Although the story takes places over a brief period; the last two days of the main character’s life, he put the meaning in his life in that period. That is why the title is “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber”.
The marriage between Francis and Margot is not one of faithfulness and love but one filled with distrust and worry. Details and clues show us that there are mainly two problems in their marriage; her betrayal and his lack of self-confidence. His lack of self-confidence gave her all the courage in their relationship and is a major contributing factor in her betrayal. Their relationship is selfish ; he wants her beauty while Margot desires his wealth. Hemingway gives the reader the impression that Francis is not necessarily an attractive man nor is he good with the ladies, but he is definitely rich. Margot, on the other hand, has one great advantage, her beauty. Therefore, Margot was too beautiful to be divorced and Francis was too rich to be left. This situation left not much choice to Margot. That’s why she was so keen on hunting expedition in Africa where danger waits every newcomer. An accident or a chance to kill her husband was very likely to happen. All she desired was a manly husband with money. Francis was all aware of her feelings that the next time to prove his masculinity,instead of running from danger, he would pursue it. The buffalo hunt gives him a newfound of happiness and wealth. She takes it as a threat. Consequently, unfortunately for Francis, the moment he gets ready to make the last shot to kill the buffalo, Margot raises her own gun and kills him! She didn’t hesitate to shoot him because she was afraid that he would run away like he did before or he would be victorious and become even bolder so that with his newlygained confidence, he would leave her. Actually by killing him instead of killing the animal, she did him a favor, otherwise it would increase his shame!
Finally, Margot’s final action is critical and hard to determine any simple explanation but there’s one thing clear: Francis’s death was not a tradegy at all, but a victory because he died in the act of affirming himself.