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Hemingways The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a story about a man and his dying his relationship to his wife and his recollections of a troubling existence It is also more importantly a story about writing Through the story of Harry a deceptive dying decaying writer Hemingway expresses his own feelings about writing as an art as a means of financial support and as an inescapable urge Much criticism has been written about the failures of Harry in Snows although most of it apparently is not available in Library West and most of this is wildly far from understanding the most important ideas Hemingway presents I will attempt to explain why what has been written is wrong and why what has not been written is fundamental to the story Several critics have tried to analogize Harrys failure to write what he wants to write to his failure to achieve the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro What they have overlooked intentionally or not is that Harry and his wife are not actually trying to climb the mountain They have no lofty goals to reach the highest point in Africa but are in their position while hunting game They have gone to Africa on a safari and it is only a happenstance that they are situated at the base of the mountain when the story occurs Obviously the mountain has significance in the story but to view it as a symbol of another one of Harrys failures is to place more responsibility on it than Hemingway intended It has also been written that when Harry comes to realize the summit in his death-dream Hemingway is absolving him of his failures and granting salvation on the protagonist in the form of a successful climb Harry has failed to achieve that for which he was striving in life but in and through death he is able to gain fulfillment Unfortunately again critics are intentionally ignoring the fact that Harry and Compton
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