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A Story a Day #13: Ernest Hemingway



February 18th, 2020

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro"

Ernest Hemingway


A man and a woman are in Africa. The man is bed-ridden because a cut on his leg has become infected. The pair are waiting for a plane to come and take them to a nearby town. As the woman cares for him, the man thinks about the many parts of his life from previous lovers to his former travels. He muses on how lovely and rich this woman is. Eventually, the man catches glances of death and tries to tell the woman, but she doesn't listen. Near the end of the story, it is implied that the man dies.


I may be crucified for saying this, but I am actually fairly unfamiliar with Hemingway. He was never required reading in any of my literature classes amazingly enough. I've had a few brushes with his work in libraries and bookstores, but beyond that, have read very little.


From what I do know about Hemingway, this story seems fairly accurate to his life. I know that he traveled to many exotic places and lived a fairly exciting lifestyle of hunting, flying, sailing, and other dangerous activities. The man in the story appears to have lived a similar life. Perhaps this is Hemingway's thoughts about how he will die, not from a dramatic plane crash, but from a simple cut that becomes infected. It is rather simple and mundane death for someone that doesn't appear simple at all. In fact, the very idea of death in the story is not scary or looming, but simple whiffs that come about randomly and quietly.

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