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Literary Identity in Hemingway's the Snows of Kilimanjaro - Research Paper Example

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In the research paper “Literary Identity in Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro” the author analyzes the story, which is both praised and parodied for containing fragmented stories that revolutionized narrative techniques and the short story genre…
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Literary Identity in Hemingway's the Snows of Kilimanjaro

Download file to see previous pages... The plot of The Snows of Kilimanjaro shows that Harry's literary identity dies, because he killed it through the wrong choices he made in life. The exposition starts with an epigraph, where a leopard has died frozen in its summit. This epigraph embodies the persona of success at its final stage. The story proceeds to Harry's description of his leg and life: “The marvelous thing is that it's painless...That's how you know when it starts” (Hemingway). By saying this, he underlines that there is a “rot in his soul” (Bloom 69). The development to the complication of the plot describes how drinking, laziness, and womanizing kill Harry's writing identity. The complication demonstrates his cruelty toward Helen. His cruelty aims to kill his self-blame. By emphasizing on Helen, he rejects blaming his part in murdering his fate. The plot shows the struggle of man against himself. Harry remembers the narratives of his life and yet: “...he had never written a word of that” (Hemingway). He should have been a writer, but he is too lazy to write. The underlying concern of laziness is his high expectations: “He had destroyed his talent by not using it... ...
The conclusion indicates what the epigraph means. The leopard stands for people who reach for their dreams and died doing so; the opposite of Harry who fails the task of climbing the mountain of his dream. The setting depicts the difference between developing the literary self and killing it. Africa bustles with life and death. One of the images of life is: “a herd of zebra, white against the green of the bush” (Hemingway). This herd moves toward its life; it symbolizes the movement toward the literary self. The distance from this image, nevertheless, suggests that Harry only sees himself as a writer, but does nothing to achieve it. When he reaches his dying moments, he sees a game of animals: “there was a new water that he had never known of” (Hemingway). The water is life, his life as a writer that he has never known. He does not know it, because he did not write at all. In his memories, someone calls Baker a “bloody murderous bastard” (Hemingway), and this phrase can also be used to describe Harry. He knows he can kill his literary identity with a materialistic lifestyle. To live with physical needs will only rot the soul, the core of his writing self, and yet Harry chooses them over a life of writing. Symbols of death support the theme of literary identity's death. The vultures and the hyenas are death symbols. Harry describes the vultures as “quick-moving shadows” (Hemingway), which allude to Death's shadows. The vultures are like Death that can come so suddenly and unexpectedly. The hyenas are also signifiers of death for Harry. Harry observes that a hyena crosses over around the hill every night. He fumes and says: “That bastard crosses there every night...Every night for two weeks” (Hemingway).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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