The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

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What is the thesis of "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"?

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Eleanora Howe eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As the other answer to this question states, Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is a short story and does not have a "thesis." The thesis would be the main point you would argue for in a paper about the short story. The story, however, doesn't argue for an opinion in the same way an analytical paper does. 

Now, the story does have themes, and these are elements that you could conceivably construct a thesis around. One of the most prominent themes in the story is death, as Harry spends the entirety of the narrative ruminating on his imminent (and, it's worth noting, entirely preventable) demise. This theme is largely represented by the looming presence of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a spiritually significant location in the region. Moreover, it's apparent that Harry is about to die with a great deal of disappointment weighing him down (he feels that his talents have been wasted, or that he hasn't lived up to his true potential), and so one of the story's most prominent themes is also regret in conjunction with death. If you're writing an essay on the story, carefully examine how these themes work in the context of the narrative, and then, based on evidence in the text, come up with a main argument, which you'll then summarize in your thesis statement. If you need further assistance, be sure to check out the other great resources regarding this story at!  

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As a short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" does not have a thesis; it has a theme, which is its central message. If you were going to write a paper about the story, your paper would need a thesis, that is, a main idea. In a persuasive paper, your thesis would be the point you hope to prove to your reader.

To find the theme of a short story (remembering that there can be more than one), first be sure you understand the plot with its rising action, climax , and resolution. As yourself what the subject of the story is. This is not your theme, because a theme has to be a statement, not a single word; however, identifying the subject is one step on the way to identifying the theme. Now think about what...

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