“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is one of Hemingway’s greatest stories and one of his most controversial. Is the shocking death at the end of the story accidental manslaughter or cold-blooded murder? How should we read the ambiguous title? And what does Hemingway’s investigation into the psyches of the various characters – including the lion’s – reveal about this narrative and Hemingway’s craft?
We are joined by the prominent Hemingway scholar Laura Godfrey to consider these questions and so much more. During our conversation, she discusses how issues of gender, race, class, and morality contribute to this story’s timelessness as well as how 21st-century tools in the digital humanities can help us analyze and teach it.
This episode was recorded on February 24, 2021.