Now that he is dying, Harry thinks that he has waited too long to write the things he really wants to write, and that he will never be able, now, to write all that he has left for a later time. As the article "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (Wikipedia, August 31, 2006) suggests "This loss of physical capability causes him to look inside himself - at his memories of the past years, and how little he has actually accomplished in his writing." He realizes that although he has seen and experienced many wonderful and astonishing things during his life, he had never made a record of the events; his status as a writer is contradicted by his reluctance to actually write.
As the now pain-ridden and dying Harry thinks to himself bitterly, for example:
So now it [his writing career] was all over... So now he would never have a chance to finish... Since the gangrene started in his right leg he had no pain and with the pain the horror had gone and all he felt now was a great tiredness and anger that this was the end of it....
Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting. Well he would never know, now.
Excerpt from 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'" [online text], 2006)
Harry also now quarrels bitterly with Helen, blaming her now for her role in his being able to live so well and carelessly. As a result, Harry realizes he has not written enough about "interesting" individuals since he has wasted so much valuable time with Helen and her wealthy, predictable friends. However, as Evans also points out, to Harry's credit as a main male character: "In his calmer moments, he realizes he is being unfair and that he has no one else to blame for his failures" ("The Snows of Kilimanjaro: A Revaluation," p. 601). Nevertheless, it becomes increasingly clear as the story progresses and Harry comes closer and closer to his demise that he would rather blame Helen than himself, for the vacuous and less than artistically fruitful nature of the way he has spent his most recent years.
Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," was "first published in Esquire magazine in 1936 and later collected in the Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938)" ("Snows of Kilimanjaro, the," 2006). As Ernest Hemingway implies within this short story, and through his main male character Harry's eventual death after the plane to rescue him finally comes too late, it is of key importance, especially for a creative or artistic individual like Harry, to remain honest with him self or herself, and to not forget what is truly important to himself and his own art, in this case, his writing. It is all too easy, as Harry admits bitterly to himself at one point, to allow the self to become idle and purposeless, especially with new wealth, e.g., from marriage, and surrounded by others whose wealth allows them to live aimless, non-productive lives. Another implicit theme of this story is that one never knows for sure when one's time to live life may be up; and that therefore, someone who is an artist should avoid the temptation (as Harry has not done) to succumb to an easier and less disciplined, but less meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle. In Harry's mind, Helen is to blame for his having done so, and his own only fault lies in his having succumbed to the temptations that his marriage to her have offered him.
Evans, Oliver. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro: A Revaluation." PMLA. Vol. 76, No. 5 (Dec. 1961). 601-607.
Excerpt from 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'" [online text]. Powell's Books. 2006.
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