Literature Study GuidesThe Snows Of Kilimanjaro

The Snows of Kilimanjaro | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is narrated from a limited third-person point of view. The narrator focuses on the perspective of the dying main character, Harry, whose state of mind vacillates between clearheaded conversation and regretful, dreamlike flashbacks.


"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title refers to Mt. Kilimanjaro, a snow-capped mountain and dormant volcano in Tanzania (a country in East Africa). At 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa's tallest peak. In many of his works Hemingway uses mountains to represent purity and goodness. Toward the end of the story, when the main character, Harry, nears death, he sees the "square top of Kilimanjaro" and knows this is his destination, as it was for the legendary leopard whose body is preserved at the top.


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