Comparative Study of Prologue of the Given Day and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and prologue of Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day could be compared and contrasted on many levels. The former is a story of shorter length while the latter is a novel of extensive length…
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The Theme of Masculinity Masculinity is the dominant theme in Hemingway’s short story. His works are always repleted with masculine pursuits like war, sports and hunting. In The short happy life of Francis Macomber, he also depicts a masculine setting in which all the characters are engaged in an African Safari. They are involved in lion hunting, controlling the buffalos and things like that. The protagonist has decided to be a part of Safari in mid-thirties and seems to have achieved his sense of manhood in this specific part of his life. “Wilson considers that Macomber has been reborn into manhood, for the latter’s transformation is more of a change than any loss of virginity. Fear gone like an operation” (Strychacz 14). Though the show of cowardice in lion-hunting episode temporarily snatches from him this sense of fulfillment but he regains this sense when he engages with the buffalo. “We seem on firmer interpretive ground with the assertion that in the final scenes Macomber becomes a fully self-controlled and self-determined man” (Strychacz 16). The whole prologue of The Given Day also encompasses a masculine pursuit of baseball games in which the writer has imagined a baseball game between legends of America. Lack of Female Characters The prologue to the Given Day is devoid of any female characters and there is no specific mention of any feminine pursuit or activity. All that has been described belongs to the domain of man. On the other hand, Hemingway’s story presents Margot, “an extremely handsome and well-kept woman of the beauty” giving the story at least a feminine touch but the overall setting and the situation diminishes her womanhood and we find her engaged in masculine pursuits along with her husband ( Hemingway 2). Minute Detail Both the works beautifully describe the characters and setting and the writers give minute details of the incident that happen during the course of the story. Hemingway’s description of the hunting episodes show that the writer is giving a realistic account of the event and is well acquainted with the rules of the “game”. The minuteness is visible even in the description of characters. Wilson’s character has been described as a man who “ was about middle height with sandy hair, a stubby mustache, a very red face and extremely cold blue eyes with faint white wrinkles at the corners that grooved merrily when he smiled” ( Hemingway 2). Similarly, Lehane’s immaculate detail of the baseball hint towards writer’s minute observation of the sport. Following is the fine example of his descriptive style” The ball hadn’t finished arcing toward the right fielder’s feet (Ruth knew he’d miss it before he did) and the whippet was already rounding first. When the ball hit the grass, the right fielder bare-handed it and didn’t so much as stutter step before planned and let her loose” ( Lehane 11). Game in Both of the Works Game is the key word in both of the pieces, though the connotations are different in both of the stories. In Hemingway’s story game takes the form of hunting and acts as a unifying force between the otherwise conflicting interests. Similar the unifying force in the Lehane’s prologue is the game of baseball which brings together the people who are involved in emotional
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