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Do you agree with the critics that after the buffalo episode, Macomber might be ready...

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pashti | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM via web

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Do you agree with the critics that after the buffalo episode, Macomber might be ready for a genuine reconciliation with Margot, or do you agree with Wilson that in fact Macomber would soon have abandoned her?

"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" by Ernest Hemingway. 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM (Answer #1)

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It seems unlikely that Macomber would ever have a genuine reconciliation with Margot, if he had survived. First of all, we have Wilson's observations (the reader's proverbial guide) of how dysfunctional their marriage is. Secondly, we have a clue from the narrator that they have almost broken up multiple times: 

Margot was too beautiful for Macomber to divorce her and Macomber had too much money for Margot ever to leave him. 

So, even if they stayed together, they would probably not have had a genuine reconciliation. This is because their relationship was based upon two superficial things: beauty and money. In other words, their relationship was not that genuine to begin with. And even though Macomber seemed to overcome his fear and become more like the brave Wilson (that bravery that Margot was attracted to), it seems that Margot would still look at him Macomber with embarrassment. When Macomber notes that he feels changed, no longer a coward, her reply is, "Just because you've chased some helpless animals in a motor car you talk like heroes." It seems that Margot has her mind made up and nothing Macomber can do will change that. Macomber agrees that he feels brave after a successful hunt but Margot counters with "Isn't is sort of late?" 

Lastly, Wilson, perhaps recognizing the dramatic change in Macomber, adds that he (Macomber) would have left Margot. Wilson's comment is questionable but considering that all evidence points to the impossibility of Margot and Macomber reconciling (genuinely), it is possible that he would have left her (following his transformation to a braver man). But even if he didn't leave her, a truly genuine reconciliation seems very unlikely. 

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