The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
by Ernest Hemingway
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber Marriage Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Margot looked at them both and they both saw that she was going to cry. Wilson had seen it coming for a long time and he dreaded it. Macomber was past dreading it. (1.35)
Macomber is clearly used to the tears, but Wilson can't deal. It's a rare vulnerable moment for Margot, but it creates ripple-like reactions in the men. Notice that Macomber does not try to comfort his wife. He just lets her run off, upset.
"No," said Macomber. "I suppose that I rate that for the rest of my life now." (1.38)
Macomber anticipates that Margot will be punishing him for a good long time. He knows his wife, and she is more than just "a strain on the nerves," as Robert puts it. But Wilson has never had to deal with a wife. He doesn't know what it's like to face the same person day in and day out.
Then he felt embarrassed at asking it and before Macomber could answer he went on, "We all take a beating every day, you know, one way or another." (1.58)
Wilson makes a half-hearted attempt to console Macomber. Sure, everyone is punished in some way, but not everyone is punished by Margot. She has a uniquely tough approach.