Symbolism In The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Studying symbolism in a novel helps understand the writer's true meaning. Ernest Hemingway used a vast amount of symbolism in The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Learn about the specific symbols in a research paper on the novel.
In addition to the thematic structure that juxtaposes leopard and hyena, The Snows of Kilimanjaro is replete with many other symbolic associations.
- The vultures in Hemingway's story that descend upon and fly above the camp represent death
- The hyena that visits the camp signify the continual presence of death.
- The gangrenous leg of the dying writer is a symbol of Harry's moral corruption and artistic decay.
- Wealth and Harry's wife's fortune symbolize the very forces that have culminated in the deterioration of Harry's moral and artistic integrity.
The hunter, Compton, can be read in The Snows of Kilimanjaro as the realized man who through strict adherence to his personal principles is rewarded with physical and spiritual wholeness. Compton is an example of a classic archetype Hemingway often employed in his stories, known in literary criticism as code heroes. It is Compton who guides Harry to his figurative eternal life, at the peak of Kilimanjaro. The snow and the mountains are symbolic as further reminders of Harry's irreparably damaged integrity. The frozen leopard of the epigraph is a symbol of Harry "immortalized" as a reward for his bravado in the face of his imminent death and for his ambition and would make a viable research paper topic on its own.