The Representation of Women in The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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The way Heminway represent the female gender in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” is how he thought of women in the past, all of that because of his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, was a domineering type who dressed Ernest as a girl and called him Ernestine. She also had a habit of abusing his quiet father, who was suffering from diabetes, and this fact started to make Ernest feel a kind of hatred toward women even his mother, and he also never seemed to have stability or lasting satisfaction in his relationships with women and was known as a womanizer. Most of his female characters are treated as unimportant fools merely regarded as objects by men. They represent the liberated New Women that are usually betrayers or cheaters.

We often think that most men have utmost respect and love for their women in all stories, but in Ernest Hemingway’s story: “The snows of Kilimanjaro”, it is different. In “The snows of Kilimanjaro”, the male protagonist ‘Harry’ has dysfunctional relationships with women and his wife ‘Helen’ which is shocking at first because in the beginning, we all thought that Harry loves Helen very much. Harry sees women as nothing more than a means to an end, since he uses their money to live a life of luxury. Although Harry do sometimes show respect for his wife by acknowledging her strength in the time of emotional hardship and dangerous situation. In his way of treating women, readers can see Harry’s insecurities. Because in that time, Harry is not being a typical gender role of a man, which is providing for his women, creating a sense of inadequacy which he projects onto the women who keep him.. Harry sees the role of women in his life as functional rather than romantic. Since he uses their money to live a life style that suits him.

In conclusion, Hemingway’s attitude towards women made most of the readers considered him as a hater of women, misogynist, sexist, or racist. The researcher believes that his excessive love in alcohol, women, hunting, sports, etc, are obvious but due to his unsatisfying experiences and torrid feelings after leaving each woman might lead him to be ignoring women rather than intentionally proving his hatred toward women. In literature, he uses the female character almost solely for the male protagonist. Although Hemingway cheated on most of his wives, he made sure to financially supported them.

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