Ernest Hemingway: The Snows of Kilimanjaro

(1178 words)

“The Snows of Kilimanjaro” is perhaps Hemingway’s most famous short story. It is a story about death: the death of a man and the death of his talent. When the story opens, a man, on safari in Africa, is lying on a cot at his camp watching the vultures approach. The reader soon learns that the man, Harry, has gangrene in one of his legs, the result of his failure to disinfect a simple scratch. Though supposedly waiting for a plane to rescue him, he knows he will not receive medical attention in time, and he is actually waiting to die. We are told that the pain has gone since the gangrene set in, and the man’s fear of death has been replaced with regret: “[n]ow he would never write the things that he had saved …

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Kale, Verna. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2008
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]