Hemingway at least throws us a bone with the title. Usually it's nice to have a protagonist with whom you identify, not one you merely feel sorry for, yet the latter is the case with Macomber. In fact, we often don't even like him, so it can be hard to accept him as the protagonist of the story. Once his wife starts getting on his case, we do tend to feel more sympathetic and it is a relief when he gets his kill and finds happiness. Still, Macomber is not your typical hero-of-the-adventure story type. He is complex, tortured, flawed – and thus actually quite normal.