The Snows of Kilimanjaro: Shadows on the Summit: A Writer's Confrontation with Mortality - Ernest Hemingway

American literature essay. Literary analysis of works and characters - Sykalo Evgen 2023

The Snows of Kilimanjaro: Shadows on the Summit: A Writer's Confrontation with Mortality
Ernest Hemingway

The story in Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" goes beyond the boundaries of a straightforward African tale to delve deeply into the author's contemplation on his or her own mortality. The main character, Harry, is sick and on safari, struggling with the ghosts of his past mistakes and the impending mortality. Kilimanjaro becomes a powerful metaphor of Harry's artistic aspirations and the nagging feeling of unrealized potential because of its snowy peak, which serves as a constant reminder of unreachable heights.

The hard topography of Harry's inner world is reflected in Hemingway's simple yet vivid words. Memories of the past, each a "blizzard," trespass on his fevered consciousness, exposing instances of artistic surrender and betrayal of self. Long shadows are cast over his psyche by the resurfacing of the unsuccessful African hunt, the abandoned Parisian love affair, and the unrealized writing promise.

Harry's creative goals are embodied by Kilimanjaro, with its cloud-covered top. It stands for the pinnacle of his artistic potential that he had always desired to reach, the unwritten masterpiece, and the unascended mountain. Every missed stride on the upward, every surrender to commercial success feels like a stinging reminder of what might have been.

The boundaries between the past and present become hazy as Harry faces his own mortality. His own demise is foreshadowed horribly by the vultures circling overhead, feeding on the carcass of a dead antelope. Rather than providing warmth, the sun scorches him with the sharp truth of time passing. He is forced to struggle with an overwhelming sense of sorrow and the realization that his creative life was left unrealized.

But even in the darkness, there is a ray of hope. Harry clings to Helen, his true love, despite his desperation. Her unflinching faith in his ability kindles a glimmer of defiance against his inevitable death. He is reminded of the beauty and force of creation as he finds a glimpse of the artist he once was through her eyes.

This internal battle is reflected in the story's confusing finish. Though Harry finds a shaky solace in recalling Helen's affection, his creative legacy is still in doubt. The last picture shows how fleeting ambition is and how ambitions can end along with their bearer, as shown by the hyenas grazing on the deserted camp.

Not only is "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" a warning against artistic negligence. In light of the fact that death looms large over all lives, this moving examination of the human condition challenges us to face our shortcomings and pursue authenticity despite the knowledge that we will eventually die. Harry's battle on Mount Kilimanjaro turns into a global call to action, urging everyone to seize their potential and make a difference in the world before the passing of time claims them all.

This essay serves as an introduction to your literary study. You can strengthen your case by delving more into the themes of regret, atonement, and the artistic heritage, or by examining the symbolic meanings of the animals and the surrounding environment. You can also elaborate on each point using particular instances and textual evidence from the short story. To construct a coherent and well-structured analysis, don't forget to include powerful thesis statements and obvious transitions.