The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
by Ernest Hemingway
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber Courage Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Macomber opened the breech of his rifle and saw had metal-cased bullets, shut the bolt and put the rifle on safety. He saw his hand was trembling. (2.63)
Guns and shaky hands? Not a pretty combination, folks. It's the moment he has been waiting for, but the signs are not good. Never mind aiming. Will he even be able to pull the trigger?
He only knew his hands were shaking and as he walked away from the car it was almost impossible for him to make his legs move. They were stiff in the thighs, but he could feel the muscles fluttering. He raised the rifle, sighted on the junction of the lion's head and shoulders and pulled the trigger. (2.75)
Macomber has this thing about the car. He feels safe in it. On his own two feet he becomes a quivering mess, because he has no steel cage to protect him. His body is rebelling against his ego.
"I don't want to go in there," said Macomber. It was out before he knew he'd said it.
"Neither do I," said Wilson very cheerily. "Really no choice though." Then, as an afterthought, he glanced at Macomber and saw suddenly how he was trembling and the pitiful look on his face. (2.106-107)
Macomber admits what no real man would: he is afraid. Of course he wouldn't want to go face the lion, but that's what you must do when you're hunting. Isn't that what courage is? Facing your fears and pushing through them?