- 英文學研究 (ISSN:00393649)
- vol.41, no.2, pp.183-194, 1965-03-30
The development of Hemingway's view of death can be traced through his trials to find out how to live in our life that is 'nada' in itself. In the trials there are three aspects; the first is the way of living that is found in the series of 'men of endurance' from Henry to Cayetano. They are to live in absolute lonliness rejecting the imminent death by means of their strong physical power. The essence of their way of living is revealed in Cayetano's tenacious attitude toward life when he says, "Continue, slowly, and wait for luck to change," which is nothing other than the claim for the existence of human beings in the painful, cruel and aimless violence of life. The second is in the images ranging from Macomber to Santiago. They are willing to challenge death, feeling "religious ecstasy" from their standpoint as 'men-out-of-himself.' This mental attitude of theirs is manifested in Hemingway's study of "the complete faena (of the bullfighter) that takes a man out of himself and makes him feel immortal while it is proceeding, that gives him an ecstasy that is, while momentary, as profound as any religious esctasy." The third and final one is Harry's attitude toward life. He exemplifies 'the dignity of human beings' beyond death in spite of the fact that he is completely deprived of physical power and good luck (the two fundamental elements of the above two aspects) by the limitation of time. This theme of the limitation of time is, for the most part, the principal element of Green Hills of Africa, and Harry's spiritual calmness is symbolized in the shining white snows of Kilimanjaro. The literary world of Hemingway begins with the real things which are pursued to the utmost, but it ends in the abstract sphere of thought in which the spiritual victory of man over death is groped for. Such an abstract conception of his world arises from his longing for the dignity of human beings who are destined to live in this life that has no end but death.