The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber Analysis Essay

Ernest Hemingway’s “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” depicts the societal pressures of having to “be a man.” Francis Macomber develops as a character as he is successful multiple times on safari in killing animals, but does so with the help of many other key players that he fails to give credit to, such as the advantage of a moving vehicle and automatic weapon, or a gun bearer. Despite whether he actually exudes bravery or not, Macomber seems to think that by killing animals in this fashion, he proves himself as manly. The story suggests that Macomber feels pressures to “be a man” from the outside as he buys into Wilson’s notion that he must go to ridiculously extreme lengths to express this masculinity; he ultimately tries to fill the role of what Wilson tells him a “man” is. Once Macomber fulfils what he thinks is masculine he becomes intensely egotistical and expresses unreasonable euphoria. Margot then questions his newfound elation and reveals to him that he is only now a “man” because of his mere ability to perform a set of tasks. In the end, Macomber’s death marks his wife’s accusation of…

What it means to “be a man” should be defined individually for people internally, rather than by what others want to impose. Macomber became so consumed with his desire to fulfill Wilson’s idea of masculinity that he ultimately became victimized. He may have seemed elated on the surface, but his happiness was not true in the sense that it was coming from an outside definition that had no credibility in being able to actually define what a true “man”…