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What are the most significant moments in "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"?

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nochi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 28, 2009 at 9:54 PM via web

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What are the most significant moments in "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"?

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:26 PM (Answer #1)

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There are several significant plot moments in the story. One is Macomber fleeing from the wounded lion. This creates the conflicts of Macomber vs. his wife and Macomber vs. his own cowardice. His wife despises how weak he is, and he becomes ashamed of his own inaction. Macombers successful buffalo hunt is another significant moment. At this moment he is able to overcome his cowardice, resolving the major internal conflict of the story. He is also finally able to stand up to his wife, which further develops their struggle with each other over power in the relationship. The final scene is possible the most significant -- when Mrs. Macomber shots her husband in the head. This action brings to close the conflict between the two Macombers. It also adds the suspenseful ambiguity that Hemingway does so well. It leaves the reader asking who they believe. Do you believe Mrs. Macomber, that it was an accident? Or do you believer Wilson, that it was purposeful?

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