THE SNOWS OF KILIMAJARO
• The passage takes place shortly after the beginning of the story. Harry and his female companion are stranded in the African bush, following the breakdown of their track. They are waiting for a plane to rescue them: Harry thinks he’s dying, Helen thinks he want to die, and he doesn’t give up. There is just a bitter argument, over very subject, among their drinking (he shouldn’t drink).
• The excerpt consists of a conversation with a long interruption in the middle. The exact duration of this interruption id not known. Conversation is more like a row, building up a wall between the two characters. One could look at the whole passage, as one under the sign of separation, this is what we propose to do;
- First by examining the wall/ interaction between the two characters.
- Separation is also obvious in the form of the passage. The italicized passage corresponds to a different level of consciousness; we shall be looking at the different meaning of the italics.
- The heterogeneity introduced into the text by the switch to the different font of characters (polices de caractère) might contribute to jeopardizing/ result in the unity of the story, whether it is the case or not, that’s what we propose to examine in the third part, through a scrutiny of the symbols in this passage, and of the relation to the overall meaning of the story.
A) Separation and distance between the characters
Helen & Harry: different social backgrounds.
• The argument and all that goes with it:
- Blame; reproach
- Verbal abuse, insults, to the paint of sadism
• Reconciliation seems possible at various points in the dialogue: Harry goes so far as to tell Helen he loves her; which he repeats 4 times, such as he wants to convince himself.
However, reconciliation is ultimately shown to be impossible. The making up is now dismissed.
B) Separation in the very form of the passage: the meanings of the italics
• Helen is totally...