The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Eleanora Howe eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write653 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

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 enotes.com!  

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,493 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

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...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 757 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial