The Short Happy Life of Francis McCamber
In Ernest Hemingways The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber the true
character which is fit to qualify as the code hero is Francis Macomber. It is not obvious at
first considering that in the story Francis is portrayed as a cowardly fearful man, as
opposed to the manly and brave Wilson, who seems the perfect character to be the code
hero. With the lion hunting incident at the opening of the story, Francis cowards off from
the lions roar alone, running to safety in front of his wife, which defies the code by not
having acceptable behavior in facing death, while Wilson goes in to face the lion and kills
him bravely. Yet where the theme of the story is concerned, Francis faces a bigger
challenge than Wilson can ever imagine.
Francis is a cowardly man, not physically, but mainly mentally. He lacks self
esteem and belief in his own self, which leads to people stepping all over him, like his
wife does. His wife openly cheats on Francis, only because she is convinced that he is too
much afraid if she left him, he cant be wanted by another woman. Francis behavior
towards her is the root of her observation, he is convinced that he is less than what he is
and she underestimates him just the same.
Wilson is a tough man, who bravely earns a living by hunting wild safari animals
for rich men who come for hobby and to impress their wives. He is not facing an inner
turmoil like Francis, just physical ones that he knows he can handle. He has much
esteem, he is positive that he can overcome any challenge that his job brings. For his own
hobby, he pleasures the wives of the rich men he works for.
In the storys climax, Francis proves to be the character Hemingway uses to fulfill
his code hero. Francis seems not to fit the code in the beginning of the story, for the
Hemingway code hero must: avoid death at all costs, which Francis...