The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber.
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Courage and Cowardice

It is perhaps misleading to characterize two of the important themes of this work as "courage" and "cowardice." Certainly, these are both major themes of the story, but Hemingway invites the reader to consider whether courage is confused with bravado, and reasonable fear with cowardice. Depending upon one's point of view, Francis Macomber's fear of the lion makes him a coward or it makes him a reasonable man. The story inspires an examination of whether it takes more courage to face down the lion or to walk away.

Guilt and Innocence

Intimately connected with the theme of fate and chance is guilt and innocence. The reader must decide if Margaret Macomber shot her husband on purpose or if it was indeed an accident. If she has not shot him on purpose, then the act becomes a matter of chance or fate. If her action was intentional...

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This section contains 713 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.