Ernest Hemingway Questions for English 222 American Literature, CSU Fullerton

E222 ERNEST HEMINGWAY QUESTIONS, CSU FULLERTON

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ERNEST HEMINGWAY

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (Norton Vol. D 826-42).

1. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," how does the text handle Harry's injury and the process whereby he becomes gravely ill and dies? How was he injured, why didn't he treat the wound properly, and what stages of illness can you discern as the story unfolds?

2. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," it's clear that the presence of the hyena (which is noted several times) symbolizes Harry's approaching death. How, exactly, is the hyena represented so that it accomplishes this goal? Moreover, does the hyena symbolize anything besides Harry's death? If it does, where in the text do you find support for such a reading?

3. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," what seems most significant about the way Harry analyzes his own life and his present predicament as a writer who still has much worth writing but no time left in which to write it, now that he is on the point of dying? If he thinks of himself as a failure, how does he account for that supposed failure?

4. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," even though the story is mostly about Harry in his final days, we also hear both from and about his wife Helen. What is her "back story," and what seems to be her perspective on her life, her relationship with Harry, and his illness and passing?

5. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," Harry's final moments or hours are apparently taken up with a dream in which he is loaded into a small plane flown by a friend named Compton, who then flies the plane towards the summit of then-snowy Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. How do you interpret this symbolic journey – as a redemptive vision in which Harry somehow recovers some of the dignity and authenticity he had supposedly squandered, or do you read it in a less positive light? Either way, explain the basis of your own interpretation of Harry's dream.