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Short Questions on Ernest Hemmingway's Short Stories

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Robert Chen @ Zwe Kyaw Zwa Discussion Questions for Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway 1. What ?American characters? ? in both the individual and the cultural senses ? do u find in Hemingway?s short stories? American men are often portrayed in Hemingway?s short stories as masculine, rich, and carefree drunkards who seldom have any sympathy on their partners. For example, both Harry from ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro,? and Hubert Elliot from ?Mr. and Mrs. Elliot,? have indulged themselves in drinking alcohol after they have lost their interest in their love. Harry has, in fact, never take a liking to his wife whom he has married just because of her wealth while Hubert, on the other hand, has done so just to get a child. On the contrary, American women tend to be helpless; dependent on men, some being obsessed with them either because of true love or again, richness. Helen from ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro? is a fine example of a woman who is extremely dedicated to her husband, Harry, who has no sign of passion for her. However, in the initial part of ?The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,? Margot is a stronger character than her husband, Macomber, as she dominates his life in order to possess his wealth. 1. Appraise your preconceptions of Hemingway. To what degree do you think your notions of the man coloured your views of the fiction? ...read more.


A justifying force is always present with this cruel fate. In ?The Killers,? Ole Andreson seemed to be aware of his guilt as he made no action to escape from his imminent death while in, ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro,? Harry believed that his death would compensate for his sins of trading his ambition of writing with women, drinks and laze. Furthermore, ?Indian Camp? illustrates the gruesome image of an Indian?s suicide for which he willing commits for having to ask help from a western doctor to let him deliver his wife?s child. 1. What morals does he argue for, stand for? Is his a morality of mere survival, or is there something more? Hemingway has a strong opinion about people being manly only when they are masculine, drink alcohol and have loose relationships with women. Such ?men? are Harry from ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro,? and, the American from ?Hills Like White Elephant.? On the other hand, women are meant to be powerless and dependent on men. Such ?women? are Helen (Harry?s wife) and Jig (the American?s spouse). 1. Explore instances of virile writing in Hemingway?s short fiction where potent, brawny themes and style are juxtaposed with exquisite, sensitive themes and style. The fact that Hemingway is biased towards men while having a rather negative opinion towards women indicates that one can instantly know the gender of the author being a male. ...read more.


1. Is “The Killers” Nick Adam’s story or is it Ole Andreson’s? ‘The Killers’ is Ole Andreson’s story as the entire plot is about two men waiting at a restaurant in order to kill him when he comes for dinner. Nick Adams, George and the nigger are present only as waitpersons at the very restaurant that the killers are planning to murder Andreson. Even if he is not mainly present in the story, the plot revolves around Andreson as he becomes a target for his enemies. If he has been left out of the plot, there would not be any need for the killers to come to the restaurant or Nick and his colleagues to be alarmed by their cruel plan. 1. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” contains two prominent symbols – the mountain and the leopard frozen on it. How do they function in the story? Does Harry come to an understanding of himself at the end of the story? How do these symbols help answer the previous question? Kilimanjaro serves as a symbol of truth, idealism and purity. When Harry dies, his spirit is released from the despairs of the plain and travels to the summit of the mighty mountain. During this spiritual ascension, Harry sees a frozen leopard, preserved in ice, which serves as a symbol of immortality. Harry himself can also be the leopard at certain times in his life such as when he mentally composes recollections and uses his intention to write, and, when he never confesses his true feelings to his wife. ï´ï´ï´ ...read more.

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