari, because when Wilson explains that he always gives the natives lashes rather than fine them, Macomber adds that "We all take a beating every day.
Hemingway admired men who were outsiders, who defied conventional morality and the so-called rules of society. Wilson makes his own rules: The irony is unmistakable.
Wilson likewise does not abide by conventional rules for hunting game during safaris. He wants — and needs — the adrenaline rush of danger. Fully aware that he would face legal action were the officials in Nairobi to find out that he hunts from moving vehicles, Wilson defies the odds — until Macomber reveals how dangerous a "hunter" his wife, Margot, is: Thus Wilson knows that, somehow, he must regain the upper hand over Margo.
Later, after Macomber wounds a lion, his innocence is pitted against the knowledge, experience, and codified values of Wilson. When Macomber discovers that they will have to confront the wounded lion, which is extremely dangerous, Macomber offers all kinds of excuses for not participating in the hunt.
First he wonders if they can set the grass afire, but it is too green; then he suggests sending in the beaters, but Wilson says that suggestion is "just a touch murderous.
On the way back to camp, Macomber is immediately relegated to the back seat of the motor car even though, on the way out to the bush, he had occupied the front seat. Hemingway is very careful with these details so that he can fully explore the depths to which Macomber has sunk.
After Margot returns from having sex with Wilson, readers learn about the basis for her marriage to Francis. She is too beautiful for Francis to divorce her, and Francis has too much money for her to ever leave him.
Francis confronts her when she returns to their tent, calling her a bitch. And Margot will continue to press her advantage until the end — when she realizes that Macomber is gaining courage and a strong sense of his own manhood.
Much of the genius and brilliance of this story is seen in its careful, technical structuring. In both cases, Wilson and Macomber and the gunbearers are expected to go in and finish off the wounded animal.
In the first scene, Macomber bolts; in the second, he stands his ground and proves his courage. At first, Margo is ashamed of her husband and uses his cowardice to control and intimidate him; she uses her new-gained control over him to justify her having sex with Wilson and also to remind Macomber that he is a coward.
She taunts him in other ways as well; for example, when Macomber says of Wilson, "I hate that red-faced swine. In the last part of the story, an enormous metamorphosis occurs within Macomber, and also within Margot.
Seeing the water buffalo, Macomber shoots and Wilson congratulates him on his fine shooting: In all of his life, he has never felt so good. In contrast, Margot sits "very white faced. Instead of fear, he has a feeling of elation. Even Wilson acknowledges that the day before, Macomber was scared sick, but not anymore; now he is a "ruddy fire eater.
Whereas she loved the lion hunt, here we have the same situation, but now Macomber finds it marvelous, and it is Margo who screams, "I hate it. She certainly knows that if Macomber realizes his strong sense of manhood finally, he will have the strength and courage to leave her — and go hunting for other, younger beauties, because although the story explicitly states that she is still beautiful, she is not as beautiful as she once was.
By now, Wilson fully sympathizes with Macomber.His short, happy life lasts for only a second or two, but he dies as master of his own life. Wilson believes that Margot intentionally shoots her husband, and he makes it quite clear that he knows, boasting that had he lived, Macomber would have left her.
The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
Francis Macomber was very tall, very well built if you did not mind that length of bone, dark, his hair cropped like an oarsman, rather thin- lipped, and was considered handsome.
The Critical Menagerie in "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" Created Date: Z. margot macomber's voice in hemingway's "the short happy life of francis macomber" created date: z.
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, short story by Ernest Hemingway, first published in Cosmopolitan in , collected in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-nine Stories (). Set on an African safari, the story contains some of the author’s recurrent themes—“grace under pressure” and adherence to a manly code of behaviour.