The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber book cover
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How does the character of Francis Macomber change from beginning to end?

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Hong Thomas eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Though your question is vague, the most common question about Heminway's story is how does Macomber change. The answer is quite simple: he becomes the ideal Hemingway male. That is he develops pride, strength, and machismo. He is no longer the coward who was easily bullied and manipulated by Margot. Once Wilson sleeps with his wife, Macomber's hatred begins to awaken in him the desire to finally take control of his life.

Just contrast how Macomber acts right after woudning, and then fleeing from, the lion. He is a disgrace. When they first spot the lion, he is too scared to get out and asks if he might not shoot it from the vehicle. Then when Wilson tells him to get out, his legs hardly move. And finally after wounding the lion, Macomber feels sick to his stomach. However, once he realizes that Wilson has slept with his wife, Macomber becomes angry. Note how he changes when they go hunting...

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