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The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber


Hemingway's legacy to American literature is his style: writers who came after him emulated it or avoided it. He wrote men’s books about manly subjects: war, bullfighting, deep sea fishing. He became the spokesperson for the post–World War I generation, having established a style to follow. Early in 1950, Hemingway started work on a "sea trilogy", to consist of three sections: "The Sea When Young"; "The Sea When Absent"; and "The Sea in Being". The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway, published in the September 1936 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine concurrently with "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". The wealthy Francis Macomber and his wife Margot are on safari in Africa, travelling with the aid of a seasoned hunter Robert Wilson. Earlier in the day, Francis panicked during an encounter with a wounded lion, earning himself the contempt of Margot, Wilson, and the gun-bearing servants. Later the group takes to hunting Cape buffalo, which Macomber and Wilson shoot from their car before pursuing an injured bull into the brush. Macomber, having grown in confidence, stands his ground against the charging beast and drops it with his last shot. Hemingway’s themes in this story are masculinity and its foil, cowardice, and the “coming of age” that is possible through exposure to nature and by overcoming the challenges of the great outdoors. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway on our website.

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