Heroes. Comparative essay about Hemmingway's "The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"

Essay by donfeliceA, July 2004

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When the Greek heroes wanted to defeat Troy and win back Helena, they first had to suffer greatly, losing many men and nearly all belief, before they rose like the Phoenix from the ashes, showed their cunningness, turned the situation around and defeated the Trojans. This general plot structure is frequently obtained throughout literature in order to emphasize and honour the actions of a person or a group. A hero, placed in a situation which he wants to change, first suffers greatly and nearly loses all belief before mobilizing his last energy in order to overcome all expectations and solve the problem, or win the fight. Both Connell and Hemingway make use of this dramatic structure in order to shape and underline the immense development each of their "heroes" undergoes. Both Macomber, in Hemingway's " The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber", and Rainsford, Connell's protagonist in "The Most Dangerous Game", need to flee from a desperate situation and undergo the above described heroic development.

They are the unexpected heroes of the short stories.

The two authors, Richard Connell and Earnest Hemingway, both need to create a situation from which it is vital for the protagonist to flee so that they stay in line with the heroic development. Therefore, Connell's hero, Mr. Rainsford, finds himself shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island and is thus placed in mortal danger. Macomber, the protagonist in Hemingway's short story, is caught in the dullness and routine of his marriage, which seems doomed to failure. While being a rich and successful businessman, he receives no respect from his wife and is regarded as a coward. Therefore, he plans to prove his manliness by going on a safari with her.

In order to further emphasize the necessity of escaping from the above mentioned...