.. with women. According to his first wife, Hadley Hemingway, Ernest is described as “having an instinctive habit of putting his own needs ahead of hers” (Kert 152). “[Hemingway] wanted the women in his life to. .
. put him first, all the time, ahead of anything else” (Kert 389). That basically means Ernests interest in women was limited to their ability to serve his best interests. In the story, Ernest portrays the couple in a relationship in which the male has been dominant over his female counterpart at a moment when the future of that dominance seems in doubt. Ernests use of the word “girl” in contrast to “man” when referring to these individual characters demonstrates this thought.
After the man first states his desire for the woman to have an abortion, “the girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.” Then, after the man further argued his viewpoint, “the girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads.” (Hemingway 422)These responses may show the womans weakness and inability to stand up to the man’s conflicting viewpoint, but they may also suggest a growing distance between the two, prefiguring an inevitable break up of the couple. She expresses a faint hint of her desire to keep the child when she says, “once they take it away, you never get it back”, but she immediately retreats when again confronted with the mans differing desire. She finally terminates the entire conflict by begging the man to “please please please please please please please stop talking.” (Hemingway 422) The womans evasion of confrontation and her inability to communicate her beliefs demonstrate the mans dominance over the relationship and the womans weak nature; or they suggest her awareness of the futility of asking the man to see things as she sees them. Analogously, after a childhood and youth controlled and manipulated ruthlessly by his mother, Ernest sought to dominate the women in his life. Ernests domineering attitude towards women stems from his infatuation with masculinity. Ernest was a firm believer in a more traditional role for men and women.
He believed a womans duties included sexual satisfaction, companionship, and general service for her male counterpart. A man was to participate in masculine activities such as hunting, fishing, and bull fighting, all for which Ernest was an avid enthusiast. Ernest thought dominance over women meant fulfillment of his masculinity. In reference to Ernest’s relationship with Hadley, Ernest is described as a “dominator of Hadley’s life” (Kert 152). Although Ernest warns us that the story “Hills Like White Elephants ” is purely fictional, the plot features of the story and the characteristics of the man in the story that say Ernest Hemingway.
Perhaps it is true that the story was neither modeled after an actual event in Ernests life, nor was the man in the story intended to represent Ernest exactly, but there is no doubting that Ernest drew from various aspects of his life and himself in creating this story. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a great example of when Ernest Hemingway uses a great deal of dialogue to help the reader identify with the characters. When Ernest uses dialogue in this short story, he avoids using he said, she said phrases. I think this method of writing is very confusing because I never had any idea which character is saying what. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is about a man who has just survived an airplane crash in Kenya. The stories plot is what the man and his wife are experiencing while waiting for a rescue plane to bring the man (who is seriously injured) to a hospital.
Even though it is never mentioned, Ernest is the man being described in this story. In Ernests life time, he has survived two airplane crashes which both accord in Africa. This story is a reflection of one of Ernests personal experience. One prevalent theme in The Snows of Kilimanjaro is of survival. Ernests life revolved around survival. He would do anything and everything that people said, couldnt be done. Basically, the man never died.
He thought that to be a man, he had to accomplish the impossible. In this short story, Ernest was telling the reader that the odds of surviving a life threatening airplane crash were almost impossible, and he was in a way, boasting to the reader that he survived it.. he accomplished the impossible. In this story, the man who survived the airplane crash, was seriously injured, and the odds for his survival werent too high. He [the man], knew this and was eager to end his life.
The man quotes in the story, Cant you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names? Whats the use of slanging me? Youre not going to die. Don’t be silly. Im dying now. Ask those bastards . He looked over to wear the huge, filthy birds sat, their naked heads sunk in the hunched feathers.
A fourth planed down, to run quick-legged and then waddle slowly towards the others. They are around every camp. You never notice them. You cant die if you dont give up. Where did you read that? Youre such a bloody fool.
(Hemingway 53) This is a fraction of some dialogue that Ernest writes in The Snows of Kilimanjaro. The two young couple in this story are arguing over the mans survival. In some of the short stories Ernest writes, the male is the dominant figure who always wins arguments. This is very important because Ernest believed that men were better than women, and showed it without actually explaining it, in most of his writings including The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Ernest Hemingway is an extraordinary man with a talent for writing. His stories have touched peoples lives leaving them questioning Ernests morals, and opinions of what roles he thought men had in his time period. Even though people disagree with Ernests opinions, he is still a great author.
As Ernest would say, People are stubborn like horses; you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. (Hemingway 17).