The Snows of Kilimanjaro Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

Start Your Free Trial

What specific things had Harry waited to write about in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" by Ernest Hemingway?

Expert Answers info

Sol Gandy eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write965 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Throughout the short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," Hemingway interrupts his narrative to switch to the internal thoughts of the writer Harry Walden, who is reflecting on his life as he lies on the verge of death from a bad case of gangrene. These sections are italicized to set them off from the situation in the African camp where Harry and his wife Helen are stranded and waiting for an airplane.

During these sections, Harry ruminates about his life, often decrying the fact that he will never write many of the things he says he has saved to write. In the first italicized section, Harry describes an experience in World War I in the Balkans and troops who were sent off to die in the snowy mountains. Harry thinks, "That was one of things he had saved to write." Later in the same section, Harry writes about the winters skiing in Schrunz, a ski resort in the Voralberg mountains in Austria, and about how he had gone skiing with the same Austrians he had tried to kill during the war.

In the second italicized sections, Harry thinks of the quarrels he had with his first wife in Paris and how he had gone with prostitutes in Constantinople and fought over one of them in the streets of the city. He also recalls that as an observer he had seen the rout of British soldiers "with white ballet skirts and upturned shoes with pompons on them" by the Turks in another World War I battle: "He had been in it and had watched it and it was his duty to write of it; but now he never would."

In the third and fourth italicized sections he mixes memories of his childhood ("a log...

(The entire section contains 566 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial