Death is symbolized in the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and in the hyena that skulks about Harry's tent. The hyena also represents Harry's regret at having wasted his creative talents. When Harry hallucinates that he sees the blinding white summit of Kilimanjaro, he's able to let go of his earthly problems and transcend death. The purity of Kilimanjaro allows Harry to finally take part in the kind of creation he had looked for all of his life. It is only in death that Harry returns to creating.