The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Kimberly Garcia Professor Zino
English 162 W March 21, 2011

In Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” we are introduced to a couple that is stranded somewhere in Africa. We are noted of their trouble later on from a broken car and one’s fate with gangrene. The couple, Harry and Helen are constantly bickering at each other because Harry doesn’t take how seriously his health is deteriorating from the gangrene. Here and there, Harry looks into his past life and wishes to write about them but has never got the chance (or as Hemmingway says “write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well.”) Procrastination and death are the factors that Harry must face as his life dwindles away. Harry’s feelings can be related to Tuan’s chapter “Time in Experiential Space”.
In Tuan’s chapter, he mentions the Hopi Indians and their space. According to Tuan using Benjamin Whorf’s study, the Hopi recognize two realms of reality: manifested (objective) and manifesting (subjective) (Tuan 120). Tuan interprets it as “Manifested reality is the historical physical universe. It includes all that is or has been accessible to the senses, the present as well as the past, but it excludes everything that we call the future. Manifesting or subjective reality is the future and the mental”. We understand that given Harry’s situation, he doesn’t have a future because of his life fading away. So instead he thinks of the past and in between his failed attempt of writing about his life in his predicted future. In our minds, we explore time past, present and future because of the freedom given to roam. As immobile as Harry is, he doesn’t limit his ability to think about tense. He’s act is similar to that of the poet John Dyer as he reminisced about his youth.
When Harry is about to die, he dreams that he visits the Kilimanjaro mountain and as mentioned in the epigraph the Western summit, Masai “Ngaje Ngai” is called the “House of God”. Along the way, a frozen preserved leopard is found. Leopards are naturally known to be loners than that of other big cats that go in groups such as lions. Harry was somewhat a loner himself as even though his wife provides company, it doesn’t matter if she at his side or not. He even lies to her about loving her. It ultimately suggests that Harry went into some kind of afterlife as the leopard did trying to go up the mountain but died. His soul is mobile to roam freely than it did in his body.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.