The Snows of Kilimanjaro Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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Why did Hemingway write "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and what makes it so important?

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In Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences, the biographer James R. Mellow claims that Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is "unquestionably the great masterpiece among his short stories." Mellow explains that Hemingway wrote the story in the summer of 1935, not long after he and his second wife Pauline had returned from an African safari, so it made sense to write a story set in Africa. Upon his return to America, Hemingway planned to work a while and save money for another African adventure. At that point, he was approached by a very wealthy woman who offered to fund Hemingway's next safari as long as she could go along with him and Pauline. Hemingway simply creates a story which details what might happen to a writer like Hemingway had he married a wealthy woman who could indulge his every whim. 

The story's importance lies partly in its depiction of a dying man who is agonizing over his impending death and all of the things which he will never get the chance to write about. It...

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