Example research essay topic: Depiction Of Women In Selected Works Of Ernest Hemingway – 838 words

Ernest Hemingway was one of the greatest American
writers, but he was also one of the worst in
depicting life and women. Carlos Baker believes
that the stories of Ernest Hemingway, particularly
The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber and The
Snows Of Kilimanjaro, are centered on women,
alcohol, money, and ambition. In both of these
stories, Hemingway portrays the wife either as a
bitch in character or was considered to be a bitch
by the husband. The woman is also seen as smart
and challenged the male’s ego. The women in these
stories are seen either by a male character or by
the husband as controlling and manipulative. In
Hemingways stories, Hills Like White Elephants, Up
in Michigan, and A Canary For One, Hemingway
depicts the female characters as weak.

He makes
them seem stupid and ignorant. In The Snows Of
Kilimanjaro, Harry and his wife, Helen are on
safari at the bottom of the volcano in Africa.
Harry has scratched his leg and not taken care of
it, causing gangrene to infect it. He seems to
hate his wife, and says that he never loved her.
He married her for her money, but does not like
her for the power it gave her. Harry is dying and
knows that he does not have much time left. While
waiting for a plane to take them to civilization
he thinks about his past experiences, and wished
that he would have written about them, instead of
marrying Helen for her money. The women in these
two stories are not fully characterized.

Helen a
simple woman who is a good woman while Margot
Macomber is presented as bad. Both women are seen
as smart and able to learn how to shoot and
survive like a man. The Short Happy Life of
Francis Macomber tells the story of a young, rich,
beautiful, and unhappily married couple who goes
on a safari in hopes of getting rid of their
boredom and hopefully make their hometown
newspapers. Francis Macomber is a “coward” who
can’t shoot animals or control his wife. His wife
Margot is a “bitch” who can not stay out of other
men’s beds or control herself. Helen and Margot
are both portrayed as the killers of their
husbands.

Margot is seen as demeaning Francis and
Helen is accused of being “a destroyer of Harry’s
talent”. Helen’s wealth is the ’cause’ of Harry’s
literary ‘impotence’. Helen and her money are said
to have separated Harry from what he believes is
manly, while Margot’s need to keep Francis under
control prevents him from maintaining in control.
The description, by the husbands is that their
wives are ‘bitches’. “Helen is a woman, a symbol
of danger and threat. She is the wealth that has
corrupted Harry, with all the comfort and security
it gave him, it also killed him. Helen is a symbol
of death.

Harry calls her “rich bitch” and her
money “bloody money” or “damned money”. Harry
ridicules her and also admits that she is
attractive and desirable. “She was still a good-
looking woman, she had a pleasant body … she was
not pretty, but he liked her face”. Even after
saying this he still thought of her as a bitch.
Helen is the good woman who takes care of Harry
and even cares about his wishes. She gives
encouragement and love, which is in opposite of
his attitude towards her.

“She had gone to kill a
piece of meat and, knowing how he liked to watch
the game, she had gone well away so she would not
disturb this little pocket of the plain that he
could see. She was always thoughtful, he thought.
On anything she knew about, or had read, or that
she had ever heard” Margot is the bad woman who
wishes to control. She is demeaning of her husband
almost all of the time. Francis, like Harry,
refers to her as bitch. You are a bitch.” ; “Well,
you’re a coward.”. Sugiyama says, She is a woman
who tries to get what she wants.

“There is no
contradiction in Margot’s finding both Francis and
Wilson attractive, Francis for his wealth and
Wilson for his prowess. In becoming sexually
involved with Wilson, Margot is not choosing one
man over another; she is choosing both”. Nina Baym
says, “whatever she does, Margot is as `buffaloed’
as the buffalo,” exercising a mere “illusion of
power” which “rather than freeing her delivers her
from the power of one man to the power of another”
Margot acts upon Francis’s cowardice by ridiculing
him, and then cheating on him. Her ridicule seems
to work, and as Anne Greco states, “By playing the
role of bitch, Margot startles her complacent
husband into recognizing her disgust and feeling
the need to perform. In these two stories, the
women play strong willed, but they lack hope.
These two women, Margot, and Helen, are perceived
to as bitches. Helen is perceived as this because
of the effects of her money, and Margot because of
her need to control..

Research essay sample on Depiction Of Women In Selected Works Of Ernest Hemingway