The Intentional Death of Francis Macomber

Ernest Hemingway has created a masterpiece of mystery in his story
"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". The mystery does not
reveal itself to the reader until the end of the story, yet it
leaves a lot to the imagination. At the end of the story

Margaret Macomber kills her husband by accident, in order to save
him from being mauled by a large Buffalo while on a safari in
Africa. The mystery is whether or not this killing was truly
accidental, or intentional. If it was to be considered
intentional, there would certainly have to be evidence in the
story suggesting such, with a clear motive as well. What makes
this mystery unique is that Hemingway gives the reader numerous
instances that would lead the reader to devise an acceptable
motive, yet human nature tells the reader that this killing could
not have been intentional. From a purely objective analysis of the
story, the reader would see far more evidence supporting the
theory of an intentional killing rather than an accidental one.

The clues supporting the idea that Margaret killed Francis
intentionally can best be seen when observing and studying the
background information on both Francis Macomber, and Margaret
herself. (Hemingway 1402). What is also important is that Margot
and Francis have very different personalities. This is clearly
seen when the narrator states, (Hemingway 1402).

With this small amount of background information, the true motive
for an intentional killing can be found. This can clearly be seen
in the conversation of Francis Macomber after killing the buffalo
when he states, (Hemingway 1408. "(Hemingway 1409). Robert Wilson,
the guide on the hunt, gives the reader an outside perspective
into this complex and troubled relationship. In response to the
quote above Hemingway 1409).

Robert Wilson seems to be right in his descriptions of the couple,
and their relationship throughout the story. If this is true, and
none of his presumptions about the couple are false, then he gains
more credibility towards the end of the story. It is at this point
that he becomes the advocate of Margot actions, despite the fact
that they were intentional. It is Wilson that gives the reader the
best description of the relationship between Francis and his wife.
It is his insight into Margot, however, that is the most detailed,
and which seems to suggest that she might be capable of such an

From this astute analysis of the two, Wilson shows the reader
several very important things. One is the fact, although somewhat
machiavellian, that over her husband. Another observation that I
somewhat important is the This is the cruelty that Wilson observes
in the passage above.This, as she would soon see, was not the

One of the most important passages in the story occurs in the
moments just before Francis and Robert Wilson go into the bush
after the buffalo. After Margot fires the fatal shot, further
evidence is given by Robert Wilson that supports the assertion
that the killing was intentional Hemingway 1411). Wilson, who
seems to be accurate in his assessment of the relationship, seems
a credible witness to the killing and due to these facts, his
opinion as to the motive of the killing is credible to the reader
as well.. story.

From all of the evidence given in the story, and from an objective
analysis of the conversation and narration, it is safe to makethe
assumption that the killings were indeed intentional. There is
simply not enough tangible evidence given in the conversation or
narration that would suggest otherwise assertion. A Character
Analysis of Francis Macomber From Hemingway\'s "The Short Happy
Life of Francis Macomber"

In Hemingway\'s The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, the
author demonstrates his undeniable ability to bring characters to
life by introducing the reader in great detail to the main
character, Francis Macomber, through varying literary mechanisms.
The reader learns immense detail about Francis, as well as the
other two primary characters, Margaret and Mr.Wilson, through
creative description that includes each character\'s thoughts,
their actions, and their reactions towards the events of the
story. Francis Macomber\'s interior characteristics and impressions
are revealed through such omniscient statements as:

In addition, more details are revealed about the character of
Francis through the other principal characters and even through
the characters who play a very small role in the story (e.g., the
gun-bearers). For example, (p 250). By means of a combination of
this type of information, Francis Macomber\'s character is changed
due to constant abuse from other characters, an inner struggle
with fear and embarrassment, and, eventually, by hatred- a deep
hatred for Mr. Wilson and a somewhat quieter hatred for Margaret

An initial cause