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The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber


by Ernest Hemingway

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber Courage Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

He was dressed in the same sort of safari clothes that Wilson wore except that his were new, he was thirty-five years old, kept himself very fit, was good at court games, had a number of big-game fishing records, and had just shown himself, very publicly, to be a coward. (1.17)

Hemingway really sets up the reader here, giving us this elaborate description of a handsome and capable man only to deflate the entire description by telling us he's a coward. His sentence structure suggests that no matter how handsome or successful he is, he can never make up for his public humiliation.

Quote #2

So he's a bloody four-letter man as well as a bloody coward, he thought. (1.61)

Wilson can hardly believe Macomber. The guy is a coward and a blabbermouth? That's a double-whammy of awful for our manly man. In Wilson's world, you keep your mouth shut if you blow it.

Quote #3

[…] as Francis Macomber lay on his cot with the mosquito bar over him and listened to the night noises it was not all over. It was neither all over nor was it beginning. It was there exactly as it happened with some parts of it indelibly emphasized and he was miserably ashamed at it. But more than shame he felt cold, hollow fear in him. The fear was still there like a cold slimy hollow in all the emptiness where once his confidence had been and it made him feel sick. It was still there with him now. (2.9)

Macomber was doomed long before he saw the whites of the lion's eyes. The nightlong dread put him at a distinct disadvantage during the hunt. It isn't at all what he expected, and his courage is already drained from him before he even has a chance to use it.

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