In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," how does Harry view money?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of his life, Harry blames his wife's money for his own professional corruption. He believes that he was tempted and seduced by money, thus abandoning his talent and responsibilities as a writer. Harry speaks bitterly of his wife's money early in the story as he lies dying, referring to it as "Your bloody money." When reviewing all the mistakes that led to his dire situation, Harry includes his wife's wealthy background: "It you hadn't left your own people, your goddamned Old Westbury, Saratoga, Palm Beach people to take me on--" Caught up in anger and cruelty, Harry calls his wife a "rich bitch."

This passage most effectively sums up Harry's attitude toward money and its effects on the writer he could have been:

. . . you made an attitude that you cared nothing for the work you used to do, now that you could no longer do it. But, in yourself, you said that you would write about these people; about the very rich; that you were really not of them but a spy in their country; that you would leave it and write of it and for once it would be written by some one who knew what he was writing of. But he would never do it, because each day of not writing, of comfort, of being that which he despised, dulled his ability and softened his will to work so that, finally, he did no work at all.

Realizing the truth too late, Harry spends his last moments of life in the middle of nowhere trying to put words on paper.

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The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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