5. Through each of the four short stories, Hemingway illustrates the realities of life: the precariousness of human existence, the evanescence of happiness, and the universality of suffering.
1. Wilson: “That’s what they do in England.” reveals how disillusioned Wilson is with the world/people; he is not even shocked by Francis’s murder
Waiter: “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.” everyone needs a place to escape from the darkness/repressed emotions
Harry: “Now is it sight of is it scent that brings them like that?” casual reference to gangrene, gathering buzzards, and his own imminent death
Major tells soldier not to get married protection from pain of losing someone you love
Hemingway’s blunt, sparse descriptions adds meaning to the few words he uses and emphasizes the words that have not been spoken. Syntax is frequently a mechanism for illustrating agitation of narrator. Ex: “No, you see. It’s not snow and them all saying, It’s not snow we were mistaken” (7)
2. a. Memories are often conveyed using run-on sentences and consist of bewildering pastiches of characters, places, and events which are consistent with Harry’s delirium. Harry approves of the poor because he could relate to them, and because they represented life, while the rich were “dull” and corrupt. The escaping soldier was courageous in his eyes because he had the strength to do what everyone wanted to do.
b. Francis is berated for failing to kill lion and being coward. Wife commits adultery with Wilson. Francis becomes angry and for the first time, feels unafraid by threat of death. Desires to prove himself, kills buffalo, and becomes a man in the process. Wife is threatened and shoots Francis.
c. Switches perspectives from lion to Francis to Wilson, from 3rd person to personal point of view (as in the case of the waiter) illustrates what characters are feeling at the time, outside observer provides viewpoint