The Short And Happy Life Of Francis Macomber

In the short story The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber, there are three main characters, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Francis Macomber, and Mrs. Margaret Macomber, who are on an African Safari together. There are also three animals repeatedly mentioned throughout the story, which each represents a main character. The animals are a lion, a buffalo, and an impala.

Mr. Macomber, who is “very tall, very well built” and “considered handsome,” is on a safari with his wife. While on the safari he goes and hunts a lion. After wounding it with his gun, he becomes too afraid to go and finish the lion off, so he runs like a little baby. Mr. Macomber is later known as a coward so he best relates to the impala in the story. The impala is a beautiful animal and very skinny and sleek. When the impala were shot at, they ran super fast and when Mr. Wilson feels the fear of the lion he runs just as fast. Also when his wife shoots him in the head towards the end of the story, the bullet goes right to his head. When Mr. Macomber shoots the impala the bullet goes right to its head and the impala dies immediately just as he did.

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Mrs. Macomber, who is Mr. Macomber’s wife, started out in the story seeming like a normal lady. Later on it was obvious she did not care for her husband and was extremely rude to him. She should be related to the buffalo in this story, because she is very strong. She is running away from Macomber but at the same time she is chasing him and wants him dead. She is hard to get rid of and won’t give up until she has the last word.
Mr. Wilson, who is the Safari guide, best relates to the lion in this story because he is very brave. He is very respected and not afraid of any of the other animals. The way the story describes the “majestic” animal is how Wilson is described to be by Margaret.

The characters in this story could easily be related to other animals, but they seemed to fit the way they are just fine. It’s very ironic that Hemmingway hid this in the story. It gives the animals a whole new significance. It’s interesting how a couple of animals thought to not have that much meaning in a story, could be one of the back bones holding the story together.


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