The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber Themes

Margot Macomber
Very attractive American woman
A.K.A Memsahib- Indian word for the wife of a white official
Francis Macomber
Cowardly husband who only stays with her because she is beautiful
The couple has been married for 11 years so far
Robert Wilson
Appealed to Margot with his courage
Robert Wilson
English hunter and safari leader
Primary occupation is to run safaris for people
Clients are often wealthy couples who are having issues in their marriages
Had several short-lasting relationships with other women in the past
The women are often the wives among the clients
Robert Wilson (cont.)
Margot Macomber
Slept with him
Desired a braver man so left her husband for him
Francis Macomber
Wilson likes Francis because he is sincere
Wilson hates Francis because he is a coward
Sympathizes with Francis because he understands how women are
Robert Wilson
Fearless during hunting
Faces death when chasing down dangerous prey
Anti Code Hero
Francis Macomber
Cowardly during hunting
Runs away from death and danger
Doesn't stand up for himself against Wilson or his wife
Story begins with Francis, Margot, and Wilson eating lunch.

"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway

The hostile relationship between Macomber and his wife is also starting to be shown in the beginning.
Margot makes a big deal out of red faces
Wilson's face is red because he is in the sun being the manly man he is
Margot claims that her face is red because she is embarrassed of her husband
Macomber's second act of cowardice gives Margot justification to sleep with Wilson
She continues to call Francis a coward and exploits her control over her husband due to his weakness
Francis sees hunting buffalo as his next opportunity for redemption
The start of the buffalo hunt is Macomber's first success and he experiences a dynamic change in character from being cowardly to enjoying the thrill of hunting
With the success of his killings, he suggests everyone should drink whiskey, a strong drink to reflect a strong version of himself
One of the buffalo that Wilson and Francis had thought to be dead had actually survived and retreated into tall grass, recreating the situation with the lion
Wilson is astonished by Francis's change but Margot is threatened
Francis's newfound confidence would weaken her influence on him
His new manhood could potentially cause Francis to leave Margot and she would lose his wealth and psychological control over him
Francis goes with Wilson and the other hunters to finish off the buffalo that was hiding in the grass
A gun was left besides Margot, who was already upset
The buffalo ended up charging the hunters, but this time Francis stood his ground along with Wilson and kept shooting
Margot took aim at the buffalo and shot Francis in the left base of his skull
The shot is thought to be intentional because Margot would not risk losing her hold over her husband
Wilson even suspects her of it, asking, "Why didn't you poison him?

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber - Sample …

A discussion of important themes running throughout The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber