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The inward journey

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Title:
The inward journey
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Drake, Susan Lynn, 1951-
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English

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Animal horns ( jstor )
Death ( jstor )
Firearms ( jstor )
Head ( jstor )
Hunting ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
Narrators ( jstor )
Rift valleys ( jstor )
Sables ( jstor )
Safaris ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Susan Lynn Drake. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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6718122 ( OCLC )
0023372098 ( ALEPH )

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THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA





By

SUSAN LYNN DRAKE




















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1980





Bound by DOBBS BROS. LIBRARY BINDING CO., INC., St. Augustine, Florida

























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tct P o









TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ABSTRACT ............................................. iv

PART I LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS....... i

The Form in the Landscape....................... 1

The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European., 11 The View from the Blind: The Narrator............ 18

Notes to Part I.................................. 26

PART II LIVING IN THE FLESH......................... 27

The Narrator's Rhinoceros....................... 27

Karl's Rhinoceros. .............................. 34

The Time of Droopy.............................. 45

Droopy's Country. ............................... 55

Notes to Part II.................................. 68

PART III THE MIND IN THE WORLD................ 70

The Guide M'Cola................................. 70

M'Cola's Country. ............................... 76

Beyond M'Cola. .................................. 83

PART IV IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION .................. 91

The Form in the Landscape ....................... 91

The Sign of the Heart............................ 99

The Kudu and the Sable............................. 105

Notes to Part IV................................ 120

LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED.............................. 121

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. .................................. 122





iii













Abstract of Dissertation Presented
to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA By

Susan Lynn Drake

June 1980

Chairman: W.R. Robinson
Major Department: English

The Foreword which opens Green Hills of Africa proposes the narrator's attempt therein to present "the shape of a country and the pattern of a month's action." Taking direction from this declaration, this analysis pursues a formalist concern with "shape" and "pattern" throughout the narrative. An examination of the opening images of the work reveals twentieth century Western man at a cultural crossroads, presented with two views of the world. One, the orthodox view from the cross, glorifies the urge to transcend the earth, to be above its processes. The alternative is the heterodox view from the (hunting) blind, which acknowledges and accepts the earth in which existential man must live. The Christian option being found bankrupt, the narrator chooses the secular perspective. From then on,


iv









his journey through Africa articulates the process by which he heals himself of the tradition of the cross and proceeds to create his own story as an individual.

The shapes and patterns of the African safari supply the means by which the narrator's journey is recounted: the guides, the companions, the topography, and the animals. Three native guides conduct separate segments of the safari's travels, segments which correspond to distinct phases in the narrator's growth. The first guide schools his American pupil in the wisdom of the body, the second in the lessons of the mind, and the third in the powers of the imagination. The combination of these three facets--the sensory, the intellectual, and the creative--is seen to produce a wholeness that enables the narrator-as-artist to eventually write the account of his journey: Green Hills of Africa.

The two American companions, the narrator's wife P.O.M. and his friend Karl, function as indicators of their husband and friend's progress under the guides. Each represents a different part of the narrator's psyche, acting as an alter ego. The companions emerge into the foreground of the story when the values clustered about them are active in the narrator, and recede when those values lessen.

The native guides and the American companions move

against the background of a landscape whose prevailing forms relate the narrator's story on an archetypal level. The most dominant topographical feature is the road the safari


v









travels upon, which is equated with the inventive, forwardthrusting urge in mankind. The road takes the narrator's steps through a succession of archetypal matrical forms: the Rift Valley, the hunting blind, and the ground cloth tent. An overview reveals that these shapes constitute advances in man's relationship to the earth. From the primordial chasm, to the quantitatively-shaped hollow, to the qualitatively-transformed cotton shelter, the earth proves responsive to man-as-maker.

Just as the African earth dynamically structures the narrative with its shapes, so do the major animals of the safari with the patterns of their horns. For example, the narrator hunts the more elemental rhinoceros, whose "horn" is merely a fleshy extension of its nose, when he himself is embroiled in the functioning of the body. The series of antelope encountered in the course of the safari--the reedbuck, eland, oryx, water buck--play prologue to the most intricate of all the horned game, the kudu and the sable. In a closing examination, these two animals are considered as aesthetic phenomena. The pair together climax the narrator's imaginative vision. In the extraordinary forms of their horns, the narrator sees the workings of the life process itself, the spiralling helix of the kudu evoking the evolutionary thrust of generation, the scimitar curve of the sable, the inevitable and necessary consequence of death.

vi














PART I
LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS


The Form in the Landscape


We were sitting in the blind that
Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs
and branches at the edge of the saltlick when we heard the truck coming.
At first it was far away and no one
could tell what the noise was. Then it moved slowly nearer, unmistakable now, louder and louder until, agonizing in a clank of loud irregular
explosions, it passed close behind us to go on up the road. The theatrical
one of the two trackers stood up.

"It is finished," he said.

I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.

"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide.1

In The Nature of Narrative Robert Scholes and Robert

Kellogg observe that "in Western narrative .. the heterodox or personal symbol system has tended to replace the orthodox."2 One particular Western narrative, Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway, grapples with just such a replacement, documenting the death of the "orthodox" world view and heralding the coming of the "heterodox." Such a transition is accomplished on every level of the work, generically, imagistically, stylistically. And it is all generated by the first scene of the narrative.


1





2


The larger background for this scene augurs a time of momentous change, for Green Hills is set in a continent in motion. The African locale of the narrative is caught up in a natural turmoil, the imminent onslaught of the rainy season ("the rains were moving north each day from Rhodesia"). This natural upheaval triggers in turn a social one, the migration of peoples along routes away from the danger ("all along the road we passed groups of people making their way to the westward"). It is against a backdrop of change on continental, seasonal, and populational proportions that the narrative opens. The subsequent story grows out of the seed of the opening landscape. The narrator and hunting party have left their car to sit, waiting for game, in a blind beside the road. As they wait, another--failing--vehicle passes along the road. Its movement inspires one of the party to his feet, arms outstretched and mouth open. The elements of the vignette are few and stark, yet they resonate through the narrative: the road, the blind, the two vehicles, the figure that stands cruciate over the blind and the figure that curls within its cavity. This crucial conjunction of forms enacts that moment of great transition when the narrator of Green Hills--the heterodox individual-is born, and a new world with him. It constitutes the central act of the narrative.


The story the narrator cf Green Hills tells is that of

change, and the manner in which he tells his story reflects






3


his subject. In the introductory essay to Hemingway and

His Critics, Carlos Baker narrows Scholes and Kellogg's

observation about the decline of the orthodox and the ascendancy of the heterodox symbol system in Western literature

to its more specific application at the hands of Hemingway:

He seems early to have rejected the
arbitrary importation of symbols which are not strictly germane to the action
at hand. Instead of ransacking other arts and literatures for viable symbols, he chose rather to allow the
object or scene or person whose function was to be symbolic to gather its meanings through a process of association strictly within the terms of the ongoing narrative.3

This method characterizes all facets of the creative process at work in Green Hills of Africa: by permitting an

object to "gather its meanings" only by the progress of the

narrative, the narrator implements on the imagistic plane

the story of movement he is telling on all other planes.

The method by which such an object accrues value may be

observed in that primal image which winds its way through

the green hills, the road.

The procession of people passing along its length

designates the road as a thoroughfare for life:

[A]ll along the road we passed groups
of people making their way to the
westward. Some were naked except for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried bows and sealed quivers of arrows. Others carried spears. The
wealthy carried umbrellas and wore draped white cloth and their women walked behind
them,with their pots and pans. Bundles and loads of skins were scattered along
ahead on the heads of other natives. All
were travelling away from the famine. (pp. 34-5)





4


The westward migration is no indistinguishable press of humanity. The diversity of nationalities and cultures present in the scene affords a panoramic display of civilization, incorporating advances from near-nakedness to umbrellas, from primitive arms to household accoutrements, from single hunters to family entourages. The people who precede the narrator on the road have made their contributions to the story of the West--the repetition of the verb "carry" constantly evokes the human hands that skinned the pelt, shaped the pot, wove the cloth. By this array of progressively more sophisticated artifacts, the road achieves a temporal, evolutionary function. The linkage of the road to time and change illuminates the narrator's relationship to the scene. Like the people of the procession, he reveals an affinity for the road: "watching the road, the people, and all clearings in the bush for game," he, too, drives to the westward. Like the Wanderobo hunters whose footsteps he follows, like the stream of people he joins, the narrator is a hunter, a wanderer/wonderer in the story of the West. Clearly, whether they be physical implements for modifying the environment or intellectual ones for structuring communal interaction, the narrator inhabits a world of inherited forms. The point at which Green Hills of Africa opens--with its first word the sweeping, all-inclusive "We"-- picks up the story of twentieth century Western man. It designates the point when the narrator enters the story of the road, the






5


moment at which he joins the procession of man-as-maker and accepts the challenge to shape his own form.


It is along this crucial stretch of road that the

sweeping dimensions of the change engaging Green Hills are delineated. As the narrator waits for game beside the road, a truck "moved slowly nearer until, agonizing in a clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed close behind us to go on up the road." Later, as the hunting party return to camp in the narrator's car, their hunting spoiled by the vehicle's passage,

we saw a big fire and as we came up
and passed, I made out a truck beside the road. I told [the driver] to stop
and go back and as we backed into the
firelight there was a short, bandylegged man with a Tyroler hat, leather
shorts, and an open shirt standing
before an un-hooded engine. (p. 6)

The pattern traced out in the opening sequence by the narrator's car and the "agonizing" lorry enacts in miniature the larger change transpiring in the narrative. The first major topographical image in Green Hills, the road, serves as an indicator of human invention. Hence vehicles, as human inventions, travel forward upon the road to the degree that they manifest the progressive impulse of the road. Vehicles are always present in Green Hills of Africa, even in the farthest reaches of the virgin land in Part IV (p. 225). But though other cars and trucks of the motor safari merit reference, more attention is reserved for the narrator's






6


car, and most of that at this initial stretch of road. This short span of sandy tracks marks the only overlap of the journeys of the car and the lorry. The soundness of one vehicle and the debility of the other is laid out in the topography and chronology of the scene: in a finely choreographed maneuver, the younger narrator (having advanced beyond the lorry), must back up in order to reach the immobile vehicle of the older driver.

In the dynamics of the road, movement signals growth while immobility indicates depletion. As enacted in their pas de deux, the overlapping with--and then the surpassing of--the lorry by the narrator's car signals the disfunction of the values associated with the former vehicle and the emergence of new values concomitant with the latter. The identification of these values is established by the "process of association" Carlos Baker notes. In the instance of the vehicles, their associations are accomplished by masterful employment of the tool of juxtaposition. As the hunting party crouches in the blind, the disabled lorry passes by on the road:

The theatrical one of the two trackers
stood up.

"It is finished," he said.

I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.

"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide. (pp. 2-3)

The juxtaposition of the guide's speech with the traffic on






7


the road provides the vital mechanism of this scene. Most fruitful is the indefinite reference of the pronoun in the guide's speech. This linguistic leeway enables "It" to function in a multiplicity of ways. The most obvious referent for "'t" is the kudu hunting, which the truck has just spoiled. But the careful coinciding of the guide's outburst with the passage of the vehicle also allows "It" to refer to the truck itself. The lorry is certainly as "finished" as the hunting. Soon after passing the narrator, the lorry ends its agonizing journey beside the road. The vehicle fails not because its body gives out but because its engine--its working center--is no longer valid. "Do you think it could be the timer? It sounded as though it might be a timing knock when you went past us," the narrator volunteers. Given the temporal context of the road, this diagnosis of problems with time and change pinpoints exactly the ailment of the lorry. A means of forward motion that once was operable is not now, emitting what its driver, the European Kandisky, calls "that noise of death inside."

The values associated with the vehicle are thus labeled anachronistic. Among all the vehicles on the safari, the truck Kandisky drives is specified as a "lorry, one of the two Briticisms prevalent in the narrative and a term reserved in the main for this particular vehicle. This European identity is reinforced by the loyalties of the lorry's driver, a man who boasts "I represent European organization."






8


To the European identity is added a Christian one as well, by the allusion of both the words and the posture of the guide to the dying Christ on the cross ("'It is finished,' he said and spread his arms wide."). The echo by the lorry driver of "It is finished" ("That lorry is finished") seals the identification with the crucifix. Thus, "It" (European civilization), "It" (the religion that fueled that civilization)--all the "It"s associated with the truck are finished. The vehicle comes to rest off the road, its weight to be hauled away, corpse-like, by a truck from the safari.

The eclipse of the lorry by the car depicts the transition from a Christian to a secular world. Again, the indefinite reference in the guide's speech provides the means for such a conclusion. Lacking a stated reference, the pronoun "It" may also be self-reflexive, referring to the allusion itself the guide presents. Put so, the selfreflexive pronoun turns the guide's pronouncement against itself. In this case, the "It" of "It is finished" is the crucifixion itself--now "It" is finished. The Christian view of the world, predicated upon the moment of death when a human being passes from the existence of earth into an other-worldly one, is dead. The transcendental thrust of Christianity is absolutely and categorically denied by the initial image of Green Hills of Africa. In the earthen blind where the narrative discovers him, the narrator has






9


assumed an attitude of waiting. But what results from this waiting is not the supernatural agent followers of the cruciate figure have anticipated for nearly two thousand years, but rather a new human being--born of the earth.


The place by the side of the road from which the narrator issues forth to walk the land of Africa and to tell his story commands attention. The guide who rises like a cross does so as the narrator and others are

sitting, leaning back, knees high,
heads low, in a hollow half full of
ashes and dust, watching through
the dried leaves and thin branches .
(p. 5)

The first observation to be made about the hollow beside the road is that it is as much a man-made object as the spears and umbrellas which dot the African road. The first sentence of Chapter One declares the structure's origins: "We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs and branches. ." Human hands dug the hole and placed the vegetation. But unlike the other products of men's hands, the blind by virtue of its size and function assumes added importance. The walls and cover of the cavity provide shelter for the hunters. The resulting completeness with which the structure enfolds its human inhabitants likens the shelter to a microcosm, to a world. The character of the blind as an inherited form lies in the men who shaped it, the Wanderobo hunters introduced in the first sentence of Chapter One. Yet following such a prominent introduction,





10


Wanderobos prove rather scarce in the narrative. One occasionally wanders through the green hills, leaving traces of his foraging (pp. 183-4), but not until Part IV does one appear to assist the safari. However, the initial sparceness of specific Wanderobos invites a broadening of the tribal term to include all who have wandered in the earth and brought their wonder to bear upon it. The hollow by the side of the road functions as a stage in the human flowering of the road. Its dimensions mark the frontiers reached by the wanderer/wonderers who preceded the narrator, the frontiers of the world from which Green Hills of Africa unfolds.

This unfolding begins with the very first word of

Chapter One. By beginning with the word "We," and thereby delaying a strict identification of the referent of the plural pronoun, the text reaches out and incorporates the reader into its plurality, into its world. The inclusive nature of the "We" places the reader most assuredly within a human structure--within the hollow of the narrator/hunter, within the first person narrative of the narrator/artist. The hollow serves as a stage in the events of the road where old values are sloughed off and new ones assumed. Its confines provide the battleground for two processes at work in the narrative, the decline of the "orthodox" world view and the initial stirrings of the heterodoxx." The blind marks the conjunction of the two processes, its critical nature punctuated by the terms of life and death. Much is








revealed by the physical appearance of the blind, described as "a hollow half full of ashes and dust." In depicting the withering away of Christianity, Biblical allusions in this passage appropriately deal only with death, e.g., the corpse of the crucifixion and the "ashes and dust" ("ashes to ashes, dust to dust") that partially fill the cavity. Most importantly, unlike the artifacts the natives carry upon the road, the form the narrator occupies no longer functions: no game is ever bagged from the blind. Yet, as its description implies, the blind is both a tomb and a womb. Surmounted by a human cross and half filled with decayed matter, it certainly appears a grave. But at the same time the curve of its shape suggests a matrix, and its other half is filled with a white hunter who, "sitting, leaning back, knees high, head low," assumes the position of a fetus. The cocoon-like hollow, dug from dust and covered with "dried leaves and thin branches," presents to the undiscerning eye an image of death. But within that husk dwells the miraculous kernel of change, a wanderer/wonderer curled like an unborn child and gifted with the same impulse to move and grow.


The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European


As the hunters leave the blind empty-handed and head back toward their camp, they pass in the light of a roadside fire a "short, bandy-legged man with a Tyroler hat,





12


leather shorts, and an open shirt." The driver of the lorry, Kandisky appears only in Chapter One, the narrative overlap of the car and lorry journeys. He is a European expatriate, having left his native Austria for an African plantation, and hence a wanderer like the narrator. But although this European has wandered geographically, he has not stirred imaginatively--no matter how many miles into Africa Kandisky may have travelled, his mind is still in Europe. As their nationalities attest, the American narrator and the Austrian Kandisky represent the opposing forces in the war (World War I) that consumes such a large part of Kandisky's conversation at lunch the following day (pp. 29-32). His involvement with the military likens Kandisky to another veteran of that same conflict, Frederick Henry. But unlike his American counterpart who walked away from the conflict, the Austrian has not bidden a farewell to arms. in a sense, that conflict still rages in the overlap of Chapter One between the American and the European, between an individualist and an orthodoxist non pareil.

Kandisky always exists as a member of a large group. In a burst of self-aggrandizement the orthodoxist outlines his approach to life:

"I represent European organization. I
come now from organizing recruitment of the natives. This takes time. It is impressive. I have been away from
my family for three months. The organization is organized. You do it in a
week as easily, but it is not so
impressive." (pp. 17-18)






13


His life expresses itself only through the many organizations in which he has entrenched himself. One such structure is the German cause of World War I. An Austrian, Kandisky volunteered for the German army and served under Von Lettaw's command. Now, years later, he continues to display the same allegiances that motivated that act. For this veteran, more than property perished in that conflict; the very ideals that generated it, the abstractions of "patriot" and "duty," no longer operate in the post-war world. When Kandisky seeks indemnification for the African plantation he lost and volunteers those abstractions as his reasons for fighting, he is told, "That is very beautiful. But you cannot hold us responsible for your noble sentiments." Kandisky's lost plantation is emblematic of the larger world that ceased to exist at the end of World War I. Dispossessed of land and values, he now wanders the hills of Africa.

One vestige of Kandisky's military service survives in his concern with titles. He painstakingly addresses the party's white hunter as "Colonel" Phillips until Pop corrects him: "I'm a Mister, by the way. We use these military titles as nicknames." The hunters have adapted a public formality to a private, affectionate use; Kandisky, however, is never known by anything other than his last name. This predilection for titles reveals a pervasive bias in the former soldier. The European is almost totally verbal in his relationship to the world. As one would expect of a






14


man who offered his life for abstractions, Kandisky is the quintessential man of words. The European looks upon people only as functionaries of the structures he maintains, a perspective which is formalized in the language he uses. Avoiding any expression of a private self, he never allows the familiarity that goes with first names or nicknames, but rather perpetuates the status quo by using titles or the more reserved family names. By his use of words Kandisky also preserves another structure, the sisal shamba, owned by an East Indian for whom the European--now a manager-recruits a native workforce. When the narrator first sights Kandisky in the firelight, the organizer stands "in a crowd of natives." That image which distinguishes between "manager" and "crowd" sums up Kandisky's world outlook. Far from acknowledging individuals, he perceives the native Africans only as a crowd to be organized, as primitives to be valued only as "my cook" or "the boy." One cannot imagine such a man enjoying a relationship like that the narrator shares with the guide Droopy in Part II or M'Cola in Part III. The extent to which the outer man overshadows the inner is revealed within that most personal of structures, the family that waits for Kandisky at the sisal shamba. The only male in a household of three, he does not particularize the Kandisky women. The proprietary "my wife" and "my daughter" must suffice.






15


Deposed as the head of a shamba, left with a failing vehicle ("That lorry is finished. It was all that remained of my shamba. It is all gone except that lorry"), Kandisky is chiefly distinguished in Chapter One by an overwhelming sense of loss. The vehicle upon which Kandisky enters the narrative is a relic of lost battles, lost position, lost values--a lost world. Bluntly faced with the dilemma of change, Kandisky reacts with a conservative instinct to shore up against that loss. Unable to make the transition into a new world, he draws about himself the shards of the past, trying to recreate the Old World in the new world of Africa. This effort at recreation begins with small details of food and reading matter and ends with an all-encompassing world view. For instance, the day after the narrator passes Kandisky's fire, the Austrian announces, "Tonight we will have a special dish of Viennese dessert. My cook has learned to make it very well." Such an offer conjures up the sight of an African more familiar with reedbuck tripe and kudu liver piling layer upon layer of an over-delicate torte! The offering of neglible nutritional value pales against the plentiful red meat at the hunters' fingertips.

This attitude of determined indifference to the land before him leads Kandisky to seek not only bodily but intellectual nourishment from distant European sources. When Kandisky first meets the narrator by the fire, he recognizes








him as "the dichter" of Querschnitt fame (the narrator explains: "The Querschnitt was a German magazine I had written [for] years before I could sell anything in America"). Far away in the heart of Africa, Iandisky longs for people he knows only through words, "the great old Querschnitt group" of writers, "the people one would see if one saw whom one wished to see." The narrator--having seen-decides, "I did not wish to destroy anything this man had, and so I did not go into those brilliant people in detail." From their very first encounter on the road, the dichotomy between word and vision, between what Kandisky believes from reading to be true and what the narrator knows empirically to be false, shapes a major issue in the narrative.

Kandisky in effect never sees Africa. Just as he preserves the structures of the past with his language, so he denies the living processes of the present. The very first word the European utters in Green Hills of Africa is "No," and negation hallmarks each of his responses thereafter. He says "no" to the natives, preferring to catalogue the quaint dances and songs ("[I]t is always interesting. The natives and the language. I have many books of notes on them") rather than learn from their indigenous knowledge of the land; "no" to the nourishment of the drink the narrator offers ("I never drink. It is not good for the mind"), driving the proffer to exclaim, "Don't you ever want to change your ideas?"; and "no" to the hunt, priding himself






17

on not killing game ("The life of the mind. This is not killing kudu"), while blind to the irony of his own dress as he "shift[s] his leather-breeched behind," this "Kandisky of the Tyroler pants."

The European wanderer, possessed by the past, makes no effort to discover the present world that lies before him or to adapt himself to the new environment. Instead, he merely grafts the old onto the new:

"I have lost everything here but I
have more than anyone has in Europe. [I]n reality, I am a
king here. I extend one foot
and the boy places the sock on
it. I extend the other foot
and he adjusts the other sock. I step into my drawers which are held for me. Don't you think that is very marvelous?" (p. 31)

"I am a king here." It is not far from Viennese desserts and German journals to this crowning summation. Kandisky has transplanted the whole of the European vision to African soil. Perhaps a wanderer, he has lost the capacity for wonder, aspiring only to duplicate the same hierarchical, static pattern in every facet of his life: champion of a world cause, petty tyrant of an African fiefdom, patriarch of a submissive family. In each and every manifestation of his life, the individual is subordinated to the organization.

One may label Kandisky's perspective on the world the view from the cross. Such identification stems from the opening sequence in Green Hills when the guide who recalls






18


the crucified Christ stands up in order to do so, towering over his earth-covered companions. The juxtaposition of the guide's rising with the movement of the lorry suggests the European driver's Christian heritage, the tradition which determines his way of looking at life. His point of view-the view from the cross--is literally and philosophically above the earth. It is the perspective of the omniscient Christian God who resides not in, but above, the world, beyond the reach of change. And it is that perspective which dies in the blind.


The View from the Blind: The Narrator


Names and titles--verbal confirmation of one's place in an ordered universe--are essential to Kandisky's world. The same is not true for the narrator. His public identity as "Hemingway" arises for the first and only time in conversation with Kandisky in Chapter One: "Hemingway is a name I have heard. Where? Where have I heard it? Oh, yes. The dichter." Kandisky's response to the narrator is to label him the "poet," and from then on the European sees not the concrete individual before him, but rather a preconceived notion of who "Hemingway" should be: "Why should any man shoot a kudu? You, an intelligent man, a poet, to shoot kudu." It is no surprise that Kandisky's characteristic use of language to explore the imagination of this artist fails. At the end of the longest conversation in the






19


entirety of the narrative (pp. 17-28), Kandisky is no closer to making contact with that talent than he was at their firelit meeting on the road.

After the episode with Kandisky in Chapter One, the

narrator returns to namelessness for the rest of the safari. As Kandisky's verbal impasse underscores, Green Hills is not the story of a name, not the story of a known quantity such as "European organization." The significance of the absence of names is strengthened by the absence of physical description of the narrator in the text. He has been ill with amoebic dysentary (p. 283); he has scars (p. 53). But for all the attention paid to the rest of the body, its wellbeing and functioning, the narrator is as faceless as he is nameless. Such an absence forces the reader to look not at the narrator, but through his eyes, to assume his point of view. The achievement of that point of view is a central victory of Green Hills of Africa. From the moment the guide in the blind intones, "It is finished," the reader inhabits a relativistic world. The validity of any omniscient perspective concomitant with a Christian universe collapses, to be replaced by that of the individual. The world of Africa's green hills is not the world of an organization man but of the "I" who tells the story of the journey thereafter. When the artist adopts the view from the blind over the view from the cross, the heterodox over the orthodox, a new story is born as well as a new storyteller. Green






20


Hills is an I/eye narrative, told by an unknown agent of untapped possibilities.

The transition from an orthodox to a heterodox world view is reflected in an important visual element of the narrative, the twenty-nine illustrations (fourteen of them two-page spreads) that punctuate the text. Just as there is no set piece of description about the narrator, so there is no sketched one. The drawings are characterized by the careful scrutiny they bring to all their subjects, whether animal, native, or hunter: the ibis (pp. 88-9, 135) and hyena (p. 199), Droopy (p. ii) and the old man of Part IV (p. 245), Pop and P.O.M. at Lake Manyara (pp. 124-5). But the sketches are particularly valuable in their treatment of the narrator. There exist no portraits, no closeups that probe for clues to his "character." Rather than existing as a completed essence before the narrative takes place, the narrator becomes during the unfolding of it. By his interaction with the phenomenon of Africa, he creates himself. Given this emphasis on self-realization, the drawings reveal much concerning the narrator's valuation of certain human attributes. For example, the human head, as the seat of the intelligence, is not isolated from or celebrated apart from the body. Instead, the drawings present whole-body silhouettes at a distance--the narrator integrated into the landscape (pp. 68-9, 136-7). The green hills thus presented do not constitute a lost world like






21


that of Kandisky, but a world with which the narrator is very much at one. The narrator's relationship to his world, the key relationship in the narrative, resides in the part of speech indicating relation, the preposition. The first preposition in the text of Green Hills is "in" ("We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built"). The relationship laid out in that word resonates through the sweep of the story, from the first preposition to the last--to the last word, in fact, of the narrative. The relationship of "in" between the narrator and his world determines the topographical imagery of the African landscape: the narrator squats in the blind, moves in the human traffic of the road. In fact, "in" serves as the very nucleus of the narrative itself. It is from the "in"-nermost point of view--that of a first person narrator, who is an active protagonist, whose main activity is writing--that the narrator creates Green Hills of Africa, the imaginative answer to Kandisky's intellectual "books of notes."


From style to imagery, the first paragraphs identify Green Hills of Africa as a story of movement. The narrative opens in medias res; the progressive first verb, "were sitting," indicates continuous action; and the imagery augments such action: into the world of the narrator comes a truck passing along the road he waits beside. The aptness of this genre to the narrator's experience quickly becomes






22


evident. The story of the road, in this case an African safari, lends itself readily to the telling of this narrative. Being a tale of outward movement, it easily renders simultaneous inner movement of the protagonist. The journey through the green hills is not a mere accumulation of experiences one after the other. It is a dynamic model of the qualitative personal growth the narrator undergoes-.

All elements of the safari function in this model-the guides, the companions, the animals. The African journey divides into three segments, each under the aegis of a particular native guide. These three lengths of road correspond to phases in the American's maturation, a process of which the guides are limited promoters. The native that governs a segment is endowed with certain talents and awarenesses which he evokes and nurtures in the narrator during his ascendency in the hunt. When the narrator fully acquires these new skills, the native mentor fades from the action and the narrator advances to more demanding lessons.

The narrator's sojourn with the guides is cast in the imagery of disease and health, his stay on the African continent coinciding with his recovery from a European disease:

Already I had had one of the diseases and had experienced the necessity of washing a three-inch bit of my large
intestine with soap and water and tucking it back where it belonged in unnumbered -amount of times a day. There
were remedies which cured this and it was well worth going through for what
I had seen and where I had been. Besides I caught that on the dirty boat out from
Marseilles. (p. 283)






23


The three guides who supervise this coincident journey and healing--Droopy, M'Cola, and the Wanderobo of Part IV-present in their approaches to life a pattern of health. By placing himself under the mentorship of these three and incorporating their lessons into his life, the narrator survives illness and achieves wholeness. The nature of the guides' lessons stems from the death knell sounded in the opening scene, "It is finished." Among numerous subjects, the indefinite pronoun "it" refers to the self-reflexive subject of the crucifixion itself. With the diminishment of the crucifixion, the mortification of the flesh glorified therein also ends. The narrator is an inheritor of this Christian tradition, as reflected in the diseased condition of his own body. In order to advance beyond the defunct tradition of the cross, an individual and cultural healing must be enacted. A significant trait of the narrator's recuperation is that none of the natives guiding the safari overlap in their authority. This clear division places great emphasis upon the sequence in which they guide the narrator. His first steps along the road follow those of Droopy, from whom he learns the wisdom of the body. This youngest and most elemental of the guides leads the narrator in the flashback of Part II from the reedbuck hunt of Chapter Three to the Rift Valley of Chapter Six. With the resurgence of sensory health, the narrator next comes under the sway of the older guide M'Cola, who assumes





24


prominence in Chapter Six. M'Cola presents the narrator with an alternative to the tyrannical intellect rampant in Kandisky. He offers a mental outlook oriented not to immutable truths, but to empirical observation of the world's events. And, finally, the narrator travels in Chapter Twelve with a guide at his side known only by his tribal name, a Wanderobo.

The brief span of the third guide's involvement (he enters on the last scheduled day of the safari) and the prophetic nature of that entrance (he bears the long-awaited news of kudu and sable that sparks the narrator into action) suggest that the Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the qualities suggested by his name. The first sentence of the narrative ("We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built") places the narrator squarely in the tradition of these hunters. The earthen hollow constitutes part of the legacy of the Wlanderobo; the values inherent in his tribal name constitute another.

These qualities equip the American wanderer to act as an agent of the imagination in Green Hills of Africa. The first association of 'Wanderobo, "to wander," describes a creature moving through his world. The word presumes no destination. It focuses not on an end to which the journey and surroundings are merely incidental, not on the eventual cessation of movement. Rather, "wander" celebrates the phenomenon of movement and the arena in which it takes






25


place. To this story of the road the homonymic pun, "to wonder," contributes additional dimensions. The narrator brings to bear upon his environment that spirit of inquiry and observation raised by one meaning of the pun, "to speculate." This curiosity, this passion to see marks the adventure of the I/eye newly issued from the Wanderobo shelter. And finally the pun functions within another of its definitions, "to feel wonder." With the return of physical health and mental perspective, the creative faculty also wells up within the narrator, infusing the sights of Africa with a narrative cohesion. At the close of his African journey, the narrator has achieved an inward wholeness that will soon produce the vision that is Green Hills of Africa.





26


Notes to Part I


iErnest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), pp. 2-3. Further citations will be given in the text.

2Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of
Narrative (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 98.

3Carlos Baker, "Introduction: Citizen of the World," in Hemingway and His Critics, ed. Carlos Baker (New York: Hill and Wang, 1962), p. 15.














PART II
LIVING IN THE FLESH


The Narrator's Rhinoceros


The imagery of the African safari provides the mechanism for tracing the journey the narrator takes toward inner and outer health. One component of that mechanism, the native guides, enter and pass from the ranks of the hunting party. However, another component, the companions of the safari, are constants in a world of change, there at the beginning of the African adventure and there at the end. Consequently, they perform a different service in chronicling the narrator's story. The guides preside over long-range periods of growth and then step aside as the narrator reaches and then exceeds the limits of their expertise. However, the companions act as alter egos for the narrator. The values that cluster about each one are always present in the narrator's psyche; the companions come to the fore in the story when those values are being emphasized in him and diminish when those values are de-emphasized. By such delicate and ever-changing interplay, the companions provide an indicator of the narrator's progress. Two Americans accompany the narrator into the continent, P.O.M., his wife, and Karl Kabor, his friend and fellow 27





28


hunter. Much of the "action at hand" in the seven chapters of Part II stems from the friction between the narrator and the companion Karl. Chapters Three and Four relate the first skirmish in this conflict, a skirmish fought by means of the rhinoceros.

Just as the guides acquire significance by the

sequence in which they conduct the safari, so do the major animals of Green Hills by the sequence in which they are hunted. The predominant species never overlap; a rhinoceros is killed only in Chapter Four. The African rhino is the first big game encountered in the flashback of Part II, an animal free of associations in Western culture. Instead, the rhinoceros gains its importance from the American hunter who pursues it. That importance begins with its initial sighting by the narrator from a hilltop:

Until five o'clock we did not see
anything. Then, without the glasses,
I saw something moving over the
shoulder of one of the valleys
toward a strip of the timber. In
the glasses it was a rhino, showing
very clear and minute at the distance, red-colored in the sun, moving
with a quick waterbug-like motion
across the hill. Then there were
three more of them that came out of the forest, dark in the shadow, and
two that fought, tinily, in the
glasses, pushing head-on, fighting in front of a clump of bushes while
we watched them and the light failed.
(pp. 49-50)

Just as the action of Part I springs from the blind beside the road, so that of Part II springs from the





29



sighting of the rhino. The place and the manner by which it enters the narrative indicate the importance of this animal: the rhino are sighted from the first green hill in Green Hills of Africa ("we climbed, sweating, the small, steep hill on the right to sit there with our backs against the hilltop and glass the green, pleasant country"), and their entrance is described strictly within the language of a vision. Prohibited by distance and rough terrain from physical contact, permitted access only by "the glasses" that are so carefully mentioned in three of the four sentences of this passage, the narrator can contact the game only as an image, only aesthetically. So, in this, the maiden hunt of the longest section of the book, a hunt described as "fine" even though no game is taken, the narrator sits atop the first green hill of his story and conceives a vision that ripples outward to touch the entire course of events in Part II.

Details of the four rhino glimpsed from the hill substantiate the comprehensiveness of this vision. In the rhino hunt, inner and outer realities work together; the rhino objectifies outwardly the inner state of its pursuers. The dynamics of the narrative are generated by a finely-honed correspondence between the men and the animals they pursue: the characteristics and behavior of the sought-after illuminate subtly yet profoundly the desires and drives of the seekers. The correspondence






30



between the two is established in several ways, beginning with numbers: a lead rhino followed by a herd of three mirrors the pioneering white hunter Pop and his American hunting party. In addition, in a Part whose chief action derives from conflict between two hunters, the animals they pursue are the only beasts in the entire safari to be observed fighting, and fighting between themselves at that. By the parallel thus set up between men and beasts, the "two [rhino] that fought, tinily, in the glasses" place the ongoing competition between the narrator and Karl squarely within the context of a territorial battle between two dominant males.

The rhinoceros emerges as vital from its very first appearance, trotting vigorously out onto the hill and flashing vividly before the narrator's eye, "red-colored in the sun." Red, the color of blood, of animal life, distinguishes the rhino throughout the hunt. But even more important is the source of that color. To P.O.M.'s query, "What makes them so red?," Pop replies, "Rolling in the mud." The narrator's rhino, too, shows "muddy red." Thus the rhino wallows in the matrix of the earth, absorbing its coloration and energy from an earthly, not a celestial, origin.1 And the pursuers of the rhino are imbued with the same vigor as the game. Much is made back in camp after the rhino sighting about the






31


hunters' own bathing in "nice, warm, muddy water." Such immersion befits a protagonist born of an earthen blind.

Along with the above-mentioned components of the

narrator's hilltop vision--the place and manner of entrance of the rhinoceros, their preoccupation and color--one other trait reinforces and expands the analogy between pursuers and pursued. These most contentious of game clash "headon," just as do the narrator and Karl in their rivalry for the heads of the game. But a more comprehensive clash between "heads" is involved, a conflict between the mental outlooks of the two hunters. When Chapter Four comes to a close, each hunter has bagged a rhino, and each rhino embodies that particular hunter's conception of the enterprise engaging him.

The narrator's hunt culminates in this animal:

There he was, long hulked, heavy-sided,
prehistoric looking, the hide like
vulcanized rubber and faintly transparent, scarred with a badly healed horn wound that the birds had pecked
at, his tail thick, round, and pointed, flat many-legged ticks crawling on him,
his ears fringed with hair, tiny pig eyes, moss growing on the base of his
horn that grew out forward from his
nose. (p. 79)

The narrator's observation of his rhino is singularly vivid and rich in particulars. In fact, this passage constitutes the initial vision of the green hill come to fruition. What began as several animals viewed from afar in a dominating landscape has narrowed to one specific animal confronted






32


in all its immediacy and uniqueness. Just as they did in the procession of natives along the road in Part I, artifacts play an integral role in the events of the rhino hunt. The impulse that brings the narrator down from his hillside seat to the side of the rhino aligns him as closely with the binoculars by which he first discerned the animal as with the gun that felled it. This emphasis on the instrument of sight gives equal import to the narrator's role as artist: in the act of learning to focus, to distinguish the individual from the herd, the eye of the creator undergoes substantial refinement.

One of the details revealed under the narrator's scrutiny of the rhino concerns the animal's physical condition; its hide is "scarred with a badly healed horn wound that the birds had pecked at." Besides identifying this rhino as one of the battling males viewed from the hill, the scars also mark the narrator's prize as no perfect specimen, but rather as a participant in and veteran of the conflicts of the world. In addition to rejecting an other-worldly standard of perfection, the physical state of the rhino bears witness to the animal's mortality. Once the Christian promise of immortality dies, the question for the existential wanderer/wonderer becomes how to live in and with the consequences of the world. That this is the lesson on which the narrator is embarked is substantiated by his own likeness to the






33



rhino. Of all the concrete description in Green Hills of Africa, little of it deals with the narrator. The only item he relates about himself is that he, like the rhino, has been ill and, like the rhino, bears scars:

My own scars were all informal, some
irregular and sprawling, others simply puffy welts. I had one on my forehead that people still commented on, asking
if I had bumped my head. .(p. 53)

Thus both hunter and hunted emerge as creatures

buffeted by experience. In a major function the animals of Africa perform in Green Hills, the rhinoceros stands as a stage in the growth of its pursuer. Scarred, the narrator incorporates the conditions of twentieth century, post-Christian life; wounded, he must now learn the lessons of the body that will result in healing. This sensory orientation is indicated by his interaction with the beast: he looks at and describes the whole body of the rhino, valuing not just the prize of the head and horn, but the complete animal. The story of Part II, then, develops out of the narrator's need to grow into a wholeness of body, to not only survive in the world, but to flourish.

That the rhino indicates growth in the narrator is borne out by the vital part movement plays in the hunt. Theirs is a dynamic encounter, initially an inner one as the narrator responds to the challenge of the "muddy red" game ("I was very excited at seeing him"), his own blood






34


racing; then one of outer movement as success depends upon his ability to anticipate and then go with the actions of the rhino.

He showed, trotting into the shallow,
boulder filled stream. Thinking of
one thing, that the shot was perfectly
possible, but that I must lead him
enough, must get ahead, I got on him, then well ahead of him, and squeezed
off. I heard the whonk of the bullet
and, from his trot, he seemed to
explode forward. (p. 76)

The encounter demands, and receives, the best of the hunter's skill (the horn is "nothing extra. That was a hell of a shot you made on him though. brother"). The results of the narrator's effort, that extraordinary show of proficiency called forth in the one-on-one confrontation, stresses that the process of hunting engages the narrator's passion. He does not walk away with the "best" rhino, with another trophy--in fact, quite the opposite, given the condition of the rhino and the size of its horn. What he does walk away with from the rhino hunt is the internal victory of having set, and met, his own challenge.


Karl's Rhinoceros


At the same time the narrator faces his rhinoceros in an encounter of far-reaching dimensions, the other American hunter on the safari, his friend Karl, also brings down a rhino. And just as the first animal






35



reveals the impulsions of the narrator, so the second reveals those of Karl:

There was the newly severed head of a rhino that was a rhino. He was twice
the size of the one I had killed.
The little eyes were shut and a fresh
drop of blood stood in the corner of
one like a tear. The head bulked
enormous and the horn swept up and back in a fine curve. The hide was
an inch thick where it hung in a
cape behind the head and was as white
where it was cut as freshly sliced
coconut. (p. 83)

The overwhelming feature of Karl's rhinoceros in

contrast to the narrator's is that this animal is already dead when first viewed. The inanimate rhino climaxes a hunt devoid of interaction between hunter and hunted. Karl does not track the animal through the hills and streams of its own ground, but stumbles upon it "just outside of camp"; neither does he draw upon his skill as a marksman in the confrontation, rather downing the animal with an undetermined "five or six [shots], I guess." When the narrator looks out from the green hill at the spectacle of the battling bulls before him he sees in their "head-on" conflict the same battle of heads he fights with Karl. As becomes clear when he regards his rhino, his mind is learning to value the creatures of the world in their concrete wholeness, a wholeness which necessitates consideration of and for the body. Not so with Karl. "The newly severed head," the





36



"enormous" head, "this dead, head-severed" rhino--Karl pursues and triumphantly captures the head of heads. Already skinned, his rhino hangs emptied of all traces of body. Its quantitative considerations of "size," "bulk," and "inches" merit acclaim in the public realm, a rhino born to adorn some sportsman's wall. But qualitatively the prize is as hollow as its skin. Lacking all individuating characteristics (no ticks, moss, or scars here), the monumental head represents the antithesis of the narrator's private and personal achievement.

The deadness that typifies Karl's approach to the hunt is expounded in two similes that appear in the description of his rhinoceros. Both figures record the diminution of the rhino's most salient feature, its red color. In the first instance ("a fresh drop of blood stood in the corner of one [eye] like a tear"), the color that flashed so vividly before the narrator's eye from the hilltop has in this specimen assumed the hue of sorrow. In fact, the weeping head of "this huge, tear-eyed marvel of a rhino," framed by a shroud of hide, resembles nothing so much as a tragic mask. The second simile documents the scope of this regression. In Karl's rhino, "the hide was as white where it was cut as freshly sliced coconut." The figure performs a double .function. A food metaphor, it ironically describes a creature whose pursuer cannot feed upon his kill. Karl's incapacity to utilize






37


the body is underscored when his plan to capture a leopard with the rhino carcass is thwarted by a protected lion. But even more significantly, the startling whiteness the metaphor discloses about the hide presents a creature blanched of the vitality that so distinguished the animals of the hill in that original vision. Far from flowing through veins or denoting intimate contact with the earth, red appears in this rhino only as blood spilled at the hands of Karl ("He was shaky with excitement and I saw he had been washing blood off his hands"). By no accident do the eyes of this rhinoceros close shut. With eyes as blind as those of the dead game, Karl cannot partake of the vision of life the narrator perceives in the opening pages of Part II.

The workings of the human head that resembles this rhino are set forth in the passage that marks Karl's entrance into camp:

"Whatever you say," Karl said. His mind
was bitterly revolving eight blank days
of hill climbing in the heat, out before daylight, back at dark, hunting an animal
whose Swahili name he could not then
remember, with trackers in whom he had
no confidence, coming back to eat alone,
no one to whom he could talk, his wife
nine thousand miles and three months
away, and how was his dog and how was
his job, and god-damn it where were
they and what if he missed one when he got shot, he wouldn't, you never missed
when it was really important, he was
sure of that, that was one of the tenets of his faith, but what if he got excited






38



and missed, and why didn't he get any
letters, what did the guide say kongoni
for that time, they did, he knew they did, but he said nothing of all that,
only, "Whatever you say," a little
desperately. (p. 62)

This paragraph delineating Karl's thoughts upon the hunting he has just concluded stands out in the narrative for, except for the use of the third person point of view, the passage is an interior monologue, the only one of its kind in the book. By its structure, that of an essentially one-sentence paragraph, the monologue traces the activity of a "mind revolving."

Firearms, of course, constitute as necessary a part of the safari's equipment as vehicles and tents and, like the other elements, contribute to the imagistic richness of the hunt. On at least three separate occasions in the journey through Africa, the double-barreled shotqun and the Springfield rifle owned by the narrator figure decisively in crucial turning points of the narrator's journey. However, the gun suggested in Karl's monologue ("His mind was bitterly revolving eight blank days") is the first to introduce firearm imagery. That suggested weapon, the revolver, draws attention to itself and to Karl because, unlike the larger shotgun and rifle, it is not a standard hunting instrument. As a metaphor this particular gun illuminates the dynamics of the mind of the hunter. The revolver connotes action that is circular






39



and repetitive. Karl's meditation upon his days in the hills follows precisely this pattern, picking up a detail (the "Swahili name he could not then remember"), worrying with it ("god-damn it where were they"), and returning to it again ("what did the guide say kongoni for that time, they did, he knew they did"), with no progress made or resolution reached through the mind's ruminations. The identical phrases beginning and ending the passage ("Whatever you say," "Whatever you say") reinforce the mental stalemate.

The obsession with words which prevails in the

monologue typifies Karl's sojourn in Africa: he misses his quarry because he misunderstands a name; he bemoans a lack of companionship because there is no one to talk to (alone, among forty M'Bulus!); he is haunted by formulated tenets he must live up to; and he languishes, in the heart of Africa, from a lack of letters from home. His preference for words hinders a full experiencing of the wonder of the continent; the few sensory references in the monologue relate only hardships suffered in its terrain. As emptied of body as his trophy, Karl is one big head.

Appropriately, this head seeks out an aesthetic

form indigenous to a man of words, the convention of the unspoken soliloquy. As mentioned above, this literary style is peculiar to Karl alone in Green Hills of Africa.





40


In addition to identifying his habit of mind, the soliloquy also suggests Karl's state of mind; the utterance of a lone speaker, the soliloquy expresses the estrangement resulting from Karl's verbal obsession. No one on the safari is more determinedly alone than Karl, deprived of wife, job, and home, aloof from the continent he traverses and the people he meets, obsessed with only one facet of a multi-faceted event. When a human mind can be reduced to the image of a revolver, that mind is a mind consumed. But the analogy of the revolver makes an even more damning assertion: the mind, or more precisely that intellectual bent of mind which prevails in Karl, fails as a weapon, as a means of viable action within the world. The impotence of such a mind is carried through in the image of the revolver, its ammunition only blanks, its action only mechanical.


If certain traits found in the hunter Karl sound familiar, that is because they have been encountered before in the narrative. Karl is the intellectual greatgrandson of "Emerson, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Company," the Americans of whom the narrator stated in Part I, "You [would not] gather that they had bodies. They had minds, yes. Nice, dry,.clean minds." And he is the first cousin of the European intellectual to whom the narrator made this observation--Kandisky. Parallels between the European






41


and this American abound. The personal situation of each man includes a present lack of wife, job, and home; Karl's name mimics Kandisky's in its Germanic spelling; and both men indulge in aesthetic forms concomitant with verbal man, conversation in Kandisky's case and the unspoken soliloquy in Karl's. The extent and import of the link between these two men becomes even clearer in the chronology of Green Hills. One recalls that Part II, "Pursuit Reinembered," is told as a flashback. Therefore Karl's foray into the hills (of which we see only the return) and Kandisky's journey along the road (of which we see only the end) coincide. The narrative concerns itself with Karl and his story when the Western man consummate in Kandisky holds sway.

Karl, of all the hunting party, most resembles the narrator in age, sex, and skill, and the groundwork for his function as an alter ego is laid out early in the narrator's observation of the two male rhinos locked in territorial combat upon the green hill. The outcome of the battle between the verbal values Karl espouses and the visual ones the narrator is learning rides with these respective champions; the American soul wrestles with itself as its two sons engage in a contest of such consequence that the very earth is riven between them.

The quest for dominance appears most blatantly in

the politics of the hunt when the two hunters scrupulously





42



divide up the territorial "beats" between themselves. Karl and the narrator never hunt the big game together, and the supposed infringement by the narrator upon Karl's territory triggers an explosion in the latter in Chapter Eight. The schism extends from Africa to America: "He made my rhino look so small that I could never keep him in the same small town where we lived. He had wiped him out." But it assumes its most powerful proportions in the topographical feature which commands the landscape of Part II, the Rift Valley. The sentence which introduces Karl into Part II designates this landmark as his destination:

The trucks were to bring Karl in from
his kudu camp where he seemed to be
getting disgusted, or discouraged,
or both, and he could go down to the
Rift Valley the next day and kill some
meat and try for an oryx. (p. 61)

From this first appearance in Chapter Three, Karl's very presence entails a rift.

That the differences between these two seemingly similar men should reach such dimensions indicates a crucial cleaving of allegiances within the narrator. The model for this division crops up in a chat between Jackson Phillips and the narrator the night immediately preceding the rhino kills.

Pop was puzzled why the rhino were
all gone. Each day we had seen less and we discussed whether it could be the full moon, that they fed out at






43


night and were back in the forest
in the morning before it was light,
or that they winded us, or heard the men, and were simply shy and
kept in the forest, or what was it?
Me putting out the theories, Pop pricking them with his wit, sometimes considering them from politeness, sometimes with interest, like the one about the moon. (pp. 74-5)

The image of the moon in the narrator's speculations regardina rhino behavior also contains the crux of the human behavior. Two processes are going on in Part II: the narrator, as he learns of the world and the body, is waxing; his counterpart Karl is waning. The gradual sloughing off of Karl and the values he embraces is accomplished verbally and visibly. Suggestions of obsolescence cluster about Karl throughout tae course of Part II. "Old Karl," "Good old Karl," "old Karl," "old Karl" mark the hunter's decline. His appearance also bodes ill: "Karl was thin now, his skin sallow, his eyes very tired looking and he seemed a little desperate." From his first steps into camp, Karl steadily atrophies. While reaping one external trophy after another, he withers internally, over the course of seven chapters growing "steadily gloomier," "tired," "pale and gaunt looking," "tired"-a descent which climaxes in the narrator's diagnosis, "I don't think he's well now."

The waning of Karl augurs an adjustment in the

Western psyche, a bringing into proportion of one facet






44



of being--the intellect--which has tyrannized others. Its consequent diminishment provides a space for the rediscovery and burgeoning of the body that occupies Part II. Karl wanes because he is trapped within his own mental revolutions, unable to reach outside them for physical or emotional nourishment. Pop confirms this starvation with another food image, "I think he's off his feed a little." In the end, a mind revolving is a mind consuming itself.

The final passage of Chapter Nine documents Karl's inability to advance upon the road. The closing scene carefully recapitulates the opening scene of the narrative, its recurring elements inviting comparison. Karl describes the hunt: "We were in the blind and they motioned me to keep my head down and then when I looked up there he was right beside us." The situation is the same as when the narrator crouched beside the road in Part I: a hunter, a womb-like blind, and the all-inclusive "we" that presides at the event. But in Karl's case no birth transpires; this hunter is not to be the next wanderer/ wonderer in the long line of artificers. Karl fails because he provides no limbs to assume the fetal position, because he proffers a verbal artifact, the soliloquy, that proves inadequate as a tool. Realizing his incompleteness as an agent of life, the "we" dissociates itself from Karl and becomes an exclusive "they," motioning back the untoward head. Significantly, the gesture of the "they"






45


reproduces exactly the movement with which the narrator repudiates the black guide associated with Christianity and European civilization in Chapter One ("'It is finished,' he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down"). With this movement the "we" aligns itself with the narrator; it is his story the voices of the road share, not Karl's.


The Time of Droopy


Just as the waning of the moon describes the diminishment of Karl recorded in Part II, so its waxing describes the simultaneous flourishing of the narrator. The narrator explicitly designates the period of this waxing as "the time of Droopy" (p. 46). Chapter Three begins with the American hunter carefully perusing the figure of the African guide:

Droopy was a real savage with lids to
his eyes that nearly covered them,
handsome, with a great deal of style, a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker.
He was about thirty-five, I should
think, and wore only a piece of
cloth, knotted over one shoulder,
and a fez that some hunter had given
him. He always carried a spear.
(p. 46)

One feature attracting the narrator's visual attention in the opening passage is Droopy's attire, unique to him among the principal natives of the safari. The knotted cloth and the spear, however, recall other hunters






46


encountered earlier in the narrative, the line of the westward migration upon the road: "Some were naked except for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried bows and sealed quivers of arrows. Others carried spears." Droopy's costume places him squarely among these bearers of artifacts and culture; it is as if he has stepped out of the procession to walk with the new hunter on the road for a time. In addition to dress, another of the guide's traits attracts the narrator; the native is "about thirtyfive, I should think." The interjection of the narrative first person into this particular detail indicates its importance; of all the participants on the safari, Droopy alone is the same age as the narrator.2 This sharing of time in their personal lives, as emphasized by the personal pronoun, underscores the affinity between the handsome hunter and the I/eye who regards him. The time of Droopy portends a propitious time for the narrator.

In Part II Droopy presides at the initial sighting and subsequent downing of the narrator's rhinoceros: "[M'Cola] and I [were] hunting together and Droopy in command of the show." The result of that show, the rhino with its commanding features of physical size and bulk, indicates the values of the guide presiding over its mastery. In the growth of the narrator, Droopy serves as a guide to the body. Droopy's own body initiates






47



this role. The native possesses a naturally attractive face and physique; in addition, he boasts tribal scars, "handsome ones beside his cheekbones and others, symmetrical and decorative, on his chest and belly." As they do in the description of his scars, the words "handsome" and "beautiful" keynote Droopy's appearance on the safari, being applied to him by men and women alike, and even italicized at times (p. 64). Thus, as confirmed by the narrator's visual scrutiny and by the verbal approbations, throughout Droopy's time in the hunt people respond to him first and foremost as an aesthetic phenomenon. The unique character of his beauty indicates his importance to the narrator. Droopy's patterned skin evidences a concern with the surface and the visual. It constitutes an explicit recognition and glorification of the body and its image, nature enhanced at the hands of man.

As do all the guides, Droopy serves in two capacities, guiding the narrator/hunter through the country of Africa and the narrator/artist through the terrain of art. It is vital to the workings of the narrative that these two functions issue from the same source, that what makes good hunting makes good art. During the rhino hunt, the narrator learns from Droopy that art and action are one and the same. Looking beautiful, functioning beautifully, the African completely integrates the two. He admits no






48



disparity between the surface and the reality, between the adorned skin and the trained muscles. The word which recurs in the narrator's consideration of Droopy, and which captures the unity the guide has achieved, is style. "Handsome, with a great deal of style," "a great stylist in everything he did"--style as evidenced by Droopy is not just extraneous flourish, but a marriage of inner talent and outertraining. Its holistic quality surfaces in the climactic moment of the rhino hunt when Droopy goes in first after the downed game, pausing only to remove his fez:

"That's all the precautions he
needs," Pop said. "We bring up
a couple of heavy guns and Droopy goes in after him with one article
less of clothing." (p. 77)

The guide's quintessential act at this juncture of life and death is to shed the superfluous object. He is able to perform the task before him because he carries within him the resources equal to that task.

One organ in particular distinguishes the superb

body of the guide. "With lids that nearly covered them," his eyes are the first feature the narrator notices. That feature gives rise to his name, the nickname "Droopy," the familiarity of which further strengthens the personal significance the African guide holds for the American hunter. It also pinpoints the gift the two men hold in common, the gift of vision. Droopy's eyes make possible






49


his occupation, his art, as "a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker." He must bring his physical prowess, his intimacy with land and game, and above all his trained eye to the task at hand. Be it blood spoor in the high grass, rhino track in the mud, or buffalo droppings in the rocks, to assure success--and survival--the tracker must find the pattern in the earth.

A patterned being in a world of pattern, Droopy inhabits an aesthetic universe. As has each of the makers in that line from which he steps, Droopy molds with his hands a form, in his case the body--his own and those of his world. The narrator receives a major lesson in the art of the body from Droopy when he shoots a reedbuck in Chapter Three. Delineating the roles of novice and teacher, the passage is phrased as a lesson. The only animal taken in that chapter, the buck appears when Droopy and the narrator hunt alone. After succeeding in his wish "to make a shot to impress Droopy," the narrator displays his skill with the reedbuck, limited chiefly to dissection:

Once bled, I started to open him,
with the little knife, still showing
off to Droopy, and emptying him
neatly took out the liver, cut away the gall, and laying the liver on a
hummock of grass, put the kidneys
beside it. (p. 54)

After viewing this demonstration, Droopy then takes his turn, transforming the carcass from mere pieces of meat

into a tour de force of utility:






50


Now he was going to show me something. Skillfully he slit open
the stomach and turned it inside,
tripe side, out, emptying the grass in it on the ground, shook it, then put the liver and kidneys inside it
and with the knife cut a switch from the tree the buck lay under
and sewed the stomach together with
the withe so that the tripe made a
bag to carry the other delicacies in.
Then he cut a pole and put- the bag
on the end of it, running it through
the flaps, and put it over his
shoulder. ..(p. 54)

Under Droopy's tutelage, the narrator discovers the plasticity of the body. Unlike Karl's rhinceros, a shell destined for public display upon a wall, the reedbuck at Droopy's touch becomes an object of protean possibility, magically transmuting from one state to another as inside becomes out, organs become containers, consumer becomes nourishment. To an even more emphatic degree than the rhinoceros, the reedbuck carries no public or cultural significance; its lesson for the narrator is strictly personal.

An intrinsic part of this lesson, the coalescing of the arts of hunting and writing, clearly comprises the central event of the reedbuck incident. The tool with which the narrator must dress the carcass is a penknife ("Droopy had no skinning knife and I had only a penknife to stick him with"). Since this particular artifact was first used in the maintainance of quill pens, its double function as an instrument of writing and of hunting






51


cannot be overlooked. To be legal meat, the body of the buck must be stuck immediately (p. 157). Therefore, the skill with which the narrator/hunter presses his knife against the heart, his fingers against the body, determines the food value of the kill. With like skill must the narrator/artist press the pen against the paper, his imagination against the matter of his world, to shape the living prose.


The killing of the reedbuck occasions an immediate exercise of style as the pupil applies in his narrative the values Droopy has championed and he himself has assimilated. These values are evidenced nowhere more powerfully than in the conversation that brings the reedbuck chapter to an end. The nighttime setting parallels in its makeup the one the narrator has shared with Droopy during the day: a couple (this time the narrator and his wife), alohe (in their tent, as the narrator has been in the country with his guide), sharing the conflicts of their lives (in this case the jealous rivalries of the Parisian literati).

said P.O.M. "We have fun though
don't we? Without all those people."

"God damn it if we don't. I've had a
better time every year since I can
remember."

"But isn't Mr. J. P. wonderful? Really?"

"Yes. He's wonderful."

"Oh, you're nice to say it. Poor Karl."

"Why?"






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"Without his wife."

"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl." (p. 66)

Since the portion of the conversation immediately preceding this exchange has divulged how another author learned to write conversation by imitating the narrator, the quoted lines become a virtuoso display in self-aware style. No excess description impedes the functioning of the speech; whatever physical and psychological action transpires in the scene occurs within the words themselves. The narrative does not dwell often upon what might be called domestic scenes. In this one of the few times it does, it lingers upon the couple alone, upon these two who have sloughed off "all those people." Having repudiated the Parisian literati, and deserted for the evening their fellow travelers, the narrator and P.O.M. withdraw from the world of society into the world of marriage. The physical space of that world is defined by the walls of the tent that shelters them in the sleeping camp; the linguistic space of that world is defined by the pronoun "we."

In the description of Droopy at the beginning of

Chapter Three the personal pronoun rendered in language the personal bond between the subject of that description and the I/eye who described him. So in the conversation between the narrator and his wife at the end of Chapter Three, the plural personal pronoun conveys the intimacy shared by the two conversers. Both speak in terms of






53


"we" as they muse about the life they share, acknowledging verbally the union in which they are partners. And union-the world of "we"-- is the subject of this passage, stylistically, psychologically, and sexually.

Karl, with whom the exchange concludes, has been

proved poor in many ways. He, like his friend, has had the fortune to hunt with "good-looking savages" and the chance to learn from them all that phrase entails. But Karl learns nothing, failing to communicate even superficially with his guides. Significantly, Droopy never hunts with Bwana Kabor. But Karl is manifestly poorer in another way, as the conversation demonstrates. He is poor because he lacks his wife, as is agreed upon by the two voices we hear issuing into the quiet of the night.

Poor Karl."

"Why?"

"Without his wife."

"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl."

The sentences are as unencumbered as Droopy without his fez, as close to the emotion of the matter as the narrator/hunter to the reedbuck's heart. Poor Karl without his wife, says a man with his wife. The unstated, implied converse floats up into the African air as surely as if it were inscribed upon the page: Poor Karl .. Lucky me.






54


With these words--spoken and unspoken--the conversation, the scene, and the chapter close. No further narration follows their utterance, but given the intensifying intimacy of the passage, the break in the text points toward husband and wife making love. Chaman Nahal has pointed out the service of adverbs in implying sexual intercourse in The Sun Also Rises.3 In Green Hills, rather than taking the form of an adverbial interruption within one line or between two lines as in Nahal's examples, the sexually-suggestive break assumes the shape of the blank space upon the page after the conversation. This presentation of the sexual union by visual means bears out the growing importance of the image within the narrative, including that of the text as an image upon the page, as the narrative passes from the verbal virtuosity which sets the action into the visual one which fulfills it.

The narrator discusses sex outright a few pages

later in Chapter Four (p. 72) and on at least one other occasion in the narrative (p. 249), but the closing scene of Chapter Three marks the only instance to hint at his active engagement. The appropriateness of such a scene to the purposes of the narrative is clear. It is fitting that the Part of the book most concerned with the body should include its conjugal celebration, that a chapter whose action is sparked by an eye/body relationship (the narrator looking at Droopy) should climax in the most






55


intimate of such relationships. And, given this generating power of the eye, it is even more fitting that this union be realized visually: in that space upon the page after Chapter Three ends and before Chapter Four begins, it is as if the eye closes as the "I" withdraws into the intimacy of "we." Only the tent which witnesses first an exchange of words between the present wife and the lucky husband witnesses then an exchange of hearts and bodies, deep in the rich African night.


Droopy's Country


During the period designated as "the time of Droopy," the narrator and the safari enter a part of Africa known among themselves as "Droopy's country." A "country" has been defined previously by the narrator as "an area, a valley or range of hills, a man can hunt in." This usage in the hunting vocabulary allows the term to fill a larger narrative need in Green Hills. Throughout the safari, only one African country in the political sense of the word is mentioned, and precious few towns; rather, "country" takes on a role as psychic space, as an arena of expertise within which a man may act. With this emphasis the naturalistic is valued over the political, the achievement of man as individual over man in groups: "Droopy's country" designates that perfect conjunction between the demands of a particular terrain and the talents of a particular hunter.






56



A "canyon [that] ran down to the Rift Valley, seeming to narrow at the far end where it cut through the wall of the rift," constitutes Droopy's arena of action. As would be expected in the case of the native who has acted as a guide to the body, Droopy's country abounds in physical proliferation, from the lushness of its vegetation ("the trees were heavy and tall and the floor of the canyon, that from above had been a narrow gash, opened to a forestbanked stream"), to the superabundance of game. In their search for water buffalo the hunting party are confronted at almost every turn with prize rhino specimen, which in every case turn out to be cows accompanied by one, if not two, calves. The reproductive activity attested to by this display pervades not only plants and animals in Droopy's country, but men as well.

Throughout his tutelage to Droopy, the narrator has been undergoing a regeneration, of which his sojourn in the canyon marks only an intensification. Prior to the time of the narrative the American hunter had been ill, but now he

S. had that pleasant feeling of getting stronger every day. I was underweight, had a great appetite
for meat, and could eat all I wanted
without feeling stuffy. Each day
I sweated out whatever we drank sitting at the fire. .(p. 55)

The regeneration of this American coincides with the degeneration of the other American hunter on the safari,






57


his friend Karl. As suggested by the image of the moon in the rhino hunt, Karl is waning while the narrator waxes. One way the theme of physical waxing presents itself is in the narrator's "great appetite." The acts of eating and drinking afford much pleasure, be the nourishment a "lunch of cold sliced tenderloin, bread, and mustard, and a can of plums," or the beer that "was still cool from the night and opened by the tin opener creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full-bodied." As is borne out by the descriptions of the lunch and beer, great care is taken to set forth in detail the concrete things of the world, the bounty of the green hills that sustains the body. Furthermore, the narrator's appetite extends from the sustaining surplus of the world to the world itself. Appropriately, a verb of appetite describes the narrator's desire for the country in which he finds himself: "Ncw, being in Africa, I was hungry for more of it."

What the narrator hungers after, and what Droopy teaches him to find, is "now"--through the appetites of, the immediate demands of, the now of the body. Karl, the narrator's chief alter ego in Part II, is trapped in "then"; the compulsion of his intellect to remember a life across the Atlantic never permits his senses to experience the "now" of Africa. Revealingly, Karl does not enter Drcopy's country, does not enter the world of





58



"now." But the narrator does, and upon entry he finds

in that country a stage of awareness best described by

Chaman Nahal:

The key word for understanding the
Hemingway hero, according to my
reading, is spontaneity. The
Hemingway hero is a man immensely
alive to everything, and in his
spontaneity he has the vital
capacity to react to life in innumerable and unpredictable ways.

That is the true Hemingway hero:
a genuinely spontaneous individual
The desire in his heroes
is to feel everything fully--and therefore slowly, egolessly. "He
did not want to rush his sensations any," says Hemingway about Nick in
"Big, Two-Hearted River," and the
expression is typical. The life
of the trout, of the mink, and of
the mosquitoes and the grasshoppers that is painted in the story comes rushing to Nick because of his extreme sensitivity to what is going
on around him.4

WhileNahal's unqualified extension of this observation

about Nick Adams to later, more complex protagonists may

be questioned, its rightness for the narrator at this

particular phase in his African journey is unquestionable.

For the duration of this sensory "now," the life of the

reedbuck, of the rhino, and of the tse-tse flies and

the locusts enriches the narrator every bit as much as

the life of Nick's country enriches him. The narrator

enters Droopy's country--and makes it his own.


Droopy walks into the green hills of Africa--on a foot

safari with the narrator and M'Coia, through the high grasses






59


of his own country, onward to where the canyon meets the Rift Valley--and then simply vanishes from the narrative, never to be seen or mentioned again. The intensity and the brevity of his walk among the hills suggest that this guide acts as a vital, but limited, agent for promoting growth in the narrator. That Droopy presides over a distinct phase in the journey of his pupil is borne out by the great capacities, but even greater limitations, of his body, his time, and his country. The first limitation is found in the superb body whose eyes discern the trails and pinpoint the game. But for all their efficiency, these organs look only earthward; they do not incorporate lateral vision, the direction associated with the fellow guide M'Cola. Droopys vision is that of the primal interaction of man with earth, not the more complex interaction of man with man. The drooping eyelids that beget his name act as natural blinders, restricting his field of sight to one plane. The resemblance of these lids to blinders recalls a similar use of vision and places Droopy in the sequence of the safari; the narrator follows the path blazed by Droopy before he rises from the blind.

Just as Droopy's body suffices only so far, so does

his utilization of the products of civilization. "The time of Droopy" acquires added significance when one considers the place of this guide among the company of westward wanderer/wonderers on the road. Droopy most closely resembles the more primitive of the peoples, the nomadic






60



hunters, as opposed to the more advanced family units with which his cohort M'Cola is associated. In addition to cultural advances signified by the societal groupings, the guide's relationship to time is disclosed also by his deployment of artifacts. Droopy wears the cruder knotted tunic, in contrast to M'Cola's buttoned jacket. The inexperience also plagues his knowledge of weapons. The African hunter may wield handily the ever-present spear, but in the pivotal confrontation with M'Cola after the buffalo kill, the intricacies of a double-barrelled shotgun elude him.

I told Droopy he could keep my big gun.
He said he knew how to shoot so I took
the shells and put on the safety and handing it to him told him to shoot.
He put it to his shoulder, shut the
wrong eye, and pulled hard on the
trigger, and again, and again. Then I
showed him about the safety and had
him put it on and off and snap the gun a couple of times. M'Cola became very
superior during Droopy's struggle to
fire with the safety on and Droopy
seemed to get much smaller. (pp. 120-21)

This reversal in Droopy's role from a leader "in command of the show"' to one in need of instruction marks a major shift in the narrative. For all his gifts, Droopy cannot take the narrator into the twentieth century, into the present time of the novel (the Part recounting his story, "Pursuit Remembered," is a flashback). The boundaries of his talents are presented in terms of vision: unable to coordinate his eyes, he cannot fire the gun. And the narrator perceives






61



these boundaries optically: M'Cola gains in stature as "Droopy seemed to get much smaller." This change in physical perspective reflects a change in imaginative perspective. Having absorbed all Droopy can teach him, the narrator now looks to the guide who will loom large in his next steps upon the road.

That road leads from Droopy's country to the rock wall of Africa's Rift Valley. The narrator returns to the road after having been thwarted from entering the heart of the guide's country by a tangle of reeds that defies the hunting party and forces Droopy to call off the hunt ("We both felt good because we had made Droopy do the calling-off and I was relieved as well"). Soon after, a fine buffalo bull breaks from the thicket and the narrator bags him. Back in camp after the kill, planning the next stretch of the safari, the narrator and Pop question Droopy about the country just beyond his. "'We'll ask Droopy how the valley is.' Droopy didn't know. (p. 22). The layout of the land captures the crux of the matter. Beyond the periphery of his vision, beyond the borders of his canyon--the Rift Valley is out of Droopy's country. During the time the guide and his pupil walk together on the road, Droopy takes the narrator forward. He gives freely of his special gifts, preparing the narrator for the future (the reedbuck, an antelope, foreshadows the more prized kudu, also an antelope).






62


Then, his task complete, Droopy walks to the end of his country, and out of the narrator's story.


After following Droopy to the end of his country,

the narrator then proceeds beyond that country toward his rendezvous with Karl at the Rift Valley. Of all the lesser topographical features that contribute to the overall "shape of a country," none occupies the African landscape more imposingly than that gigantic cleft. The sentence which introduces Karl into Part II designates the Rift Valley as his destination, and after taking his "dream rhino," Karl too directs his path that way. The name of the valley captures the mood of the safari at this point; Part II is rife with dissension. Bitter words pass between the narrator and P.O.M. during (pp. 94-5) and after (p. 120) the buffalo hunt, and bickering preoccupies Karl and the narrator on the plain in a hunt where the auarrv seems more each other than the intended zebra. The personal sniping demonstrates on a small scale the fiercer competition between the two biq game hunters. The nature of the first animal taken in the search for such game, the rhinoceros, has established their conflict as a territorial one. In Chapter Six that territorial struggle assumes monumental proportions: when the paths of the two do cross, it is in terrain that suggests tensions violent enought to split a continent asunder.






63


The moon that has shown over the African landscape in Part II, illuminating the simultaneous processes of waxing and waning, regeneration and degeneration, now shines over the Rift Valley. And like that globe, the valley too contains within itself the flux of life and death. The Rift Valley reproduces on a panoramic scale the womb/tomb archetype of the blind. Displaying the bifurcation of the "hollow half full of ashes and dust," one of its halves holds the dust of the plain, the other the waters of Lake Manyara. The world of the plain and the world of the lake constitute distinct entities, distinguished from one another most strikingly by their wildlife. On the plain the black and white zebra "gallop in the grey heat haze, raising a dust," while at the lake "the unbelievable cloud" of rose-pink flamingoes rises and settles at the sound of shots, as if attuned to a heartbeat (p. 133).

As they possess different topography and wildlife, so the plain and the lake claim a different protagonist. With "caked dust on his face," the plain marks Karl as its own. From the moment he steps into Part II, Karl's path has lead him to this place. Karl circumvents Droopy's country, spurns the lessons of the senses. And in revenge his body, deprived of nourishment, takes on the hue of the plain: "cold Karl looked a grayish, yellow white in the face coming in like a death's head." The half






64



of the Rift Valley Karl inherits is the ashes and dust-the tomb. The hunter experiencing this inner deterioration soon finds a memento mori among the hunted. The last night in Part II, Karl brings in

a very strange and unfortunate kudu.
Only the skin running from the eyes
down to the nostrils, smooth gray and delicately marked with white,
and the big, graceful ears were
beautiful. The eyes were already dusty and there were flies around
them and the horns were heavy,
coarse, and instead of spiralling
high they made a heavy turn and slanted straight out. It was a
freak head, heavy and ugly. (p. 173)

The tremendous wrenching necessary to the formation

of the Rift Valley hints at the magnitude of the narrator's split with his friend and alter ego. The rift heralds a realignment at the core of the narrator, as the intellectualism espoused by Karl is rejected. The part of the narrator most like Karl wanes along with that hunter. For the first time on the safari, the narrator is suddenly addressed as "Old Timer," "the old man," and "Old Hem"-all on the evening before and the evening of Karl's capture of the misshapen kudu head. But as the head dies, so the body is born. Having travelled through Droopy's country and absorbed the lessons there, the narrator is open to the revitalizing powers of Lake Manyara. His stalking through the hummocks and canals while birdshooting is climaxed by an abrupt fall into the lake: "you slip






65


and go face down and are sitting, enjoying being completely wet finally, water cool on your behind, soaked with muddy water, M'Cola delighted with the spill" (p. 133). Bathed in its amniotic fluids, for the narrator the Rift Valley proves a womb.


Part II, "Pursuit Remembered," is as gigantic a chasm in the chronology of Green Hills of Africa as the Rift Valley is in the African landmass. Longer than all the other Parts put together (seven chapters, as opposed to two each in the other three Parts), "Pursuit Remembered" is a flashback, a drop out of the present time between Chapters Two and Ten. In fact, in the convoluted structure of the narrative, Part II speeds toward the moment when Part I begins. The use of the flashback, the mention of memory in the Part's title, and the emphatic repetition of the adverb "now" in the text suggest that,among all its other themes, Part II concerns itself intensely with two men and how they deal with time. The first of these is the narrator's companion. Encased in the mental revolutions of his memories, Karl cannot open his senses to the "now" that Droopy feels. For this man the present entails the loss of everything he has so carefully deposited behind in "then." But not only the present, the future too entails loss: still basking in the conquest of the incredible "dream rhino," Karl's only thought on the






66


safari's first day in the Rift Valley is that the following day "he was facing possible defeat by oryx." In the world of movement the narrator is learning to negotiate, Karl wants everything to stand still, to be as changeless as his past. Hence he values the end, not the process--the trophy, not the hunt.

In contrast, the guide Droopy flows with the wholeness of one moment to the wholeness of the next, from one "now" to another "now." This immersion of himself in the fullness of the present renders Droopy a truly gifted lover of life. But as it frees him to the immediate in life, it also imprisons him in it. For instance, when the narrator tries to leave the unwieldy reedbuck carcass to be picked up by porters later, Droopy simply cannot fathom his intent and insists on carrying the animal to camp then. Although unfettered by Karl's past, Droopy cannot project ahead; his present has no future. This inability to look beyond the immediate consigns Droopy to the vicissitudes of a physical life, unaided by mental disciplines such as foresight. The sentence portraying the last act of the guide in the narrative frames his deficiency as an intellectual one: the one-timer tutor can tell his pupil nothing about the country beyond his because "Droopy didn't know."

Having had the luck to sojourn in Droopy's country,

the narrator has acquired the guide's gift for "spontaneity."






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Following in the African's steps has led to health; the hunter waxes in body at Droopy's hands. But to overcome the limitations of the guide, the narrator must be able to advance into the future. This he will accomplish by developing the ability to "know." This next stage in his growth demands a different kind of mind than heretofore encountered and requires a different guide--M'Cola. So, having survived the chasm of the Rift Valley, the chasm of Part II, the narrator readies himself to crouch in the blind, about to be born into the lessons of the road.






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Notes to Part II


1The reproductive capacity of the safari animals also reflects the strength or weakness of the generative impulse in each: rhinoceros cows and calves ("Manamouki! Manamouki!") abound.
2Hemingway was born in 1899; he went on safari 1933-4.

Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971), pp. 43-44:

"We are now in chapter 7. Jake is
going up the stairs and the concierge
tells him that the lady of the previous
night, Brett that is, has been in to
see him and will call again. Soon afterwards Brett arrives, this time escorted by Count Mippipopolous in person. Jake has had a shower and
leaves the Count and Brett, to go into his bedroom to dress. He is
feeling 'tired and pretty rotten' when
Brett joins him in the bedroom.

'What's the matter, darling? Do you
feel rocky?'

She kissed me coolly on the forehead.

'Oh, Brett, I love you so much.'

'Darling,' she said. Then: 'Do you
want me to send him away?'

She is of course speaking of Count
Mippipopolous, but what is the meaning of the 'Then' here? What does it
denote a break with or a break away from? What does Jake want? What is it that he cannot receive or accomplish in the presence of Count
Mippipopolous? .

She goes to the next room and sends
the Count away.

She was gone out of the room. I lay
face down on the bed. I was having
a bad time. I heard them talking but I did not listen. Brett came in and
sat on the bed.






69


'Poor old darling.' She stroked my
head.

'What did you say to him?' I was
lying with my face away from her. I
did not want to see her.

'Sent him for champagne. He loves to
go for champagne.'

Then later: 'Do you feel better, darling? Is the head any better?'

'It's better.'

'Lie quiet. He's gone to the other
side of town.'

Again the mysterious interpolation 'Then later.' What does it signify? What has happened meanwhile? Why is Jake's head
suddenly 'better' now? Hemingway has
preferred to leave this part of the narration an enigma, for perhaps he was not quite sure in his mind whether to give expression to what he wanted to convey or not. Alternatively, he may not have
been sure in advance of the limit to
which Jake's privation would take him.
But it seems certain that during this
scene Jake receives and Brett gives him a perverted sexual satisfaction. Such
satisfaction has been the subject of
literature earlier. But the solicitude with which Hemingway presents the theme,
and also how he projects it more as a necessity of the moment or the circumstances in question than as a variation
willfully contrived, speak of his craftsmanship.

In the stillness of the moment, both
Jake and Brett see the uncommon and the unthinkable as their present demand--a demand which comes with an insistence
and compels obedience. The simple adverb 'then,' repeated a little later as 'then
later,' shows the fulfillment of that urge,
while the forward action of the novel is
at a standstill."

4Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971) p. 85.













PART III
THE MIND IN THE WORLD


The Guide M'Cola


As the narrator waits at the side of the road in the first scene of Green Hills of Africa, another figure also crouches with him in the roadside blind. That figure, the guide M'Cola, has come to the fore in the pivotal shift of perspective from the sensory to the intellectual in the flashback of Part II. This shift is signaled by the changing prominence of the native guides: when the more elemental Droopy leads the safari to the border of his country and can then go no farther, the more knowledgeable M'Cola emerges as the dominant African. M'Cola's importance is indicated by the position of prominence he holds at the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind and then when the narrative returns to the present time of Part III. The narrative shift in emphasis, and the consequent rise of M'Coia, bears directly upon the American hunters on the safari. As previously discussed, the blind the narrator and M'Cola occupy in Part I and the one Karl shoots from in Part II function as archetypal womb/tombs. Karl's hunt should rightfully climax his search for kudu, but instead the blind that cradles him labors and brings forth only the freak kudu head. The 70





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influence of Karl, the mind revolving, dies in the dust of of the plain. His blind proves a tomb. M'Cola, on the other hand, partakes of the waters of Lake Manyara along with the narrator and so survives to be one of the "we" who gestate in the roadside blind. The image of the mind that emerges in the figure of this guide presents an alternative to the alienation rampant in Karl.

The progression from sensory development at the hands

of Droopy to mental development under the auspices of M'Cola is presented as part of the narrator's process of maturation. The ages of the respective guides correspond to the sequence of the stages; the narrator learns the lessons of the body from the younger Droopy, the lessons of the mind from the older M'Cola. Their individual chronologies parallel the panoramic chronology of the road image; Droopy walks the length of his country barefoot, while M'Cola, more versed in artifacts, goes shod. The narrator's maturation is also framed in terms of vision. Prior to being born from the blind, the narrator is taught by Droopy, gifted with discerning, but earthbound, eyes. Droopy's successor, M'Cola, raises his eyes to the level of human interaction, to the larger scope of the world. When the narrator wakes to the world outside the blind, he is born with M'Cola at his side, the direct beneficiary of that guide's special vision.

M'Cola's unique appearance bears out his role as a

model of the mind. In the descriptive passages that begin






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Part II the narrator carefully eyes first the handsome Droopy and then M'Cola, remarking of the latter:

I remember how surprised I was the first time I saw how old the
upper body was. It had that aged
look you see in photographs of
Jeffries and Sharkey posing thirty
years after, the ugly, old-man biceps and the fallen pectoral
muscles. (p. 48)

The deterioration of M'Cola's body, especially in contrast with Droopy's, focuses attention instead upon his head:

M'Cola shook his head. I looked at
his bald skull and he turned his face
a little so that I saw the thin Chinese
hairs at the corners of his mouth.
(p. 3)

The narrator's act of looking at M'Cola constitutes one of his very first acts in the narrative; from the beginning, this head is central to his concerns. Its significance is also validated by the primal image of the womb. The narrator turns to examine the head while he and his guide crouch inside the blind; as the pair abandon the blind to walk upright upon the road, a new mind is born.

Clues to the kind of mind active in M'Coia lie in the traits of his extraordinary head. The baldness that accentuates the contours of the skull, the facial hair that is identified in precise ethnic terms--M'Cola presents to the world the image of a buddha. And he maintains, along with the appearance, the attitude of a buddha as well. Throughout the twists and turns of the safari, the "black Chinaman" looks on--as quarries are lost or taken, friendships flourish





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or wither, other guides come and go. Through Droopy's country, in the Rift Valley, and all along the road, the life of Africa plays out before his all-encompassing gaze.

M'Cola's premier response to this panorama appears

first in the blind when an accompanying native scrawls his name. The narrator reports that "M'Cola looked at the word without a shadow of expression on his face." This reaction of expressionlessness is the one detail in addition to the description of M'Cola's face that the narrator notes in the blind and its presence is crucial to an understanding of this mind. The face with which M'Cola beholds the world is expressionless--without ego. The native lives no life outside the safari. In the only reference to an existence of his own, Pop remarks that M'Cola has "a grown-up family in the native reserve." The white hunter's choice of words discloses the situation concisely: M'Cola has placed his emotions as he has his family--in reserve. Unfettered by external demands, neither is M'Cola prey to internal ones. The vanity of the lesser guide, whose scrawling could prove deleterious to the hunting party's shooting, leaves M'Cola decidedly unmoved. This guide brings to the safari a viewpoint unobscured by personal emotions or preconceived reactions. Rather, he comes almost as a tabula rasa, open to whatever impressions the world might momentarily etch upon him. The bald, bewhiskered buddha exhibits a countenance freed of its own self so that it may more clearly





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perceive the phenomena passing before it. With unfurrowed brow and unrestricted vision, M'Cola is the consummate observer.

One response the world elicits from the guide occurs

in an incident recounted early in the narrative. The narrator recalls shooting guineas while M'Cola looks on.

He laughed always to see the birds tumble and when I missed he roared and shook his head again and again.

"Ask him what the hell he's laughing
about?" I asked Pop once.

"At B'wana," M'Cola said, and shook his head, "at the little birds. .

So bird shooting became this marvelous
joke. If I killed, the joke was on the birds and M'Cola would shake his head and laugh and make his hands go round and round to show how the bird
turned over in the air. And if I
missed, I was the clown of the piece
and he would look at me and shake with
laughing. (pp. 36-7)

The paradigm of the birds clarifies M'Cola's point of view. The birds can tumble down in death or fly away in life; it is all the same to him. In the struggle for survival that unfolds before him, the African buddha views both life and death with equanimity, as the necessary and equal poles between which run the energies of the universe. This guide sees all, and rejects nothing. The quality of mind inherent in M'Cola is one unqualifiedly accepting of and profoundly appreciative of the world.

This accepting, appreciative point of view allows M'Cola to respond to the hunt scenario with pure, unadulterated






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"delight." The word twice characterizes his response to the narrator's battle with the birds, once in this passage (p. 36) and again during the bird hunt at Lake Manyara (p. 133). The nature of the laughter that shakes the black head confirms his disinterest. M'Cola laughs simultaneously "at B'wana" and "at the little birds." The "piece" therefore boasts no heroes and no villains, only participants, and all potential sources of delight. In fact, the only theatrical role designated is that of "clown." The narrator's antics at Lake Manyara earn him this part; when he executes a pratfall into the lake in the manner of low comedy, "M'Cola [is] delighted with this spill."

The terms in which the narrator chooses to describe the bird passages place M'Cola's role as observer within the highly structured context of the theater. In that context the world exists as spectacle and M'Cola as an extremely able audience. Important ramifications follow from the attitude the guide displays toward that spectacle. In his vision entrances and exits interweave in a shifting, but compensatory, whole. Hence death is no tragedy. The birds may tumble down or they may fly away; the play goes on. M'Cola in no sense inhabits a tragic world. The sense of loss, of depletion that pervades Karl's world does not enter into the vision of this guide. Tears do not mar the black face. Instead, the "piece" M'Cola observes would be classified a comedy. This genre inherently promotes M'Cola's





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world view as an alternative to Karl's dour pessimism. First, the broad humor of low comedy is no respecter of persons; the genre does not lend itself as a vehicle for the preservation of a public ego. Karl, rigid with anxiety, hardly exhibits the resilience necessary to a clown. Secondly, the physicality of the form insures contact with the earth. Instead of the self-cannibalism of a mind revolving, here the mind is turned outward, constantly attuned to its surroundings. In order to comprehend the fullness of M'Cola's vision, one may simply broaden the definition of comedy from its more specialized classification as a theatrical genre to its larger definition as the optimistic element of life in general. In the end, this sweeping earthly vista is the spectacle that enthralls M'Cola the observer. Forsaking tears, the black head beholds the world with blankness at the things of ego, or with that shake of approval at the wonder of things as they are.


M'Cola's Country


From the very start of its travels in Africa, the eventual and inevitable onslaught of the continent's rainy season has threatened the safari: "You could feel the rains coming, as they moved steadily north, as surely as though you watched them on a chart." The advance of the rains spells a countdown for the travelers who must conclude their hunting and leave before the storms render the roads to the





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coast impassable. The present time of Green Hills of Africa deals with the last four planned days of the hunt. Part I covers the evening of the first day when Kandisky's lorry disrupts the blind and the morning of the second day when the narrator shoots guineas; Part II flashes back in seven chapters to the preceding events of Droopy's country and the Rift Valley; and then Part III returns to the present, to the afternoon of the second day that began in Part I. It is on this afternoon that the rains arrive at last. As the narrator and M'Cola head out in the car after lunch to the saltlick, their coming difficulties are presaged by puddles on the road from the previous night. Before long, the skies shower "drizzlingly." The following morning (the third and next-to-the-last day) opens with a "mist [hanging] over the ground" which soon becomes "light rain pattering in the leaves." This patter condenses first into "fairly hard," then unmitigatedly "hard" rain, until the narrator and his party stalk a world utterly saturated with moisture:

Puffs of cloud hung on the hillside
after the rain and the trees dripped but we saw nothing. Not in the open
glades, not in the fields where the bush thinned, not on the green hillsides. (p. 189)

The farther the narrator endeavors to penetrate this stretch of road, the denser grows the rain, until the safari is forced to an absolute standstill in Chapter Ten.

M'Cola's presence pervades the four-day stretch of road from the blind of Chapter One to the stasis of Chapter Ten.





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In the canyon, Droopy introduced the narrator to the protean possibilities that reside within physical forms; along the length of road, M'Cola introduces him to the challenge of things beyond human manipulation. This length--M'Cola's country--is the country of rain. The change of seasons ranks as just as significant a terrestrial event as does the Rift Valley, commanding a place in the scale of the African landscape beyond the individual configuration of a road, beyond a self-contained pocket of terrain. When depicted on the vast continental sweep of Chapter Ten, rain epitomizes the impersonal universe, nature beyond the human ego.

From the seminal image in which he appears, M'Cola's relationship to the natural world has been hallmarked by acceptance and compliance. In the roadside blind, he and the narrator accommodate themselves to the curves of the dirt hollow; unlike the cruciate guide, they do not stride above it like a colossus. Indeed, the hunter and the gunbearer literally efface themselves as they crouch in the cover of the blind. The overall process of hunting provides the narrator an avenue to purge himself of the ego that demands a display like the one in which the Christ-like guide indulges. That opening image of the blind clearly sets unbridled ego at odds with survival--the native's rash words and movements would scare away every animal within shooting range. As practiced by the master M'Cola, hunting becomes






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the suspension of ego. The narrator as novice must submit to others more knowledgeable, bend to the demands of land and weather, school the self in the inclinations of game, and control momentary personal desires that would interfere in the larger task at hand.

When the narrative resumes in Chapter Ten, it is after the seven intervening chapters of Part II:

That all seemed a year ago. Now, this
afternoon in the car, on the way out to
the saltlick, just having
shot the guinea fowl, losing a
shot the night before on this lick
because of the Austrian's truck, I knew
there were only two days more to hunt
before we must leave. (p. 176)

The opening sentences of Chapter Ten immediately recapture the "now, this afternoon" of the second day. The inaugural landscape of Green Hills reassembles itself: the road, the narrator in movement on it, the gunbearer M'Cola along, their destination the blind. But almost as soon as they set out, it becomes apparent that this afternoon the hunting party traverses a quite different terrain:

Where the sand was thin over the clay
there was a pool of water and you could
see that a heavy rain had drenched it all on ahead. I did not realize what this meant but Garrick threw his arms wide, looked up to the sky and bared
his teeth in anger.

"It's no good," M'Cola whispered.
(pp. 178-9)

The "Garrick" who throws his arms wide and grimaces at the sky is the same guide who rose Christ-like over the blind






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the day before. His identity, the cruciate stance he assumes again, and M'Cola's recurring disapproval recreate his part in the opening tableau. But the scene of the roadside blind is not to be completely duplicated, for a new factor has entered the landscape; in the night the rains have come. The introduction of the rains alters the chemistry of the scene, beginning by negating the narrator's second occupation of the blind. The rains have decimated the saltlick, thereby destroying the hollow's utility ("We settled down in the blind and waited there until it was dark and a light rain began to fall. Nothing came to the salt" [pp. 180-1]). The inaugural tableau therefore lacks the very component most central to its functioning, the womb archetype. But as the rains sweep from their path one manifestation of this generative image, so they also create another.

Drenching rain arrests the hunting party in mid-journey, as the afternoon that began with puddles ends in a nightly downpour. Despite his pressing awareness of ever-shortening time, the narrator is forced to make camp on the road. An event beyond human intention or manipulation, the rain physically forces the narrator into a moment of contemplation. In the night of rain he must reckon with this newly-evident power of the earth, must determine his relationship to a landscape that cannot be transcended. The cascading waters occasion a provisional tent to be devised for the narrator:

Kamau had rigged a tent out of a big
canvas ground cloth, hung my mosquito net inside, and set up the canvas cot.
M'Cola brought the food inside the
shelter tent. (p. 181)






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Suddenly in the country of rain there is a refuge, affording warmth and nourishment:

I undressed, got into mosquito boots and heavy pyjamas and sat on the cot, ate a breast of roast guinea hen and
drank a couple of tin cups of half
whiskey and water. (p. 181)

This new form that arises abruptly from the drowned roadside fulfills the missing element of the inaugural landscape. The waters have obliterated the "hollow half full of ashes and dust"; in the form of the tent they have caused to be created a womb of canvas.

The newly-realized enclosure provides the space for the events that transpire that night. Preparing to sleep in the tent, the narrator directs M'Cola:

"You sleep here. Out of the rain," I pointed to the canvas where the rain was making the finest sound that we,
who live much outside of houses, ever
hear. It was a lovely sound, even
though it was bitching us.

I woke when I heard M'Cola come
in, make his bed and go to sleep, and
I woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me. (p. 182)

The first night of the present time in Green Hills of Africa, M'Cola takes the narrator into his world. Master and novice mold themselves to the contours of the roadside blind, accompanied by the two cumbersome natives. The second night reprises the physical proximity of narrator and guide as they sat side-by-side. But the night in the tent also marks a more profound closeness; this time it is the narrator who






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brings M'Cola--alone--out from the rain, into shelter. The evening the American hunter and the African gunbearer spend together within the confines of the makeshift tent climaxes the intimacy that has grown between the two men since Droopy's country. When the narrator takes M'Cola to be his tent companion, the novice is asking the master to come in. Physically and intellectually, the effect of the narrator's invitation to the tent is to internalize the vision of M'Cola.

Proof of this internalization comes quickly. Before this night, the American hunter has held only one perspective on rain: "I had thought of the rain only as something that made tracking easy." The worth of the terrestrial phenomenon was predicated entirely upon its value to the hunter's own immediate purposes. But now, even though that same phenomenon hinders the safari's efforts at its most crucial time ("it was bitching us"), the narrator is yet able to acknowledge "it was a lovely sound." With that admission, he has acquired a perspective beyond the self; he has incorporated the accepting and, even more importantly, the appreciative viewpoint of M'Cola. As it falls before the wise visage of the black buddha, rain is neither good nor bad, it simply is; and its very participation in the spectacle of the world confers a fineness and a loveliness upon it.

A small detail of the tent scene confirms the completeness of the internalization. When the narrator sleeps,






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M'Cola rests beside him; but when he wakes, he lies alone under the canvas.

I woke when I heard M'Cola come in, make his bed and go to sleep, and I
woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me; but in the morning
he was up and had made the tea before
I was awake. (p. 182)

M'Cola, the guide to the hunt, busies himself as he does every day with the usual duties of the safari. But M'Cola, the guide to a mind unfettered by Karl's shortsightedness, having performed his most valuable duty, has been absorbed into a more able agent of life. When the novice rises alone from the night of rain, the view from the blind has become the view from the tent. With M'Cola's help, the narrator has learned to move not against, but with, the mighty rhythms of the African continent.


Beyond M'Cola


The transition in guides from Droopy to M'Cola is presented in Green Hills of Africa as part of a maturation process the narrator is caught up in, a transition from a sensual bonding with the world to an intellectual comprehension of it. When the narrator follows the path through Droopy's country, he walks behind a more idealized figure, a guide at the apex of his skills. At that earlier stage the American hunter depends much more heavily upon the African guide--for basic negotiation of territory, for elementary procurement of meat. What Droopy introduces his pupil





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to--through the viscera of the reedbuck, the labyrinth of the canyon--is the body of the world, the absolute physicality of Africa. Droopy's body lives at one with the world's body; and the narrator recognizes and emulates this harmony.

But this phase of awareness serves the narrator only so far. Equating "self" with his surroundings, Droopy is absorbed by the world; he knows no bounds but physical ones. This guide lives entirely unaware of his own limitations as a human being until brought up short by the edge of the Rift Valley, by the material presence of a rock wall! In the end Droopy proves an indispensable, but circumscribed, proponent of the narrator's growth. He experiences no "other;" he does not know. In contrast to Droopy, the succeeding guide does, above all else, know. M'Cola's ability to mentally distinguish "self" from "other" is underscored by the extreme example the world assumes as "other" in his country: the deluge. The younger guide may merge into his canyon, but the life-threatening rains insure the older guide's preeminent awareness of difference. This awareness of difference, this ability to discern "self" from "other" most characterizes the guide. It manifests itself most strikingly in the attitude M'Cola takes as spectator, with the "other" (the world) as the play and the "self" (the native) as audience.






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Unlike the oblivious Droopy, M'Cola's vision embraces both capacities and limitations, and rejects neither. The acceptance he exercises while witnessing the safari's wanderings extends to himself; M'Cola knows his own gifts and failures. At the start of the rhinoceros hunt in Chapter Three, the narrator notes: "M'Cola was not jealous of Droopy. He simply knew that Droopy was more of a hunter, a faster and cleaner tracker." M'Cola also imparts the potential of self-knowledge to the narrator. His presence provides an antidote to the American hunter's competitiveness since he has witnessed the narrator's most humiliating mistakes:

I sat there, using the sling, and shot
for [the Grant's] neck, slowly and carefully, missing him eight times
straight in a mounting, stubborn rage,
not making a correction but shooting
for the same place in the same way
each time. I reached up my hand
to M'Cola for more cartridges, shot
again, carefully, and missed, and on the tenth shot broke his damned neck.
I turned away without looking toward
him. (p. 82)

It is the knowledge of one's own finite capabilities that provides a hedge against the ego that devours Karl.

It is precisely the shortcomings of M'Cola that signal a more mature and healthy phase in the narrator's growth. The influence of the figure of the African guide upon the safari lessens in importance as the American hunter learns to function more competently on his own. The narrator operates much more independently of the guide to the






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intellectual phase, M'Cola, than he ever did of the sensory Droopy. This independence--a realization on the narrator's part of the widening separation between his emerging "self" and the major "other" in his life at this point, M'Cola-is brought home in several ways. The narrator differs more distinctly from M'Cola, in age and physique, for example, whereas he was likened more to Droopy. And he is much more able to criticize the elder native. Unlike Droopy, M'Cola possesses foibles as well as wisdom. He commits major errors out on the hunt, the gravest when he fails to prevent P.O.M. from venturing into high grasses that might shield a wounded buffalo (p. 116). But even this error in the field pales against the repercussions that stem from one particular oversight the guide makes in camp.

The narrator's hunting party wake from the night in the tent to the morning of the third, penultimate, day of their enterprise. They return to camp and attempt another stalk through the moist environs, but meet with no success:

Finally it was dark and we went back
to camp. The Springfield was very
wet when we got out of the car and I
told M'Cola to clean it carefully and oil it well. He said he would. .
(pp. 189-90)

Chapter Eleven, the concluding chapter of Part III, then chronicles the fourth and last planned day of the safari, each of its precious minutes ticked off by the encroaching rains. The hunting party make their first effort from a






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blind, where the narrator has occasion to glance at his gun:

Putting the Springfield across my
knees I noticed that there was rust
on the barrel. Slowly I pulled it
along and looked at the muzzle. It
was freshly brown with rust.

"The bastard never cleaned it last
night after that rain," I thought .

M'Cola had seen the rusty bore. His face had not changed and I had said
nothing but I was full of contempt and there had been indictment, evidence, and condemnation without a
word being spoken. So we sat there,
he with his head bent so only the
bald top showed, me leaning back and looking out through the slit, and we
were no longer partners, no longer
good friends;and nothing came to the
salt. (pp. 203-4)

That a safari and a friendship should, for all purposes, end upon the ignominious sight of M'Cola bowing his head against the narrator's anger rises from the significant circumstances that comprise M'Cola's neglect of the gun. Such neglect constitutes the most serious breach in the guide's duties on the safari, for M'Cola's chief function has been gunbearer to the narrator. After the buffalo hunt in Droopy's country (p. 120-1), it was M'Cola's familiarity with this twentieth century artifact, juxtaposed against Droopy's unfamiliarity, that indicated the ascendency of the older guide over the younger one. The repetition of a pivotal situation involving skill with a weapon again signals a shift in the narrative, but this time away from M'Cola. The






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schism that divides narrator and guide gains added import when one realizes that its apparent cause, the rust along the muzzle of the rifle, in fact results from the identical phenomenon that brought the two men together. The rain that enfolds the narrator and his guide in the union of the tent also corrodes, not only the metal of the gun, but the matter of their friendship as well.

A lapse in duty, then, discloses the limits of M'Cola's sufficiency. The nature of the guide's error emanates not from commission, but omission. This pattern of lack at certain crucial points in the safari has characterized the succession of guides: Droopy senses, but does not know; M'Cola knows, but does not act. The night of rain which promotes the rust marks a true union as the narrator incorporates the vision of his master. But the union occurs in circumstances not conducive to further advancement of the narrator's growth. The story of that growth has always been visualized in terms of movement, in the imagery of the road. Yet the closest moment between M'Cola and the narrator transpires in stasis, with the truck forced to a standstill and its passengers imprisoned by the rain. The topographical imagery of Part III makes clear the bankruptcy of M'Cola's vision: Chapter Ten begins in medias res, with the narrator in movement upon the road; but Chapter Eleven, chronicling the last day of the safari and the uncovering






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of the guide's mistake, finds the entire enterprise stalled upon the road.

M'Cola's vision has brought the expedition to this

impasse, with the narrator, like the guide, just looking at the world, not acting in it. Just as the native's strengths of acceptance and appreciation lie in his world view, so do his faults. M'Cola remains essentially an onlooker--not an actor--in the comedy of the world. The artifact instrumental in his downfall illuminates the workings of this guide. In Droopy's country the gun served to validate M'Cola's competence as guide; in the country of rain it invalidates his competency for the next phase of the narrator's journey. In addition, M'Cola is only the bearer of the gun, not the discharger of its explosive power. The bearer may look with delight upon the spectacle of B'wana and the birds, but he himself makes neither life nor death happen. M'Cola never kills during the safari; neither does he provide food. In the end, M'Cola laughs at, not with, the world. The values of this guide are those of a superb contemplator and he generously passes on to a willing recipient the values of a mind wide-ranging in its considerations, none more receptive in its outlook. But his limits lie in those same values of the power of contemplation itself. As experienced by the narrator of Green Hills of Africa, in the journey this man makes intellect alone will suffice only so far. By the end of three parts and eleven chapters of Green Hills,





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the westward wanderer/wonderer has integrated Droopy's grasp of the sensory with M'Cola's model of the mind. Equipped now with body and mind, the narrator/artist leaves behind the road of M'Cola for the third and most challenging phase of his personal journey--the virgin land, the country of the imagination.













PART IV
IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION


The Form in the Landscape


The advent of the rainy season entails a time of great transition for the land of Africa, from the smallest guinea to the largest elephant. The present of the narrative is lived on the crest of a mounting wave of change, which breaks over the landscape in the onslaught of rain. As depicted in these pivotal four days between the dry and rainy seasons, the world the narrator lives in is characterized above all by flux. The physical reaction of the earth to the inundating waters indicates the nature of such change. One immediate consequence is, of course, the rust that eats at the metal of the narrator's gun; another is the flooded saltlick. Both chemical decomposition and structural damage bear witness to the destructive facet of the process of change. But while the rain causes decay in the present, it simultaneously prepares the continent for future renewal. These seasonal rains supply the forward-looking factor in the landscape of Green Hills of Africa; their waters insure for the coming year the very greenness of the hills. As evidenced in these multiple, co-existent perspectives, rain as the agent of change brings both corrosion and generation to the continent of Africa.


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Nowhere is the pervasiveness of this change reflected more concisely than in the first scene in Part IV. On the last afternoon of the safari, natives have come to the narrator's camp bearing electrifying news: "'He says,' Pop began, 'They have found a country where there are kudu and sable.'" At this sudden release from what had been thought a doomed enterprise, the narrator catapults out of the doldrums of Chapter Eleven ("'I've hunted them hard, Pop. I've enjoyed it and I haven't worried up until today'") into the motion of Chapter Twelve as he heads out to the new, unhunted country with the natives. But the archetypal landscape so central to Part I has been washed by the rains of Part III. Now as the narrator moves through that landscape in the first scene of Part IV, three of its major components betray the effect of that change; the guide, the road, and the blind have been either destroyed or transformed.


Highly significant is the change effected in the human component, the guide M'Cola. The figure of the African guide looms less large as the safari nears its end, declining from the heroic Droopy to the more fallible M'Cola. By the time of Part IV, when the narrator abandons the road and the blind, M'Cola has become only one among a handful of less commanding figures. The current status of his participation in the narrator's growth shows itself in the guide's reaction to the moment for which they've all waited, when the






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narrator and his party strike out for the kudu and the virgin land in the first scene of Chapter Twelve. From the front seat the narrator "looked around at the back of the car. M'Cola was asleep."

The sleeping guide has fulfilled the potential resident within him from his first appearance in the narrative. From the moment M'Cola raises his "bald black skull" and displays the "thin Chinese hairs at the corners of his mouth," his exterior is always cast in Oriental terms. The ethnic imagery, reinforced by his geographical duties as guide, serves as a constant visual reminder that above all this guide helps to orient the narrator within the world. When in Part III the American pupil internalizes the accepting, appreciative viewpoint held toward the world by his African mentor, he is then provided with the means to relate to that world. The vision of the Oriental African furnishes an internal gyroscope for his pupil, permitting sure movement in a world increasingly fluid. The need for such ability becomes paramount when the hunting party separates from the rest of the safari and deserts the road, directing their car toward parts unknown. As the party ventures out, M'Cola takes a backseat and closes his eyes in sleep. In the blind and along the road, the black countenance has always acknowledged and valued the world passing before it, but now it closes itself to the world, its faculties in suspension. The new land M'Cola travels generates demands






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beyond the elder guide's capabilities. Therefore, having equipped his pupil with a working legacy, M'Cola releases him to the vision of the Wanderobo seated in the front seat and lapses into sleep. The narrator, a more capable agent of life, must answer the demands of the virgin land.

The placement of the hunting company in the car reveals the shifting emphasis in the narrator as he begins to track the kudu. M'Cola has previously commanded the strategic position by the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind and then in the makeshift tent. But now one of the natives who has brought news of the kudu and sable occupies that place. The native, a Wanderobo tribesman, flanks the narrator in the front seat. It is important to the development of the narrator, however, that one authority figure not merely replace another. Consequently, because neither his personal name nor a nickname is ever given in Part IV, the Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the qualities the name of his tribe suggests; when the narrator ventures into the virgin country, into the unknown, the qualities of the wanderer/wonderer come to the fore. This transposition of a Wanderobo for M'Cola indicates the active realignment going on in the narrator. An intellectual observer, M'Cola lives apart from the life observed. As the narrator grows into his full potential as an artist-incorporating Droopy's sensory health and M'Cola's mental




Full Text
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and curiosity that provoked another wanderer/wonderer to
realize in twigs and branches the form in the landscape.
Just as M'Cola, the human component in the landscape,
undergoes change, so do the manmade forms. C-reen Hills
begins with the narrator crouching by a structure that
winds its way through the geography of eleven chapters
the road. But the downpour of Part III renders that road
impassable, and in the first scene of Part IV this trace
of man's presence quickly dissipates. The narrator's car
launches out on a "road that was only a track," "only a
cattle track." The hunters then pursue "a faint trail the Wan-
derobo pointed out" until "there was no track, only the
general direction to follow." Soon, having broken free of
the road and all outside points of reference, the party
rely instead on inner references, "driving with intelligence
and a sound feeling for the country." As a form the road
is a product of the past, its very existence the evidence
of others who have gone before. But before the establish
ment of roadways, pioneers must walk the virgin lands. If
the routes they ferret out are advantageous, others will
follow and the subsequent communal effort create the road.
But first must come the individual who dares to veer away
from the past of the road into the future of the unknown.
The road disappears from the landscape of Chapter Twelve
when the narrator enters the virgin land, when the road's


82
brings M'Colaaloneout from the rain, into shelter. The
evening the American hunter and the African gunbearer spend
together within the confines of the makeshift tent climaxes
the intimacy that has grown between the two men since Droopys
country. When the narrator takes M'Cola to be his tent com
panion, the novice is asking the master to come in. Physi
cally and intellectually, the effect of the narrator's
invitation to the tent is to internalize the vision of M'Cola.
Proof of this internalization comes quickly. Before
this night, the American hunter has held only one perspec
tive on rain: "I had thought of the rain only as something
that made tracking easy." The worth of the terrestrial
phenomenon was predicated entirely upon its value to the
hunter's own immediate purposes. But now, even though that
same phenomenon hinders the safari's efforts at its most
crucial time ("it was bitching us"), the narrator is yet
able to acknowledge "it was a lovely sound." With that ad
mission, he has acquired a perspective beyond the self; he
has incorporated the accepting and, even more importantly,
the appreciative viewpoint of M'Cola. As it falls before
the wise visage of the black buddha, rain is neither good
nor bad, it simply is; and its very participation in the
spectacle of the world confers a fineness and a loveliness
upon it.
A small detail of the tent scene confirms the complete
ness of the internalization. When the narrator sleeps,


74
perceive the phenomena passing before it. With unfurrowed
brow and unrestricted vision, M'Cola is the consummate
observer.
One response the world elicits from the guide occurs
in an incident recounted early in the narrative. The narra
tor recalls shooting guineas while M'Cola looks on.
He laughed always to see the birds
tumble and when I missed he roared
and shook his head again and again.
"Ask him what the hell he's laughing
about?" I asked Pop once.
"At B'wana," M'Cola said, and shook
his head, "at the little birds. ..."
So bird shooting became this marvelous
joke. If I killed, the joke was on
the birds and M'Cola would shake his
head and laugh and make his hands go
round and round to show how the bird
turned over in the air. And if I
missed, I was the clown of the piece
and he would look at me and shake with
laughing. (pp, 36-7)
The paradigm of the birds clarifies M'Cola's point of view.
The birds can tumble down in death or fly away in life; it
is all the same to him. In the struggle for survival that
unfolds before him, the African buddha views both life and
death with equanimity, as the necessary and equal poles be
tween which run the energies of the universe. This guide
sees all, and rejects nothing. The quality of mind inherent
in M'Cola is one unqualifiedly accepting of and profoundly
appreciative of the world.
This accepting, appreciative point of view allows M'Cola
to respond to the hunt scenario with pure, unadulterated


73
or wither, other guides come and go. Through Droopy's
country, in the Rift Valley, and all along the road, the
life of Africa plays out before his all-encompassing gaze.
M'Cola's premier response to this panorama appears
first in the blind when an accompanying native scrawls his
name. The narrator reports that "M'Cola looked at the word
without a shadow of expression on his face." This reaction
of expressionlessness is the one detail in addition to the
description of M'Cola's face that the narrator notes in the
blind and its presence is crucial to an understanding of
this mind. The face with which M'Cola beholds the world is
expressionless--without ego. The native lives no life out
side the safari. In the only reference to an existence of
his own, Pop remarks that M'Cola has "a grown-up family in
the native reserve." The white hunter's choice of words
discloses the situation concisely: M'Cola has placed his
emotions as he has his familyin reserve. Unfettered by
external demands, neither is M'Cola prey to internal ones.
The vanity of the lesser guide, whose scrawling could prove
deleterious to the hunting party's shooting, leaves M'Cola
decidedly unmoved. This guide brings to the safari a view
point unobscured by personal emotions or preconceived
reactions. Rather, he comes almost as a tabula rasa, open
to whatever impressions the world might momentarily etch
upon him. The bald, bewhiskered buddha exhibits a counte
nance freed of its own self so that it may more clearly


31
hunters' own bathing in "nice, warm, muddy water." Such
immersion befits a protagonist born of an earthen blind.
Along with the above-mentioned components of the
narrator's hilltop visionthe place and manner of entrance
of the rhinoceros, their preoccupation and colorone other
trait reinforces and expands the analogy between pursuers
and pursued. These most contentious of game clash "head-
on," just as do the narrator and Karl in their rivalry
for the heads of the game. But a more comprehensive
clash between "heads" is involved, a conflict between
the mental outlooks of the two hunters. When Chapter
Four comes to a close, each hunter has bagged a rhino,
and each rhino embodies that particular hunter's concep
tion of the enterprise engaging him.
The narrator's hunt culminates in this animal:
There he was, long hulked, heavy-sided,
prehistoric looking, the hide like
vulcanized rubber and faintly trans
parent, scarred with a badly healed
horn wound that the birds had pecked
at, his tail thick, round, and pointed,
flat many-legged ticks crawling on him,
his ears fringed with hair, tiny pig
eyes, moss growing on the base of his
horn that grew out forward from his
nose. (p. 79)
The narrator's observation of his rhino is singularly
vivid and rich in particulars. In fact, this passage consti
tutes the initial vision of the green hill come to fruition.
What began as several animals viewed from afar in a dominating
landscape has narrowed to one specific animal confronted


75
"delight." The word twice characterizes his response to
the narrator's battle with the birds, once in this passage
(p. 36) and again during the bird hunt at Lake Manyara
(p. 133). The nature of the laughter that shakes the black
head confirms his disinterest. M'Coia laughs simultaneous
ly "at B'wana" and "at the little birds." The "piece"
therefore boasts no heroes and no villains, only partici
pants, and all potential sources of delight. In fact, the
only theatrical role designated is that of "clown." The
narrator's antics at Lake Manyara earn him this part; when
he executes a pratfall into the lake in the manner of low
comedy, "M'Coia [is] delighted with this spill."
The terms in which the narrator chooses to describe
the bird passages place M'Cola's role as observer within
the highly structured context of the theater. In that con
text the world exists as spectacle and M'Coia as an extreme
ly able audience. Important ramifications follow from the
attitude the guide displays toward that spectacle. In his
vision entrances and exits interweave in a shifting, but
compensatory, whole. Hence death is no tragedy. The birds
may tumble down or they may fly away; the play goes on.
M'Coia in no sense inhabits a tragic world. The sense of
loss, of depletion that pervades Karls world does not enter
into the vision of this guide. Tears do not mar the black
face. Instead, the "piece" MCoia observes would be classi
fied a comedy. This genre inherently promotes M'Coia's


8
To the European identity is added a Christian one as well,
by the allusion of both the words and the posture of the
guide to the dying Christ on the cross ("'It is finished,'
he said . and spread his arms wide."). The echo by the
lorry driver of "It is finished" ("That lorry is finished")
seals the identification with the crucifix. Thus, "It"
(European civilization), "It" (the religion that fueled
that civilization)all the "It"s associated with the truck
are finished. The vehicle comes to rest off the road, its
weight to be hauled away, corpse-like, by a truck from the
safari.
The eclipse of the lorry by the car depicts the tran
sition from a Christian to a secular world. Again, the
indefinite reference in the guide's speech provides the
means for such a conclusion. Lacking a stated reference,
the pronoun "It" may also be self-reflexive, referring to
the allusion itself the guide presents. Put so, the self
reflexive pronoun turns the guide's pronouncement against
itself. In this case, the "It" of "It is finished" is the
crucifixion itselfnow "It" is finished. The Christian
view of the world, predicated upon the moment of death when
a human being passes from the existence of earth into an
other-worldly one, is dead. The transcendental thrust of
Christianity is absolutely and categorically denied by the
initial image of Green Hills of Africa. In the earthen
blind where the narrative discovers him, the narrator has


17
on not killing game ("The life of the mind. This is not
killing kudu"), while blind to the irony of his own dress
as he "shift[s] his leather-breeched behind," this "Kandis
ky of the Tyroler pants."
The European wanderer, possessed by the past, makes no
effort to discover the present world that lies before him
or to adapt himself to the new environment. Instead, he
merely grafts the old onto the new:
"I have lost everything here but I
have more than anyone has in Eu
rope. . [I]n reality, I am a
king here. ... I extend one foot
and the boy places the sock on
it. . I extend the other foot
and he adjusts the other sock. I
step . into my drawers which
are held for me. Don't you think
that is very marvelous?" (p. 31)
"I am a king here." It is not far from Viennese desserts
and German journals to this crowning summation. Kandisky
has transplanted the whole of the European vision to African
soil. Perhaps a wanderer, he has lost the capacity for
wonder, aspiring only to duplicate the same hierarchical,
static pattern in every facet of his life: champion of a
world cause, petty tyrant of an African fiefdom, patriarch
of a submissive family. In each and every manifestation of
his life, the individual is subordinated to the organization.
One may label Kandisky's perspective on the world the
view from the cross. Such identification stems from the
opening sequence in Green Hills when the guide who recalls


112
as Pop translates for the Wanderobo, "They have found a
country where there are kudu and sable. Thus from the
first the virgin land is identified as the home of the sable
as well as the kudu. Implicit in the Wanderobo's founding
vision, and borne out in the subsequent realization of that
vision, is this coupling of the helix-bearing kudu with the
other antelope. Neither species is even glimpsed by the
narrator outside the virgin land, while within its grounds
both flourish. The equal emphasis upon each one of the
antelope determines the structure of the narrative as well:
of the two chapters comprising Part IV, Chapter Twelve
deals with the kudu on the afternoon of the fourth day, and
Chapter Thirteen covers the sable on the fifth.
Chapter Twelve has established the first antelope, the
grey-and-white kudu, as a carrier of life. In Chapter Thir
teen its dark twin, the sable, becomes the champion of death.
The narrator's first glimpse of the sable parallels his
initial meeting with the kudu: "I saw the dark, heavy-built
antelope with scimitar-like horns swung back staring at us."
In the directness of the moment two features stand out that
are unique to the dark antelopeits color and its horns.
The striking blackness of the sable, the only antelope in
Green Hills with this hue, immediately calls up connotations
of death. The animal's very name is synonymous with black,
and phrases such as "dead black" and "black as hell" in the
narrator's description reinforce funereal associations. In


Ill
regeneration of life with life. But the festival of the
kudu does not end with sated senses. At the same time kid
ney and liver broiled over the open fire satisfy the narra
tor/ hunter's hunger, the horns of the kudu furnish aesthet
ic nourishment for the narrator/artist. This revitali
zing property of the horns is stressed by their depiction
as a visual feast; their colors are cast in terms of food
imagery, "brown as walnut meats" and "the color of black
walnut meats." Rather than satiation, the festival of the
kudu invigorates the narrator. His eyes do not close at
all in sleep that night.
The narrator's quest for kudu ends with darkness, as
the hunters feed upon the takings of the day. The festival
of the kudu brings to a close the fourth day of the present
time of the narrative, the day designated in the first few
pages of Green Hills of Africa as the end of the safari.
But this original time limit of four days suddenly gives
way in Part IV. The bounds of the narrator's world have
already expanded to include the new space of the virgin
land; now they yield for an additional day, a new animal,
and a bonus chapter. It is highly significant that the
capture of the long-sought kudu does not climax the narra
tor's hunt. Such an unexpected turn in the timing of the
story demands attention. The words that herald the discov
ery of the kudu's home provide a clue to this aberration;


25
place. To this story of the road the homonymic pun, "to
wonder," contributes additional dimensions. The narrator
brings to bear upon his environment that spirit of inquiry
and observation raised by one meaning of the pun, "to
speculate." This curiosity, this passion to see marks the
adventure of the I/eye newly issued from the Wanderobo
shelter. And finally the pun functions within another of
its definitions, "to feel wonder." With the return of
physical health and mental perspective, the creative facul
ty also wells up within the narrator, infusing the sights
of Africa with a narrative cohesion. At the close of his
African journey, the narrator has achieved an inward whole
ness that will soon produce the vision that is Green Hills
of Africa.


his journey through Africa articulates the process by
which he heals himself of the tradition of the cross and
proceeds to create his own story as an individual.
The shapes and patterns of the African safari supply
the means by which the narrator's journey is recounted:
the guides, the companions, the topography, and the animals.
Three native guides conduct separate segments of the safari's
travels, segments which correspond to distinct phases in the
narrator's growth. The first guide schools his American
pupil in the wisdom of the body, rhe second in the lessons
of the mind, and the third in the powers of the imagination.
The combination of these three facetsthe sensory, the
intellectual, and the creativeis seen to produce a whole
ness that enables the narrator-as-artist to eventually write
the account of his journey: Green Hills of Africa.
The two American companions, the narrator's wife P.O.M.
and his friend Karl, function as indicators of their hus
band and friend's progress under the guides. Each repre
sents a different part of the narrator's psyche, acting as
an alter ego. The companions emerge into the foreground of
the story when the values clustered about them are active in
the narrator, and recede when those values lessen.
The native guides and the American companions move
against the background of a landscape whose prevailing forms
relate the narrator's story on an archetypal level. The
most dominant topographical feature is the road the safari
v


Notes to Part Ii
The reproductive capacity of the safari animals also
reflects the strength or weakness of the generative impulse
in each: rhinoceros cows and calves ("Manamouki! Manamoukii")
abound.
2
Hemingway was born in 1899; he went on safari 1933-4.
3
Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Heming
way's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971), pp. 43-44:
"We are now in chapter 7. Jake is
going up the stairs and the concierge
tells him that the lady of the previous
night, Brett that is, has been in to
see him and will call again. Soon
afterwards Brett arrives, this time
escorted by Count Mippipopolous in
person. Jake has had a shower and
leaves the Count and Brett, to go
into his bedroom to dress. He is
feeling 'tired and pretty rotten' when
Brett joins him in the bedroom.
'What's the matter, darling? Do you
feel rocky?'
She kissed me coolly on the forehead.
'Oh, Brett, I love you so much.'
'Darling,' she said. Then: 'Do you
want me to send him away?'
She is of course speaking of Count
Mippipopolous, but what is the mean
ing of the 'Then' here? What does it
denote a break with or a break away
from? What does Jake want? What is
it that he cannot receive or accom
plish in the presence of Count
Mippipopolous? . .
She goes to the next room and sends
the Count away.
She was gone out of the room. I lay
face down on the bed. I was having
a bad time. I heard them talking but
I aid not listen. Brett came in and
sat on the bed.


54
With these wordsspoken and unspokenthe conversation,
the scene, and the chapter close. No further narration
follows their utterance, but given the intensifying
intimacy of the passage, the break in the text points
toward husband and wife making love. Chaman Nahal has
pointed out the service of adverbs in implying sexual
intercourse in The Sun Also Rises.3 In Green Hills, rather
than taking the form of an adverbial interruption within
one line or between two lines as in Nahal's examples, the
sexually-suggestive break assumes the shape of the blank
space upon the page after the conversation. This presenta
tion of the sexual union by visual means bears out the
growing importance of the image within the narrative,
including that of the text as an image upon the page, as
the narrative passes from the verbal virtuosity which
sets the action into the visual one which fulfills it.
The narrator discusses sex outright a few paqes
later in Chapter Four (p. 72) and on at least one other
occasion in the narrative (p. 249), but the closing scene
of Chapter Three marks the only instance to hint at his
active engagement. The appropriateness of such a scene
to the purposes of the narrative is clear. It is fittinq
that the Part of the book most concerned with the body
should include its conjugal celebration, that a chapter
whose action is sparked by an eye/body relationship (the
narrator looking at Droopy) should climax in the most


2
The larger background for this scene augurs a time of
momentous change, for Green Hills is set in a continent in
motion. The African locale of the narrative is caught up
in a natural turmoil, the imminent onslaught of the rainy
season ("the rains were moving north each day from Rhodesia").
This natural upheaval triggers in turn a social one, the
migration of peoples along routes away from the danger ("all
along the road we passed groups of people making their way
to the v/estward"). It is against a backdrop of change on
continental, seasonal, and populational proportions that
the narrative opens. The subsequent story grows out of the
seed of the opening landscape. The narrator and hunting
party have left their car to sit, waiting for game, in a
blind beside the road. As they wait, another--failingvehi
cle passes along the road. Its movement inspires one of the
party to his feet, arms outstretched and mouth open. The
elements of the vignette are few and stark, yet they reso
nate through the narrative: the road, the blind, the two
vehicles, the figure that stands cruciate over the blind
and the figure that curls within its cavity. This crucial
conjunction of forms enacts that moment of great transition
when the narrator of Green Hills-the heterodox individual
is born, and a new world with him. It constitutes the cen
tral act of the narrative.
The story the narrator cf Green Hills tells is that of
change, and the manner in which he tells his story reflects


22
evident. The story of the road, in this case an African
safari, lends itself readily to the telling of this narra
tive. Being a tale of outward movement., it easily renders
simultaneous inner movement of the protagonist. The jour
ney through the green hills is not a mere accumulation of
experiences one after the other. It is a dynamic model of
the qualitative personal growth the narrator undergoes;
All elements of the safari function in this model
the guides, the companions, the animals. The African jour
ney divides into three segments, each under the aegis of a
particular native guide. These three lengths of road cor
respond to phases in the American's maturation, a process
of which the guides are limited promoters. The native that
governs a segment is endowed with certain talents and
awarenesses which he evokes and nurtures in the narrator
during his ascendency in the hunt. When the narrator fully
acquires these new skills, the native mentor fades from the
action and the narrator advances to more demanding lessons.
The narrators sojourn with the guides is cast in the
imagery of disease and health, his stay on the African con
tinent coinciding with his recovery from a European disease
Already I had had one of the diseases
and had experienced the necessity of
washing a three-inch bit of my large
intestine with soap and water and tuck
ing it back where it belonged in unnum
bered amount of times a day. There
were remedies which cured this and it
was well worth going through for what
I had seen and where I had been. Besides
I caught that on the dirty boat out from
Marseilles. (p. 283)


65
and go face down and are sitting, enjoying being completely
wet finally, water cool on your behind, soaked with muddy
water, . M'Cola delighted with the spill" (p. 133).
Bathed in its amniotic fluids, for the narrator the Rift
Valley proves a womb.
Part II, "Pursuit Remembered," is as gigantic a chasm
in the chronology of Green Hills of Africa as the Rift
Valley is in the African landmass. Longer than all the
other Parts put together (seven chapters, as opposed to
two each in the other three Parts), "Pursuit Remembered"
is a flashback, a drop out of the present time between
Chapters Two and Ten. In fact, in the convoluted structure
of the narrative, Part II speeds toward the moment when
Part I begins. The use of the flashback, the mention of
memory in the Part's title, and the emphatic repetition of
the adverb "now" in the text suggest that, among ail its
other themes, Part II concerns itself intensely with two
men and how they deal with time. The first of these is the
narrator's companion. Encased in the mental revolutions
of his memories, Karl cannot open his senses to the "now"
that Droopy feels. For this man the present entails the
loss of everything he has so carefully deposited behind
in "then." But not only the present, the future too
entails loss: still basking in the conquest of the
incredible "dream rhino," Karl's only thought on the


16
him as "the dichter" of Querschnitt fame (the narrator
explains: "The Querschnitt was a German magazine I had
written [for] . years before I could sell anything in
America"). Far away in the heart of Africa, Kandisky longs
for people he knows only through words, "the great old
Querschnitt group" of writers, "the people one would see if
one saw whom one wished to see." The narratorhaving seen
decides, "I did not wish to destroy anything this man had,
and so I did not go into those brilliant people in detail."
From their very first encounter on the road, the dichotomy
between word and vision, between what Kandisky believes from
reading to be true and what the narrator knows empirically
to be false, shapes a major issue in the narrative.
Kandisky in effect never sees Africa. Just as he pre
serves the structures of the past with his language, so he
denies the living processes of the present. The very first
word the European utters in Green Hills of Africa is "No,"
and negation hallmarks each of his responses thereafter.
He says "no" to the natives, preferring to catalogue the
quaint dances and songs ("[I]t is always interesting. The
natives and the language. I have many books of notes on
them") rather than learn from their indigenous knowledge
of the land; "no" to the noxirishment of the drink the narra
tor offers ("I never drink. It is not good for the mind"),
driving the proffer to exclaim, "Don't you ever want to
change your ideas?"; and "no" to the hunt, priding himself


84
tothrough the viscera of the reedbuck, the labyrinth of
the canyonis the body of the world, the absolute physi-
cality of Africa. Droopy's body lives at one with the
world's body; and the narrator recognizes and emulates this
harmony.
But this phase of awareness serves the narrator only
so far. Equating "self" with his surroundings, Droopy is
absorbed by the world; he knows no bounds but physical ones.
This guide lives entirely unaware of his own limitations as
a human being until brought up short by the edge of the
Rift Valiev, by the material presence of a rock wall! In
the end Droopy proves an indispensable, but circumscribed,
proponent of the narrator's growth. He experiences no
"other;" he does not know. In contrast to Droopy, the suc
ceeding guide does, above all else, know. M'Cola's ability
to mentally distinguish "self" from "other" is underscored
by the extreme example the world assumes as "other" in his
country: the deluge. The younger guide may merge into his
canyon, but the life-threatening rains insure the older
guide's preeminent awareness of difference. This awareness
of difference, this ability to discern "self" from "other"
most characterizes the guide. It manifests itself most
strikingly in the attitude M'Cola takes as spectator, with
the "other" (the world) as the play and the "self" (the
native) as audience.


117
kudu, gifts of the virgin land, their reaching and curving
"beautiful to see." But to this element of the image the
narrator adds another, placing between the two kudu racks
the artifact that made possible their capture. In this
juxtaposition of herns and gun lies the narrator's solution.
In one sense the weapon, the death-dealing rifle, stands
in place of the other, unattainable trophy and weapon, the
sable's scimitar horn. But in a more subtle and thorough
going sense those sable horns are vividly present in the
hutside composition after all. Their distinctive dark color
makes up the base of the spiralling kudu columns, and their
geometric configuration of the arc comprises half a helical
evolution. Thus by color and by shape the kudu horn incor
porates the sable into itself.
The same act of integration occurs with the Spring-
field rifle. Save for a ceremonial burst upon arrival at
Pop's camp, the study the gun forms with the kudu horns
marks its last appearance in Green Hills. Placed side by
side with the pairs of horns, the line of the muzzle paral
lels the reach of the horns; in similar manner the explosive
power potential in the gun complements the thrusting of the
helix. As set out in this final image, the narrator comes
to see that life does not reject death or separate itself
from it; rather, just as the longer kudu horns encompass the
shorter gun in their upward progress, so life incorporates
death and goes on. Nowhere is this integration more complete


80
the day before. His identity, the cruciate stance he assumes
again, and M1Cola's recurring disapproval recreate his part
in the opening tableau. But the scene of the roadside blind
is not to be completely duplicated, for a new factor has
entered the landscape; in the night the rains have come.
The introduction of the rains alters the chemistry of the
scene, beginning by negating the narrator's second occupa
tion of the blind. The rains have decimated the saltlick,
thereby destroying the hollow's utility ("We settled down
in the blind and waited there until it was dark and a light
rain began to fall. Nothing came to the salt" [pp. 180-1]).
The inaugural tableau therefore lacks the very component
most central to its functioning, the womb archetype. But
as the rains sweep from their path one manifestation of this
generative image, so they also create another.
Drenching rain arrests the hunting party in mid-journey,
as the afternoon that began with puddles ends in a nightly
downpour. Despite his pressing awareness of ever-shortening
time, the narrator is forced to make camp on the road. An
event beyond human intention or manipulation, the rain physi
cally forces the narrator into a moment of contemplation.
In the night of rain he must reckon with this newly-evident
power of the earth, must determine his relationship to a
landscape that cannot be transcended. The cascading waters
occasion a provisional tent to be devised for the narrator:
Kamau had rigged a tent out of a big
canvas ground cloth, hung my mosquito
net inside, and set up the canvas cot.
M'Cola brought the food inside the
shelter tent. (p. 181)


59
of his own country, onward to where the canyon meets the Rift
Valleyand then simply vanishes from the narrative, never
to be seen or mentioned again. The intensity and the brevity
of his walk among the hills suggest that this guide acts as
a vital, but limited, agent for promoting growth in the nar
rator. That Droopy presides over a distinct phase in the
journey of his pupil is borne out by the great capacities,
but even greater limitations, of his body, his time, and his
country. The first limitation is found in the superb body
whose eyes discern the trails and pinpoint the game. But for
all their efficiency, these organs look only earthward; they
do not incorporate lateral vision, the direction associated
with the fellow guide M'Cola. Droopys vision is that of the
primal interaction of man with earth, not the more complex
interaction of man with man. The drooping eyelids that beget
his name act as natural blinders, restricting his field of
sight to one plane. The resemblance of these lids to
blinders recalls a similar use of vision and places Droopy
in the sequence of the safari; the narrator follows the path
blazed by Droopy before he rises from the blind.
Just as Droopys body suffices only so far, so does
his utilization of the products of civilization. "The time
of Droopy" acquires added significance when one considers
the place of this guide among the company of westward
wanderer/wonderers on the road. Droopy most closely
resembles the more primitive of the peoples, the nomadic


120
Notes to Part IV
'''Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), 11:
"We had only three days more because
the rains were moving north each day
from Rhodesia and unless we were pre
pared to stay where we were through
the rains we must be out as far as
Handeni before they came- We had set
the seventeenth of February as the
last safe day to leave."


90
the westward wanderer/wonderer has integrated Droopy's
grasp of the sensory with M'Cola's model of the mind.
Equipped now with body and mind, the narrator/artist leaves
behind the road of M'Cola for the third and most challeng
ing phase of his personal journeythe virgin land, the
country of the imagination.


63
The moon that has shown over the African landscape
in Part II, illuminating the simultaneous processes of
waxing and waning, regeneration and degeneration, now
shines over the Rift Valley. And like that globe, the
valley too contains within itself the flux of life and
death. The Rift Valley reproduces on a panoramic scale
the womb/tomb archetype of the blind. Displaying the
bifurcation of the "hollow half full of ashes and dust,"
one of its halves holds the dust of the plain, the other
the waters of Lake Manyara. The world of the plain and
the world of the lake constitute distinct entities,
distinguished from one another most strikingly by their
wildlife. On the plain the black and white zebra "gallop
in the grey heat haze, raising a dust," while at the lake
"the unbelievable cloud" of rose-pink flamingoes rises and
settles at the sound of shots, as if attuned to a heart
beat (p. 133).
As they possess different topography and wildlife,
so the plain and the lake claim a different protagonist.
With "caked dust on his face," the plain marks Karl as
its own. From the moment he steps into Part II, Karl's
path has lead him to this place. Karl circumvents Droopy's
country, spurns the lessons of the senses. And in revenge
his body, deprived of nourishment, takes on the hue of
the plain: "eld Karl looked a grayish, yellow white in
the face . coming in like a death's head." The half


78
In the canyon, Droopy introduced the narrator to the pro
tean possibilities that reside within physical forms; along
the length of road, M'Cola introduces him to the challenge
of things beyond human manipulation. This lengthM'Cola's
countryis the country of rain. The change of seasons
ranks as just as significant a terrestrial event as does
the Rift Valley, commanding a place in the scale of the
African landscape beyond the individual configuration of a
road, beyond a self-contained pocket of terrain. When
depicted on the vast continental sweep of Chapter Ten, rain
epitomizes the impersonal universe, nature beyond the human
ego.
From the seminal image in which he appears, M'Cola's
relationship to the natural world has been hallmarked by
acceptance and compliance. In the roadside blind, he and
the narrator accommodate themselves to the curves of the
dirt hollow; unlike the cruciate guide, they do not stride
above it like a colossus. Indeed, the hunter and the gun-
bearer literally efface themselves as they crouch in the
cover of the blind. The overall process of hunting provides
the narrator an avenue to purge himself of the ego that de
mands a display like the one in which the Christ-like guide
indulges. That opening image of the blind clearly sets
unbridled ego at odds with survivalthe native's rash words
and movements would scare away every animal within shooting
range. As practiced by the master M'Cola, hunting becomes


44
of beingthe intellectwhich has tyrannized others. Its
consequent diminishment provides a space for the rediscovery
and burgeoning of the body that occupies Part II. Karl
wanes because he is trapped within his own mental revolutions,
unable to reach outside them for physical or emotional
nourishment. Pop confirms this starvation with another
food image, "I think he's off his feed a little." In the
end, a mind revolving is a mind consuming itself.
The final passage of Chapter Nine documents Karl's
inability to advance upon the road. The closing scene
carefully recapitulates the opening scene of the narrative,
its recurring elements inviting comparison. Karl describes
the hunt: "We were in the blind and they motioned me to
keep my head down and then when I looked up there he was
right beside us." The situation is the same as when the
narrator crouched beside the road in Part I: a hunter,
a womb-like blind, and the all-inclusive "we" that
presides at the event. But in Karl's case no birth
transpires; this hunter is not to be the next wanderer/
wonderer in the long line of artificers. Karl fails
because he provides no limbs to assume the fetal position,
because he proffers a verbal artifact, the soliloquy, that
proves inadequate as a tool. Realizing his incompleteness
as an agent of life, the "we" dissociates itself from Karl
and becomes an exclusive "they," motioning back the
untoward head. Significantly, the gesture of the "they"


58
"now." But the narrator does, and upon entry he finds
in that country a stage of awareness best described by
Chaman Nahal:
The key word for understanding the
Hemingway hero, according to my
reading, is spontaneity. The
Hemingway hero is a man immensely
alive to everything, and in his
spontaneity he has the vital
capacity to react to life in innu
merable and unpredictable ways.
That is the true Hemingway hero:
a genuinely spontaneous individual
. . The desire in his heroes
is to feel everything fullyand
therefore slowly, egolessly. "He
did not want to rush his sensations
any," says Hemingway about Nick in
"Big, Two-Hearted River," and the
expression is typical. The life
of the trout, of the mink, and of
the mosquitoes and the grasshoppers
that is painted in the story comes
rushing to Nick because of his ex
treme sensitivity to what is going
on around him.4
While Nahal's unqualified extension of this observation
about Nick Adams to later, more complex protagonists may
be questioned, its rightness for the narrator at this
particular phase in his African journey is unquestionable.
For the duration of this sensory "now," the life of the
reedbuck, of the rhino, and of the tse-tse flies and
the locusts enriches the narrator every bit as much as
the life of Nick's country enriches him. The narrator
enters Droopy's countryand makes it his own.
Droopy walks into the green hills of Africaon a foot
safari with the narrator and M'Cola, through the high grasses


45
reproduces exactly the movement with which the narrator
repudiates the black guide associated with Christianity
and European civilization in Chapter One ("'It is finished,'
he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down").
With this movement the "we" aligns itself with the
narrator; it is his story the voices of the road share,
not Karl's.
The Time of Droopy
Just as the waning of the moon describes the diminish-
ment of Karl recorded in Part II, so its waxing describes
the simultaneous flourishing of the narrator. The narrator
explicitly designates the period of this waxing as "the
time of Droopy" (p. 46). Chapter Three begins with the
American hunter carefully perusing the figure of the
African guide:
Droopy was a real savage with lids to
his eyes that nearly covered them,
handsome, with a great deal of style,
a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker.
He was about thirty-five, I should
think, and wore only a piece of
cloth, knotted over one shoulder,
and a fez that some hunter had given
him. He always carried a spear.
(p. 46)
One feature attracting the narrator's visual attention in
the opening passage is Droopy's attire, unique to him
among the principal natives of the safari. The knotted
cloth and the spear, however, recall other hunters


12
leather shorts, and an open shirt." The driver of the
lorry, Kandisky appears only in Chapter One, the narrative
overlap of the car and lorry journeys. He is a European
expatriate, having left his native Austria for an African
plantation, and hence a wanderer like the narrator. But
although this European has wandered geographically, he has
not stirred imaginativelyno matter how many miles into
Africa Kandisky may have travelled, his mind is still in
Europe. As their nationalities attest, the American narra
tor and the Austrian Kandisky represent the opposing forces
in the war (World War I) that consumes such a large part of
Kandisky's conversation at lunch the following day (pp 29-
32). His involvement with the military likens Kandisky to
another veteran of that same conflict, Frederick Henry. But
unlike his American counterpart who walked away from the
conflict, the Austrian has not bidden a farewell to arms.
In a sense, that conflict still rages in the overlap of
Chapter One between the American and the European, between
an individualist and an orthodoxist non pareil.
Kandisky always exists as a member of a large group.
In a burst of self-aggrandizement the orthodoxist outlines
his approach to life:
"I represent European organization. I
come now from organizing recruitment
of the natives. This takes time. It
is impressive. I have been away from
my family for three months. The organi
zation is organized. You do it in a
week as easily, but it is not so
impressive." (pp. 17-18)


39
and repetitive. Karl's meditation upon his days in the
hills follows precisely this pattern, picking up a detail
(the "Swahili name he could not then remember"), worrying
with it ("god-damn it where were they"), and returning
to it again ("what did the guide say kongoni for that
time, they did, he knew they did"), with no progress made
or resolution reached through the mind's ruminations.
The identical phrases beginning and ending the passage
("Whatever you say," "Whatever you say") reinforce the
mental stalemate.
The obsession with words which prevails in the
monologue typifies Karl's sojourn in Africa: he misses
his quarry because he misunderstands a name; he bemoans
a lack of companionship because there is no one to talk
to (alone, among forty M'Bulusi); he is haunted by
formulated tenets he must live up to; and he languishes,
in the heart of Africa, from a lack of letters from home.
His preference for words hinders a full experiencing of
the wonder of the continent; the few sensory references
in the monologue relate only hardships suffered in its
terrain. As emptied of body as his trophy, Karl is one
big head.
Appropriately, this head seeks out an aesthetic
form indigenous to a man of words, the convention of the
unspoken soliloquy. As mentioned above, this literary
style is peculiar to Karl alone in Green Hills of Africa.


34
racing; then one of outer movement as success depends upon
his ability to anticipate and then go with the actions
of the rhino.
He showed, trotting into the shallow,
boulder filled stream. Thinking of
one thing, that the shot was perfectly
possible, but that I must lead him
enough, must get ahead, I got on him,
then well ahead of him, and squeezed
off. I heard the whonk of the bullet
and, from his trot, he seemed to
explode forward. (p. 76)
The encounter demands, and receives, the best of the
hunter's skill (the horn is "nothincr extra. That was a
hell of a shot you made on him though, brother"). The
results of the narrator's effort, that extraordinary
show of proficiency called forth in the one-on-one
confrontation, stresses that the process of hunting
engages the narrator's passion. He does not walk away
with the "best" rhino, with another trophyin fact,
quite the opposite, given the condition of the rhino
and the size of its horn. What he does walk away with
from the rhino hunt is the internal victory of having
set, and met, his own challenge.
Karl's Rhinoceros
At the same time the narrator faces his rhinoceros
in an encounter of far-reaching dimensions, the other
American hunter on the safari, his friend Karl, also
brings down a rhino. And just as the first animal


3
his subject. In the introductory essay to Hemingway and
His Critics, Carlos Baker narrows Scholes and Kellogg's
observation about the decline of the orthodox and the ascen
dancy of the heterodox symbol system in Western literature
to its more specific application at the hands of Hemingway:
He seems early to have rejected the
arbitrary importation of symbols which
are not strictly germane to the action
at hand. . Instead of ransacking
other arts and literatures for viable
symbols, he chose rather to allow the
object or scene or person whose function
was to be symbolic to gather its meanings
through a process of association strict
ly within the terms of the ongoing narra
tive. 3
This method characterizes all facets of the creative pro
cess at work in Green Hills of Africa: by permitting an
object to "gather its meanings" only by the progress of the
narrative, the narrator implements on the imagistic plane
the story of movement he is telling on ail other planes.
The method by which such an object accrues value may be
observed in that primal image which winds its way through
the green hills, the road.
The procession of people passing along its length
designates the road as a thoroughfare for life:
[A]11 along the road we passed groups
of people making their way to the
westward. Some were naked except for
a greasy cloth knotted over one shoul
der, and carried bows and sealed quivers
of arrows. Others carried spears. The
wealthy carried umbrellas and wore draped
white cloth and their women walked behind
them,with their pots and pans. Bundles
and loads of skins were scattered along
ahead on the heads of other natives. All
were travelling away from the famine, (pp. 34-5)


55
intimate of such relationships. And, given this generating
power of the eye, it is even more fitting that this union
be realized visually: in that space upon the page after
Chapter Three ends and before Chapter Four begins, it is
as if the eye closes as the "I" withdraws into the intimacy
of "we." Only the tent which witnesses first an exchange
of words between the present wife and the lucky husband
witnesses then an exchange of hearts and bodies, deep in
the rich African night.
Droopy 1s Country
During the period designated as "the time of Droopy,"
the narrator and the safari enter a part of Africa known
among themselves as "Droopy's country." A "country" has
been defined previously by the narrator as "an area, a
valley or range of hills, a man can hunt in." This
usage in the hunting vocabulary allows the term to fill
a larger narrative need in Green Hills. Throughout the
safari, only one African country in the political sense
of the word is mentioned, and precious few towns; rather,
"country" takes on a role as psychic space, as an arena
of expertise within which a man may act. With this
emphasis the naturalistic is valued over the political,
the achievement of man as individual, over man in groups:
"Droopy's country" designates that perfect conjunction
between the demands of a particular terrain and the
talents of a particular hunter.


53
"we" as they muse about the life they share, acknowledging
verbally the union in which they are partners. And union-
the world of "we" is the subject of this passage, stylis
tically, psychologically, and sexually.
Karl, with whom the exchange concludes, has been
proved poor in many ways. He, like his friend, has had
the fortune to hunt with "good-looking savages" and the
chance to learn from them all that phrase entails. But
Karl learns nothing, failing to communicate even super
ficially with his guides. Significantly, Droopy never
hunts with Bwana Kabor. But Karl is manifestly poorer
in another way, as the conversation demonstrates. He
is poor because he lacks his wife, as is agreed upon by
the two voices we hear issuing into the quiet of the
night.
"... Poor Karl."
"Why?"
"Without his wife."
"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl."
The sentences are as unencumbered as Droopy without his
fez, as close to the emotion of the matter as the nar-
rator./hunter to the reedbuck's heart. Poor Karl with
out his wife, says a man with his wife. The unstated,
implied converse floats up into the African air as surely
as if it were inscribed upon the page: Poor Karl ....
Lucky me.


87
blind, where the narrator has occasion to glance at his
gun:
Putting the Springfield across my
knees I noticed that there was rust
on the barrel. Slowly I pulled it
along and looked at the muzzle. It
was freshly brown with rust.
"The bastard never cleaned it last
night after that rain," I thought. . .
M'Cola had seen the rusty bore. His
face had not changed and I had said
nothing but I was full of contempt
and there had been indictment, evi
dence, and condemnation without a
word being spoken. So we sat there,
he with his head bent so only the
bald top showed, me leaning back and
looking out through the slit, and we
were no longex- partners, no longer
good friends; and nothing came to the
salt. (pp. 203-4)
That a safari and a friendship should, for all purposes,
end upon the ignominious sight of M'Cola bowing his head
against the narrator's anger rises from the significant cir
cumstances that comprise M'Colas neglect of the gun. Such
neglect constitutes the most serious breach in the guide's
duties on the safari, for M'Cola's chief function has been
gunbearer to the narrator. After the buffalo hunt in
Droopys country (p. 120-1), it was M'Cola's familiarity with
this twentieth century artifact, juxtaposed against Droopy's
unfamiliaritv, that indicated the ascendency of the older
guide over the younger one. The repetition of a pivotal
situation involving skill with a weapon again signals a
shift in the narrative, but this time away from M'Cola. The


86
intellectual phase, M'Cola, than he ever did of the sensory
Droopy. This independencea realization on the narrator's
part of the widening separation between his emerging "self"
and the major "other" in his life at this point, M'Cola
is brought home in several ways. The narrator differs more
distinctly from M'Cola, in age and physique, for example,
whereas he was likened more to Droopy. And he is much more
able to criticize the elder native. Unlike Droopy, M'Cola
possesses foibles as well as wisdom. He commits major
errors out on the hunt, the gravest when he fails to prevent
P.O.M. from venturing into high grasses that might shield
a wounded buffalo (p. 116). But even this error in the
field pales against the repercussions that stem from one
particular oversight the guide makes in camp.
The narrator's hunting party wake from the night in the
tent to the morning of the third, penultimate, day of their
enterprise. They return to camp and attempt another stalk
through the moist environs, but meet with no success:
Finally it was dark and we went back
to camp. The Springfield was very
wet when we got out of the car and I
told M'Cola to clean it carefully and
oil it well. He said he would. . .
(pp. 189-90)
Chapter Eleven, the concluding chapter of Part III, then
chronicles the fourth and last planned day of the safari,
each of its precious minutes ticked off by the encroaching
rains. The hunting party make their first effort from a


35
reveals the impulsions of the narrator, so the second
reveals those of Karl:
There was the newly severed head of a
rhino that was a rhino. He was twice
the size of the one I had killed.
The little eyes were shut and a fresh
drop of blood stood in the corner of
one like a tear. The head bulked
enormous and the horn swept up and
back in a fine curve. The hide was
an inch thick where it hung in a
cape behind the head and was as white
where it was cut as freshly sliced
coconut. (p. 83)
The overwhelming feature of Karl's rhinoceros in
contrast to the narrator's is that this animal is already
dead when first viewed. The inanimate rhino climaxes
a hunt devoid of interaction between hunter and hunted.
Karl does not track the animal through the hills and
streams of its own ground, but stumbles upon it "just
outside of camp"; neither does he draw upon his skill
as a marksman in the confrontation, rather downing the
animal with an undetermined "five or six [shots], I
guess." When the narrator looks out from the green hill
at the spectacle of the battling bulls before him he
sees in their "head-on" conflict the same battle of
heads he fights with Karl. As becomes clear when he
regards his rhino, his mind is learning to value the
creatures of the world in their concrete wholeness, a
wholeness which necessitates consideration of and for the
body. Not so with Karl. "The newly severed head," the


PART I
LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS
The Form in the Landscape
We were sitting in the blind that
Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs
and branches at the edge of the salt
lick when we heard the truck coming.
At first it was far away and no one
could tell what the noise was. Then
it moved slowly nearer, unmistakable
now, louder and louder until, agoni
zing in a clank of loud irregular
explosions, it passed close behind us
to go on up the road. The theatrical
one of the two trackers stood up.
"It is finished," he said.
I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.
"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide.l
In The Nature of Narrative Robert Scholes and Robert
Kellogg observe that "in Western narrative . the hetero
dox or personal symbol system has . tended to replace
the orthodox." One particular Western narrative, Green
Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway, grapples with just such
a replacement, documenting the death of the "orthodox" world
view and heralding the coming of the "heterodox." Such a
transition is accomplished on every level of the work, gener-
ically, imagistically, stylistically. And it is all gener
ated by the first scene of the narrative.


66
safari's first day in the Rift Valley is that the following
day "he was facing possible defeat by oryx." In the world
of movement the narrator is learning to negotiate, Karl
wants everything to stand still, to be as changeless as
his past. Hence he values the end, not the processthe
trophy, not the hunt.
In contrast, the guide Droopy flows with the wholeness
of one moment to the wholeness of the next, from one "now"
to another "now." This immersion of himself in the fullness
of the present renders Droopy a truly gifted lover of life.
But as it frees him to the immediate in life, it also
imprisons him in it. For instance, when the narrator tries
to leave the unwieldy reedbuck carcass to be picked up by
porters later, Droopy simply cannot fathom his intent and
insists on carrying the animal to camp then. Although
unfettered by Karls past, Droopy cannot project ahead;
his present has no future. This inability to look beyond
the immediate consigns Droopy to the vicissitudes of a
physical life, unaided by mental disciplines such as
foresight. The sentence portraying the last act of the
guide in the narrative frames his deficiency as an
intellectual one: the one-timer tutor can tell his pupil
nothing about the country beyond his because "Droopy
didn't know."
Having had the luck to sojourn in Droopys country,
the narrator has acquired the guide's gift for "spontaneity."


104
In his first impression of this land, the narrator dubs it
"a deer park." Indeed, he points in the text to his choice
of words, pondering "how to describe this deer park country
and whether deer park was enough to call it." (p. 281) On
a simple level, the narrator's choice of words is appro
priate, since the antelope of the virgin country is related
to the deer family. But on a more complex level, "deer"
conjures up "dear," a heart word. In the case of the kudu,
the pun on "dear" operates in both senses of the word, as
something beloved and as something valued.
The most penetrating encounter of the narrator with
the beloved and valued creatures of the deer park is, of
course, his long-awaited rendezvous with the kudu. In the
"last hour best hour" of the safari, the hunting party sud
denly spots across a stream
a large, gray animal, white stripes
showing on his flanks and huge horns
curling back from his head as he stood,
broadside to us, head up, seeming to
be listening. (p. 229)
The narrator gets off two shots at the bolting game; then
none of us [were] breathing as we saw
him standing in a clearing a hundred
yards ahead, . looking back, wide
ears spread, big, gray, white-striped,
his horns a marvel, as he looked
straight toward us over his shoulder.
(pp. 230-31)
After firing once again, the narrator stumbles over a car
cass he discovers to be the first bull seen at the stream.
Then several yards ahead he finds the second bull who had


28
hunter. Much of the "action at hand" in the seven chapters
of Part II stems from the friction between the narrator
and the companion Karl. Chapters Three and Four relate
the first skirmish in this conflict, a skirmish fought
by means of the rhinoceros.
Just as the guides acquire significance by the
sequence in which they conduct the safari, so do the major
animals of Green Hills by the sequence in which they are
hunted. The predominant species never overlap; a rhinoceros
is killed only in Chapter Four. The African rhino is the
first big game encountered in the flashback of Part II,
an animal free of associations in Western culture. Instead,
the rhinoceros gains its importance from the American hunter
who pursues it. That importance begins with its initial
sighting by the narrator from a hilltop;
Until five o'clock we did not see
anything. Then, without the glasses,
I saw something moving over the
shoulder of one of the valleys
toward a strip of the timber. In
the glasses it was a rhino, showing
very clear and minute at the dis
tance, red-colored in the sun, moving
with a quick waterbug-like motion
across the hill. Then there were
three more of them that came out of
the. forest, dark in the shadow, and
two that fought, tinily, in the
glasses, pushing head-on, fighting
in front of a clump of bushes while
we watched them and the light failed.
(pp. 49-50)
Just as the action of Part I springs from the blind
beside the road, so that of Part II springs from the


6
car, and most of that at this initial stretch of road. This
short span of sandy tracks marks the only overlap of the
journeys of the car and the lorry. The soundness of one
vehicle and the debility of the other is laid out in the
topography and chronology of the scene: in a finely choreo
graphed maneuver, the younger narrator (having advanced
beyond the lorry), must back up in order to reach the immo
bile vehicle of the older driver.
In the dynamics of the road, movement signals growth
while immobility indicates depletion. As enacted in their
pas de deux, the overlapping withand then the surpassing
ofthe lorry by the narrator's car signals the disfunction
of the values associated with the former vehicle and the
emergence of new values concomitant with the latter. The
identification of these values is established by the "pro
cess of association" Carlos Baker notes. In the instance
of the vehicles, their associations are accomplished by
masterful employment of the tool of juxtaposition. A.s the
hunting party crouches in the blind, the disabled lorry
passes by on the road:
The theatrical one of the two trackers
stood up.
"It is finished," he said.
I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.
"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide. (pp. 2-3)
The juxtaposition of the guide's speech with the traffic on


4
The westward migration is no indistinguishable press of
humanity. The diversity of nationalities and cultures pres
ent in the scene affords a panoramic display of civiliza
tion, incorporating advances from near-nakedness to umbrel
las, from primitive arms to household accoutrements, from
single hunters to family entourages. The people who precede
the narrator on the road have made their contributions to
the story of the Westthe repetition of the verb "carry"
constantly evokes the human hands that skinned the pelt,
shaped the pot, wove the cloth. By this array of progres
sively more sophisticated artifacts, the road achieves a
temporal, evolutionary function. The linkage of the road
to time and change illuminates the narrator's relationship
to the scene. Like the people of the procession, he reveals
an affinity for the road: "watching the road, the people,
and all clearings in the bush for game," he, too, drives to
the westward. Like the Wanderobo hunters whose footsteps
he follows, like the stream of people he joins, the narrator
is a hunter, a wanderer/wonderer in the story of the West.
Clearly, whether they be physical implements for modifying
the environment or intellectual ones for structuring communal
interaction, the narrator inhabits a world of inherited forms.
The point at which Green Hills of Africa openswith its
first word the sweeping, all-inclusive "We" picks up the
story of twentieth century Western man. It designates the
point when the narrator enters the story of the road, the


10
Wanderobos prove rather scarce in the narrative. One occa
sionally wanders through the green hills, leaving traces of
his foraging (pp. 183-4), but not until Part IV does one
appear to assist the safari. However, the initial sparce-
ness of specific Wanderobos invites a broadening of the
tribal term to include all who have wandered in the earth
and brought their wonder to bear upon it. The hollow by the
side of the road functions as a stage in the human flowering
of the road. Its dimensions mark the frontiers reached by
the wanderer/wonderers who preceded the narrator, the fron
tiers of the world from which Green Hills of Africa unfolds.
This unfolding begins with the very first word of
Chapter One. By beginning with the word "We," and thereby
delaying a strict identification of the referent of the
plural pronoun, the text reaches out and incorporates the
reader into its plurality, into its world. The inclusive
nature of the "We" places the reader most assuredly within
a human structure--within the hollow of the narrator/hunter,
within the first person narrative of the narrator/artist.
The hollow serves as a stage in the events of the road where
old values are sloughed off and new ones assumed. Its
confines provide the battleground for two processes at work
in the narrative, the decline of the "orthodox" world view
and the initial stirrings of the "heterodox." The blind
marks the conjunction of the two processes, its critical
nature punctuated by the terms of life and death. Much is


15
Deposed as the head of a shamba, left with a failing
vehicle ("That lorry is finished. ... It was all that
remained of my shamba. ... It is all gone except that
lorry"), Kandisky is chiefly distinguished in Chapter One
by an overwhelming sense of loss. The vehicle upon which
Kandisky enters the narrative is a relic of lost battles,
lost position, lost valuesa lost world. Bluntly faced
with the dilemma of change, Kandisky reacts with a conserva
tive instinct to shore up against that loss. Unable to
make the transition into a new world, he draws about him
self the shards of the past, trying to recreate the Old
World in the new world of Africa. This effort at recreation
begins with small details of food and reading matter and
ends with an all-encompassing world view. For instance, the
day after the narrator passes Kandisky's fire, the Austrian
announces, "Tonight we will have a special dish of Viennese
dessert. My cook has learned to make it very well." Such
an offer conjures up the sight of an African more familiar
with reedbuck tripe and kudu liver piling layer upon layer
of an over-delicate tortel The offering of neglible nutri
tional value pales against the plentiful red meat at the
hunters' fingertips.
This attitude of determined indifference to the land
before him leads Kandisky to seek not only bodily but
intellectual nourishment from distant European sources. When
Kandisky first meets the narrator by the fire, he recognizes


Abstract of Dissertation Presented
to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA
3y
Susan Lynn Drake
June 1980
Chairman: W.R. Robinson
24ajor Department: English
The Foreword which opens Green Hills of Africa pro
poses the narrator's attempt therein to present "the shape
of a country and the pattern of a month's action." Taking
direction from this declaration, this analysis pursues a
formalist concern with "shape" and "pattern throughout
the narrative. An examination of the opening images of the
work reveals twentieth century Western man at a cultural
crossroads, presented with two views of the world. One,
the orthodox view from the cross, glorifies the urge to
transcend the earth, to be above its processes. The alter
native is the heterodox view from the (hunting) blind, whic
acknowledges and accepts the earth in which existential man
must live. The Christian option being found bankrupt, tine
narrator chooses the secular perspective. From then on,


the road provides the vital mechanism of this scene. Most
fruitful is the indefinite reference of the pronoun in the
guides speech. This linguistic leeway enables "It" to
function in a multiplicity of ways. The most obvious re
ferent for "Tt" is the kudu hunting, which the truck has
just spoiled. But the careful coinciding of the guide's
outburst with the passage of the vehicle also allows "It"
to refer to the truck itself. The lorry is certainly as
"finished" as the hunting. Soon after passing the narrator,
the lorry ends its agonizing journey beside the road. The
vehicle fails not because its body gives out but because
its engineits working centeris no longer valid. "Do
you think it could be the timer? It sounded as though it
might be a timing knock when you went past us," the narrator
volunteers. Given the temporal context of the road, this
diagnosis of problems with time and change pinpoints exact
ly the ailment of the lorry. A means of forward motion
that once was operable is not now, emitting what its driver,
the European Kandisky, calls "that noise of death inside."
The values associated with the vehicle are thus labeled
anachronistic. Among all the vehicles on the safari, the
truck Kandisky drives is specified as a "lorry," one of the
two Briticisms prevalent in the narrative and a term reserved
in the main for this particular vehicle. This European
identity is reinforced by the loyalties of the lorry's
driver, a man who boasts "I represent European organization."


67
Following in the African's steps has led to health; the
hunter waxes in body at Droopy's hands. But to overcome
the limitations of the guide, the narrator must be able
to advance into the future. This he will accomplish by
developing the ability to "know." This next stage in his
growth demands a different kind of mind than heretofore
encountered and requires a different guideM'Cola. So,
having survived the chasm of the Rift Valley, the chasm
of Part II, the narrator readies himself to crouch in
the blind, about to be born into the lessons of the road.


119
private quest through the hills of Africa those public
considerations are deemed as insubstantial as the phantom
elephant. Instead he ventures after, and wins, the real
ivory of Green Hills. The narrator/hunter takes home the
ivory pointed helix, although his pairs are bested by the
horns"the biggest, widest, darkest, longest-curling,
heaviest, most unbelievable pair of kudu horns"Karl has
brought in the interim to Pop's camp. The superlative de
gree of Karl's success underscores once again that for the
narrator/artist the value of his horns lies not in their
signification of public success, but rather in their func
tion as images in rendering his story of individual growth
And it is as an image in the service of the creative imagi
nation that the kudu horns climax the African adventure;
beyond the text a line drawing of a triumphant kudu bull
emblazons "The End" across the last page of the narrative.
This flotarish of the kudu at the end of the narrator's
imaginative quest validates the achievement of that quest:
the resultant work of art is the narrator's true trophy,
Green Hills of Africa his ivory.


77
coast impassable. The present time of Green Hills of
Africa deals with the last four planned days of the hunt.
Part I covers the evening of the first day when Kandisky's
lorry disrupts the blind and the morning of the second day
when the narrator shoots guineas; Part II flashes back in
seven chapters to the preceding events of Droopy's country
and the Rift Valley; and then Part III returns to the pres
ent, to the afternoon of the second day that began in Part
I. It is on this afternoon that the rains arrive at last.
As the narrator and M'Cola head out in the car after lunch
to the saltlick, their coming difficulties are presaged by
puddles on the road from the previous night. Before long,
the skies shower "drizzlingly." The following morning (the
third and next-to-the-last day) opens with a "mist [hanging]
over the ground" which soon becomes "light rain pattering
in the leaves." This patter condenses first into "fairly
hard," then unmitigatedly "hard" rain, until the narrator
and his party stalk a world utterly saturated with moisture:
Puffs of cloud hung on the hillside
after the rain and the trees dripped
but we saw nothing. Not in the open
glades, not in the fields where the
bush thinned, not on the green hill
sides. (p. 189)
The farther the narrator endeavors to penetrate this stretch
of road, the denser grows the rain, until the safari is
forced to an absolute standstill in Chapter Ten.
M'Cola's presence pervades the four-day stretch of road
from the blind of Chapter One to the stasis of Chapter Ten.


11
revealed by the physical appearance of the blind, described
as "a hollow half full of ashes and dust." In depicting
the withering away of Christianity, Biblical allusions in
this passage appropriately deal only with death, e.g., the
corpse of the crucifixion and the "ashes and dust ("ashes
to ashes, dust to dust") that partially fill the cavity.
Most importantly, unlike the artifacts the natives carry
upon the road, the form the narrator occupies no longer
functions: no game is ever bagged from the blind. Yet, as
its description implies, the blind is both a tomb and a
womb. Surmounted by a human cross and half filled with
decayed matter, it certainly appears a grave. But at the
same time the curve of its shape suggests a matrix, and its
other half is filled with a white hunter who, "sitting,
leaning back, knees high, head . low," assumes the posi
tion of a fetus. The cocoon-like hollow, dug from dust
and covered with "dried leaves and thin branches," presents
to the undiscerning eye an image of death. But within that
husk dwells the miraculous kernel of change, a wanderer/won
derer curled like an unborn child and gifted with the same
impulse to move and grow.
The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European
As the hunters leave the blind empty-handed and head
back toward their camp, they pass in the light of a road
side fire a "short, bandy-legged man with a Tyroler hat,


13
His life expresses itself only through the many organiza
tions in which he has entrenched himself. One such struc
ture is the German cause of World War I. An Austrian,
Kandisky volunteered for the German army and served under
Von Lettow's command. Now, years later, he continues to
display the same allegiances that motivated that act. For
this veteran, more than property perished in that conflict;
the very ideals that generated it, the abstractions of
"patriot" and "duty," no longer operate in the post-war
world. When Kandisky seeks indemnification for the African
plantation he lost and volunteers those abstractions as his
reasons for fighting, he is told, "That is very beautiful.
But you cannot hold us responsible for your noble sentiments.
Kandisky's lost plantation is emblematic of the larger world
that ceased to exist at the end of World War I. Dispossess
ed of land and values, he now wanders the hills of Africa.
One vestige of Kandisky's military service survives in
his concern with titles. He painstakingly addresses the
party's white hunter as "Colonel" Phillips until Pop cor
rects him: "I'm a Mister, by the way. We use these military
titles as nicknames." The hunters have adapted a public
formality to a private, affectionate use; Kandisky, however,
is never known by anything other than his last name. This
predilection for titles reveals a pervasive bias in the
former soldier. The European is almost totally verbal in
his relationship to the world. .As one would expect of a


48
disparity between the surface and the reality, between
the adorned skin and the trained muscles. The word which
recurs in the narrator's consideration of Droopy, and
which captures the unity the guide has achieved, is style.
"Handsome, with a great deal of style," "a great stylist
in everything he did"style as evidenced by Droopy is
not just extraneous flourish, but a marriage of inner
talent and outer training. Its holistic quality surfaces
in the climactic moment of the rhino hunt when Droopy
goes in first after the downed game, pausing only to
remove his fez:
"That's all the precautions he
needs," Pop said. "We bring up
a couple of heavy guns and Droopy
qoes in after him with one article
less of clothing." (p. 77)
The guide's quintessential act at this juncture of life
and death is to shed the superfluous object. He is able
to perform the task before him because he carries within
him the resources equal to that task.
One organ in particular distinguishes the superb
body of the guide. "With lids . that nearly covered
them," his eyes are the first feature the narrator notices.
That feature gives rise to his name, the nickname "Droopy,"
the familiarity of which further strengthens the personal
significance the African guide holds for the American
hunter. It also pinpoints the gift the two men hold in
common, the gift of vision. Droopy's eyes make possible


107
clearing a hundred yards ahead." It is most significant
that the place of this crucial encounter is "in a clearing."
A gerund, "clearing" indicates not only a place that has
been cleared but also an act that clears. It is this ver
bal attribute of the word that carries the kudu hunt pas
sage. The hunter's first shot, for example, depends
entirely upon his expertise in "clearing:" "[I] commenced
to crawl forward to be clear of the bush, sick afraid the
bull would jump." As the narrator/hunter successfully
clears his vision, so the narrator/artist clears his. His
eye catches the bull in a clearing, free of interference
from the terrain, free of human intrusion from the chase.
It is as if that narrative eye blinks to wash the scene of
all extraneous matter and opens, virgin, upon its long-
awaited object of desire.
In that one moment, "looking back, . his horns a
marvel, . [the kudu] looked straight toward us over his
shoulder." This direct, vibrant exchange between hunted
and hunter, image and artist, culminates in a far-reaching
vision of life. The narrator discovers the bull in motion:
in the momentary turn of its flight, and in the more endur
ing turnings of its life as captured in its spiralling
horns. Such turns, caught in the spirals, reveal much.
From the helix of the kudu to the arc of the sable, horns
are the layered excrescences of life. Unlike antlers which
are lost yearly, horns are lifetime tracings of the growth


99
manifestly an individual, not a communal, enterprise. Just
as the blind heralds an advance beyond the Rift Valley, so
the makeshift tent supercedes the blind. The blind entails
a quantitative reshaping of the earth; the processing of
cotton into canvas necessitates a qualitative transforma
tion of the material universe. The end product of this
process, a canvas cocoon, reaffirms in its connotation of
gestation the tent's identity as a matrical form. From a
chasm that dwarfs the hunter to a shelter that answers his
every demand, the matrix proves a viable form for the land
scape of Green Hills of Africa. The plural attributes of
its most refined version, the ground sheet tent, qualify
the tent for the world of change. It is strong enough to
withstand the country of rain, plastic enough to go into
the virgin land. With the re-emergence of the tent in
Part IV, the narrator comes into his own as a participant
in creation, as a maker of forms. The narrator/artist
carries this ability with him just as the narrator/hunter
carries the tent. In both capacities this individual com
mands the means to create a world.
The Sign of the Heart
The Foreword to Green Hills of Africa issues an intri
guing invitation to the narrative's readers: "Any one not
finding sufficient love interest is at liberty, while read
ing [this book], to insert whatever love interest he or she


33
rhino. Of all the concrete description in Green Hills of
Africa, little of it deals with the narrator. The only
item he relates about himself is that he, like the rhino,
has been ill and, like the rhino, bears scars:
My own scars were all informal, some
irregular and sprawling, others simply
puffy welts. I had one on my forehead
that people still commented on, asking
if I had bumped my head. . ,(p. 53)
Thus both hunter and hunted emerge as creatures
buffeted by experience. In a major function the animals
of Africa perform in Green Hills, the rhinoceros stands
as a stage in the growth of its pursuer. Scarred, the
narrator incorporates the conditions of twentieth
century, post-Christian life; wounded, he must now learn
the lessons of the body that will result in healing. This
sensory orientation is indicated by his interaction with
the beast: he looks at and describes the whole body of
the rhino, valuing not just the prize of the head and
horn, but the complete animal. The story of Part II,
then, develops out of the narrator's need to grow into
a wholeness of body, to not only survive in the world,
but to flourish.
That the rhino indicates growth in the narrator is
borne, out by the vital part movement plays in the hunt.
Theirs is a dynamic encounter, initially an inner one as
the narrator responds to the challenge of the "muddy red"
game ("I was very excited at seeing him"), his own blood


83
M'Cola rests beside him; but when he wakes, he lies alone
under the canvas.
I woke when I heard M'Cola come in,
make his bed and go to sleep, and I
woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me; but in the morning
he was up and had made the tea before
I was awake. (p. 182)
M'Cola, the guide to the hunt, busies himself as he does
every day with the usual duties of the safari. But M'Cola,
the guide to a mind unfettered by Karl's shortsightedness,
having performed his most valuable duty, has been absorbed
into a more able agent of life. When the novice rises
alone from the night of rain, the view from the blind has
become the view from the tent. With M'Cola's help, the
narrator has learned to move not against, but with, the
mighty rhythms of the African continent.
Beyond M'Cola
The transition in guides from Droopy to M'Cola is pre
sented in Green Hills of Africa as part of a maturation
process the narrator is caught up in, a transition from a
sensual bonding with the world to an intellectual comprehen
sion of it. When the narrator follows the path through
Droopy's country, he walks behind a more idealized figure,
a guide at the apex of his skills. At that earlier stage
the American hunter depends much more heavily upon the Afri
can guide--for basic negotiation of territory, for elemen
tary procurement of meat. What Droopy introduces his pupil


97
fixed, known direction renders it an instrument inadequate
to the scope of his wanderings.
Rather than disintegrating like the road, the second
manmade form in the landscapethe blindundergoes a meta
morphosis. Images of matrices mark the narrator's trek
across Africa: the Rift Valley, the Wanderobo blind, the
makeshift tent. The several permutations signify the narra
tor's intensifying involvement with the world: their con
struction shews man's advances in shaping his earth. A
primordial matrix commands the vista at the outset of the
safari, the awesome chasm of the Rift Valley, within whose
rock walls the waters of Lake Manyara quench the dust of
the plain. This first hollow is an entirely natural phenom
enon, singular and ponderous in its domination of the
countryside. The narrator and his companions feast on its
abundant supplies of water and game. The next womb image,
the blind built by the Wanderobos, exhibits in its making
an advance beyond the geological formation; it requires the
quantitative rearrangement of nature by man. Wanderobo
hands dug the hollow beside the road and placed the twigs
and branches above its sides in an effort to facilitate the
exploitation of another natural resource, the saltlick. In
the rift the range of the hunters is circumscribed to
the fertile shore of Lake Manyara; but with blinds that
can be built in any number and any place, the matrical form
multiplies to answer the needs of the human hunter. The


94
beyond the elder guides capabilities. Therefore, having
equipped his pupil with a working legacy, M'Cola releases
him to the vision of the Wanderobo seated in the front
seat . and lapses into sleep. The narrator, a more
capable agent of life, must answer the demands of the vir
gin land.
The placement of the hunting company in the car reveals
the shifting emphasis in the narrator as he begins to track
the kudu. M'Cola has previously commanded the strategic
position by the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind
and then in the makeshift tent. But now one of the natives
who has brought news of the kudu and sable occupies that
place. The native, a Wanderobo tribesman, flanks the narra
tor in the front seat. It is important to the development
of the narrator, however, that one authority figure not
merely replace another. Consequently, because neither his
personal name nor a nickname is ever given in Part IV, the
Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the
qualities the name of his tribe suggests; when the narrator
ventures into the virgin country, into the unknown, the
qualities of the wanderer/wonderer come to the fore. This
transposition of a Wanderobo for M'Cola indicates the active
realignment going on in the narrator. An intellectual
observer, M'Cola lives apart from the life observed. As
the narrator grows into his full potential as an artist
incorporating Droopy's sensory health and M'Cola's mental


110
These curling, sweeping, spreading growths that rise, turn,
and curve present a dynamic model of lifenot of what life
is, but of how it works.
When the narrator and his party finally enter the vir
gin land and set up camp in the on-coming darkness, they
manage to sight the kudu in record time; "we had not been
gone ten minutes" when the first bull appears. Soon after,
the darkness that circumscribed their hunting to the last
hour of the last day falls, yet brings with it a full night
of feasting:
It was getting cold and the night
was clear and there was the smell
of the roasting meat, the smell of
the smoke of the fire. . Each
man had his own meat or collection
of pieces of meat on sticks stuck
around the fire, they turned them
and tended them, and there was much
talking. (p. 239)
It is fitting that this hunt, more than any other, should
climax in a festival of food. Like the reedbuck before it,
the body of the kudu provides nourishment for the hunters
who have brought down their prey. The kudu is the gift of
the green hills. From the rains that fall yearly the grass
grows and turns the land to green; on that bounty the kudu
feed, and they in turn nourish man. This transformation of
energies, from the plant life of the green hills, to the
grasseating antelope, to the meateating man enacts more
and more complex stages in the mighty chain of earth's


52
"Without his wife."
"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl." (p. 66)
Since the portion of the conversation immediately
preceding this exchange has divulged how another author
learned to write conversation by imitating the narrator,
the quoted lines become a virtuoso display in self-aware
style. No excess description impedes the functioning
of the speech; whatever physical and psychological
action transpires in the scene occurs within the words
themselves. The narrative does not dwell often upon
what might be called domestic scenes. In this one of
the few times it does, it lingers upon the couple alone,
upon these two who have sloughed off "all those people."
Having repudiated the Parisian literati, and deserted for
the evening their fellow travelers, the narrator and P.O.M.
withdraw from the world of society into the world of marriage
The physical space of that world is defined by the walls of
the tent that shelters them in the sleeping camp; the linguis
tic space of that world is defined by the pronoun "we."
In the description of Droopy at the beginning of
Chapter Three the personal pronoun rendered in language
the personal bond between the subject of that description
and the I/eye who described him. So in the conversation
between the narrator and his wife at the end of Chapter
Three, the plural personal pronoun conveys the intimacy
shared by the two conversers. Both speak in terms of


61
these boundaries optically: M'Cola gains in stature as
"Droopy seemed to get much smaller." This change in
physical perspective reflects a change in imaginative
perspective. Having absorbed all Droopy can teach him,
the narrator now looks to the guide who will loom large
in his next steps upon the road.
That road leads from Droopy's country to the rock
wall of Africa's Rift Valley. The narrator returns to
the road after having been thwarted from entering the
heart of the guide's country by a tangle of reeds that
defies the hunting party and forces Droopy to call off the
hunt ("We both felt good because we had made Droopy do
the calling-off and I was relieved as well"). Soon after,
a fine buffalo bull breaks from the thicket and the nar
rator bags him. Back in camp after the kill, planning the
next stretch of the safari, the narrator and Pop question
Droopy about the country just beyond his. "'Well ask
Droopy how the valley is.' Droopy didn't know. ..."
(p. 22). The layout of the land captures the crux of
the matter. Beyond the periphery of his vision, beyond
the borders of his canyonthe Rift Valley is out of
Droopy's country. During the time the guide and his
pupil walk together on the road, Droopy takes the narrator
forward. He gives freely of his special gifts, preparing
the narrator for the future (the reedbuck, an antelope,
foreshadows the more prized kudu, also an antelope).


92
Nowhere is the pervasiveness of this change reflected
more concisely than in the first scene in Part IV. On the
last afternoon of the safari, natives have come to the narra
tor's camp bearing electrifying news: "'He says,' Pop began,
'They have found a country where there are kudu and sable.'"
At this sudden release from what had been thought a doomed
enterprise, the narrator catapults out of the doldrums of
Chapter Eleven ("'I've hunted them hard, Pop. ... I've
enjoyed it and I havent worried up until today'") into the
motion of Chapter Twelve as he heads out to the new, unhunted
country with the natives. But the archetypal landscape sc
central to Part I has been washed by the rains of Part III.
Now as the narrator moves through that landscape in the
first scene of Part IV, three of its major components betray
the effect of that change; the guide, the read, and the
blind have been either destroyed or transformed.
Highly significant is the change effected in the human
component, the guide M'Cola. The figure of the African
guide looms less large as the safari nears its end, declining
from the heroic Droopy to the more fallible M'Cola. By the
time of Part IV, when the narrator abandons the road and the
blind, M'Cola has become only one among a handful of less
commanding figures. The current status of his participation
in the narrator's growth shows itself in the guide's reac
tion to the moment for which they've all waited, when the


23
The three guides who supervise this coincident journey and
healingDroopy, M'Cola, and the Nanderobo of Part IV
present in their approaches to life a pattern of health.
3y placing himself under the mentorship of these three and
incorporating their lessons into his life, the narrator
survives illness and achieves wholeness. The nature of the
guides lessons stems from the death knell sounded in the
opening scene, "It is finished." Among numerous subjects,
the indefinite pronoun "it" refers to the self-reflexive
subject of the crucifixion itself. With the diminishment
of the crucifixion, the mortification of the flesh glori
fied therein also ends. The narrator is an inheritor of
this Christian tradition, as reflected in the diseased
condition of his own body. In order to advance beyond the
defunct tradition of the cross, an individual and cultural
healing must be enacted. A significant trait of the narra
tor's recuperation is that none of the natives guiding the
safari overlap in their authority. This clear division
places great emphasis upon the sequence in which they guide
the narrator. His first steps along the road follow those
of Droopy, from whom he learns the wisdom of the body.
This youngest and most elemental of the guides leads the
narrator in the flashback of Part II from the reedbuck hunt
of Chapter Three to the Rift Valley of Chapter Six. With
the resurgence of sensory health, the narrator next comes
under the sway of the older guide M'Cola, who assumes


19
entirety of the narrative (pp. 17-28) Kandisky is no closer
to making contact with that talent than he was at their
firelit meeting on the road.
After the episode with Kandisky in Chapter One, the
narrator returns to namelessness for the rest of the safari.
As Kandisky's verbal impasse underscores, Green Hills is not
the story of a name, not the story of a known quantity such
as "European organization." The significance of the absence
of names is strengthened by the absence of physical descrip
tion of the narrator in the text. He has been ill with
amoebic dysentery (p. 283); he has scars (p. 53). But for
all the attention paid to the rest of the body, its well
being and functioning, the narrator is as faceless as he is
nameless. Such an absence forces the reader to look not at
the narrator, but through his eyes, to assume his point of
view. The achievement of that point of view is a central
victory of Green Hills of Africa. From the moment the
guide in the blind intones, "It is finished," the reader
inhabits a relativistic world. The validity of any omnis
cient perspective concomitant with a Christian universe
collapses, to be replaced by that of the individual. The
world of Africa's green hills is not the world of an organi
zation man but of the "I" who tells the story of the journey
thereafter. When the artist adopts the view from the blind
over the view from the cross, the heterodox over the ortho
dox, a new story is born as well as a new storyteller. Green


57
his friend Karl. As suggested by the image of the moon
in the rhino hunt, Karl is waning while the narrator
waxes. One way the theme of physical waxing presents
itself is in the narrator's "great appetite." The acts
of eating and drinking afford much pleasure, be the
nourishment a "lunch of cold sliced tenderloin, bread,
and mustard, and a can of plums," or the beer that "was
still cool, from the night and opened by the tin opener
. . creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full-bodied."
As is borne out by the descriptions of the lunch and beer,
great care is taken to set forth in detail the concrete
things of the world, the bounty of the green hills that
sustains the body. Furthermore, the narrator's appetite
extends from the sustaining surplus of the world to the
world itself. Appropriately, a verb of appetite describes
the narrator's desire for the country in which he finds
himself: "New, being in Africa, I was hungry for more
of it."
What the narrator hungers after, and what Droopy
teaches him to find, is "now"through the appetites
of, the immediate demands of, the now of the body. Karl,
the narrator's chief alter ego in Part II, is trapped in
"then"; the compulsion of his intellect to remember a
life across the Atlantic never permits his senses to
experience the "now" of Africa. Revealingiy, Karl does
not enter Droopy's country, does not enter the world of


20
Hills is an I/eye narrative, told by an unknown agent of
untapped possibilities.
The transition from an orthodox to a heterodox world
view is reflected in an important visual element of the
narrative, the twenty-nine illustrations (fourteen of them
two-page spreads) that punctuate the text. Just as there
is no set piece of description about the narrator, so there
is no sketched one. The drawings are characterized by the
careful scrutiny they bring to all their subjects, whether
animal, native, or hunter: the ibis (pp. 88-9, 135) and
hyena (p. 199), Droopy (p. ii) and the old man of Part IV
(p. 245), Pop and P.O.M. at Lake Manyara (pp. 124-5). But
the sketches are particularly valuable in their treatment
of the narrator. There exist no portraits, no closeups
that probe for clues to his "character." Rather than exist
ing as a completed essence before the narrative takes place
the narrator becomes during the unfolding of it. By his
interaction with the phenomenon of Africa, he creates him
self. Given this emphasis on self-realization, the draw
ings reveal much concerning the narrator's valuation of
certain human attributes. For example, the human head, as
the seat of the intelligence, is not isolated from or cele
brated apart from the body. Instead, the drawings present
whole-body silhouettes at a distancethe narrator inte
grated into the landscape (pp. 68-9, 136-7). The green
hills thus presented do not constitute a lost world like


113
addition to the color of the sable, its horns also confirm
its identification with death. The "two great curves
nearly touching the middle of [the sable's] back" duplicate
the dark coloring of the coat. More profoundly, the func
tion of the horns in the survival of the animal is recalled
when the adjective "scimitar-like" compares their arc to a
weapon. Dyed in the signature of mourning and armed with a
death-dealing crest, the sable radiates the energy of death
The thematic and structural ascendancy of the dark
antelope brings into prominence a concern central to the
narrative, the phenomenon of death. One of the safari
guides provides a key insight along these lines in Chapter
Five at the shooting of the water buffalo: "'Kufai' M'Cola
said, making the word for dead almost explosive in its
force." This remarkable pronouncement carries implications
crucial to the narrator's story. Death in Green Hills of
Africa is, as indicated by the verbal expression M'Cola
gives it, an explosive phenomenon. The informing vision of
the narrative conceives destruction to be as dynamic, neces
sary, and valid a part of experience as preservation or
generation. The means with which this concern with death
is most completely worked out is in the image of the modern
day scimitar, the gun, the artifact which delivers this
explosive force into the hands of the hunter. The access
to the power that the gun offers faces each hunter with a
demanding question: how does one exercise this power?


36
"enormous" head, "this dead, head-severed" rhinoKarl
pursues and triumphantly captures the head of heads.
Already skinned, his rhino hangs emptied of all traces
of body. Its quantitative considerations of "size,"
"bulk," and "inches" merit acclaim in the public realm,
a rhino born to adorn some sportsman's wall. But quali
tatively the prize is as hollow as its skin. Lacking
all individuating characteristics (no ticks, moss, or
scars here), the monumental head represents the antithesis
of the narrator's private and personal achievement.
The deadness that typifies Karl's approach to the
hunt is expounded in two similes that appear in the
description of his rhinoceros. Both figures record the
diminution of the rhino's most salient feature, its red
color. In the first instance ("a fresh drop of blood
stood in the corner of one [eye] like a tear"), the color
that flashed so vividly before the narrator's eye from
the hilltop has in this specimen assumed the hue of sorrow.
In fact, the weeping head of "this huge, tear-eyed marvel
of a rhino," framed by a shroud of hide, resembles nothing
so much as a tragic mask. The second simile documents
the scope of this regression. In Karl's rhino, "the hide
. . was as white where it was cut as freshly sliced
coconut." The figure performs a double .function. A food
metaphor, it ironically describes a creature whose pursuer
cannot feed upon his kill. Karl's incapacity to utilize


32
in all its immediacy and uniqueness. Just as they did
in the procession of natives along the road in Part I,
artifacts play an integral role in the events of the
rhino hunt. The impulse that brings the narrator down
from his hillside seat to the side of the rhino aligns
him as closely with the binoculars by which he first
discerned the animal as with the gun that felled it. This
emphasis on the instrument of sight gives equal import
to the narrator's role as artist: in the act of learning
to focus, to distinguish the individual from the herd,
the eye of the creator undergoes substantial refinement.
One of the details revealed under the narrator's
scrutiny of the rhino concerns the animal's physical
condition; its hide is "scarred with a badly healed horn
wound that the birds had pecked at." Besides identifying
this rhino as one of the battling males viewed from the
hill, the scars also mark the narrator's prize as no
perfect specimen, but rather as a participant in and
veteran of the conflicts of the world. In addition to
rejecting an other-worldly standard of perfection, the
physical state of the rhino bears witness to the animal's
mortality. Once the Christian promise of immortality dies,
the question for the existential wanderer/wonderer
becomes how to live in and with the consequences of the
world. That this is the lesson on which the narrator
is embarked is substantiated by his own likeness to the


travels upon, which is equated with the inventive, forward-
thrusting urge in mankind. The road takes the narrator's
steps through a succession of archetypal matrical forms:
the Rift Valley, the hunting blind, and the ground cloth
tent. An overview reveals that these shapes constitute
advances in man's relationship to the earth. From the pri
mordial chasm, to the quantitatively-shaped hollow, to the
qualitatively-transformed cotton shelter, the earth proves
responsive to man-as-maker.
Just as the African earth dynamically structures the
narrative with its shapes, so do the major animals of the
safari with the patterns of their horns. For example, the
narrator hunts the more elemental rhinoceros, whose "horn"
is merely a fleshy extension of its nose, when he himself
is embroiled in the functionings of the body. The series
of antelope encountered in the course of the safari--the
reedbuck, eland, oryx, water buckplay prologue to the
most intricate of all the horned game, the kudu and the
sable. In a closing examination, these two animals are
considered as aesthetic phenomena. The pair together cli
max the narrator's imaginative vision. In the extraordin
ary forms of their horns, the narrator sees the workings of
the life process itself, the spiralling helix of the kudu
evoking the evolutionary thrust of generation, the scimitar
curve of the sable, the inevitable and necessary consequence
of death.
vi


PART IV
IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION
The Form in the Landscape
The advent of the rainy season entails a time of great
transition for the land of Africa, from the smallest guinea
to the largest elephant. The present of the narrative is
lived on the crest of a mounting wave of change, which
breaks over the landscape in the onslaught of rain. As
depicted in these pivotal four days between the dry and
rainy seasons, the world the narrator lives in is charac
terized above all by flux. The physical reaction of the
earth to the inundating waters indicates the nature of such
change. One immediate consequence is, of course, the rust
that eats at the metal of the narrator's gun; another is the
flooded saltlick. Both chemical decomposition and struc
tural damage bear witness to the destructive facet of the
process of change. But while the rain causes decay in the
present, it simultaneously prepares the continent for future
renewal. These seasonal rains supply the forward-looking
factor in the landscape of Green Hills of Africa; their
waters insure for the coming year the very greenness of the
hills. As evidenced in these multiple, co-existent perspec
tives, rain as the agent of change brings both corrosion
and generation to the continent of Africa.
91


49
his occupation, his art, as "a fine hunter and a beautiful
tracker." He must bring his physical prowess, his intimacy
with land and game, and above all his trained eye to the
task at hand. Be it blood spoor in the high grass, rhino
track in the mud, or buffalo droppings in the rocks, to
assure successand survivalthe tracker must find the
pattern in the earth.
A patterned being in a world of pattern, Droopy inhabits
an aesthetic universe. As has each of the makers in that
line from which he steps, Droopy molds with his hands a form,
in his case the body--his own and those of his world. The
narrator receives a major lesson in the art of the body from
Droopy when he shoots a reedbuck in Chapter Three. Delineat
ing the roles of novice and teacher, the passage is phrased
as a lesson. The only animal taken in that chapter, the
buck appears when Droopy and the narrator hunt alone.
After succeeding in his wish "to make a shot to impress
Droopy," the narrator displays his skill with the reedbuck,
limited chiefly to dissection:
Once bled, I started to open him,
with the little knife, still showing
off to Droopy, and emptying him
neatly took out the liver, cut away
the gall, and laying the liver on a
hummock of grass, put the kidneys
beside it. (p. 54)
After viewing this demonstration, Droopy then takes his
turn, transforming the carcass from mere pieces of meat
into a tour de force of utility:


30
between the two is established in several ways, beginning
with numbers: a lead rhino followed by a herd of three
mirrors the pioneering white hunter Pop and his American
hunting party. In addition, in a Part whose chief action
derives from conflict between two hunters, the animals
they pursue are the only beasts in the entire safari to
be observed fighting, and fighting between themselves
at that. By the parallel thus set up between men and
beasts, the "two [rhino] that fought, tinily, in the
glasses" place the ongoing competition between the nar
rator and Karl squarely within the context of a territo
rial btele between two dominant males.
The rhinoceros emerges as vital from its very first
appearance, trotting vigorously out onto the hill and
flashing vividly before the narrator's eye, "red-colored
in the sun." Red, the color of blood, of animal life,
distinguishes the rhino throughout the hunt. But even
more important is the source of that color. To P.O.M.'s
query, "What makes them so red?," Pop replies, "Rolling
in the mud." The narrator's rhino, too, shows "muddy
red." Thus the rhino wallows in the matrix of the earth,
absorbing its coloration and energy from an earthly,
i
not a celestial, origin.'1' And the pursuers of the rhino
are imbued with the same vigor as the game. Much is
made back in camp after the rhino sighting about the


LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED
Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York:
Bantam Books, 1969.
. Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. Princeton
Princeton University Press, 1952.
(ed.) Hemingway and His Critics. New York:
Hill and Wang, 1961.
Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1935.
Kouwenhoven, John A. The Arts in Modern American Civiliza
tion. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1948.
. The Beer Can by the Roadway: Essays on What
is American About America. Garden City: Doubleday, 1961
Nahal, Chaman. The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's
Fiction. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971.
Robbe-Grillet, Alain. For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction.
Translated by Richard Howard. New York: Grove Press,
Inc., 1965.
Robinson, W.R. "Frederic Henry's Individualist Art: The Form
of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms," unpublished
MS. University of Florida, 1975.
Scholes, Robert and Kellogg, Robert. The Nature of Narrative
London: Oxford University Press, 1966.
Stevens, Wallace. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and
the Imagination. New York: Vintage Books, 1942.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richard
son and Fielding. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1957.
121


46
encountered earlier in the narrative, the line of the
westward migration upon the road: "Some were naked except
for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried
bows and sealed Quivers of arrows. Others carried spears.
Droopy's costume places him squarely among these bearers
of artifacts and culture; it is as if he has stepped out
of the procession to walk with the new hunter on the road
for a time. In addition to dress, another of the guide's
traits attracts the narrator; the native is "about thirty-
five, I should think." The interjection of the narrative
first person into this particular detail indicates its
importance; of all the participants on the safari, Droopy
alone is the same age as the narrator.^ This sharing of
time in their personal lives, as emphasized by the
personal pronoun, underscores the affinity between the
handsome hunter and the I/eye who regards him. The
time of Droopy portends a propitious time for the
narrator.
In Part II Droopy presides at the initial sighting
and subsequent downing of the narrator's rhinoceros:
"[MCola] and I [were] huntinq toqether and Droopy in
command of the show." The result of that show, the rhino
with its commanding features of physical size and bulk,
indicates the values of the guide presiding over its
mastery. In the growth of the narrator, Droopy serves
as a guide to the body. Droopys own body initiates


71
influence of Karl, the mind revolvincr, dies in the dust of
of the plain. His blind proves a tomb. M'Cola, on the
other hand, partakes of the waters of Lake Manyara along
with the narrator and so survives to be one of the "we"
who gestate in the roadside blind. The image of the mind
that emerges in the figure of this guide presents an alter
native to the alienation rampant in Karl.
The progression from sensory development at the hands
of Droopy to mental development under the auspices of M'Cola
is presented as part of the narrator's process of maturation.
The ages of the respective guides correspond to the sequence
of the stages; the narrator learns the lessons of the body
from the younger Droopy, the lessons of the mind from the
older M'Cola. Their individual chronologies parallel the
panoramic chronology of the road image; Droopy walks the
length of his country barefoot, while M'Cola, more versed
in artifacts, goes shod. The narrator's maturation is also
framed in terms of vision. Prior to being born from the
blind, the narrator is taught by Droopy, gifted with dis
cerning, but earthbound, eyes. Droopy's successor, M'Cola,
raises his eyes to the level of human interaction, to the
larger scope of the world. When the narrator wakes to the
world outside the blind, he is born with M'Cola at his side,
the direct beneficiary of that guide's special vision.
M'Cola's unique appearance bears out his role as a
model of the mind. In the descriptive passages that begin


103
"bloody," appears on practically every page of the text.
Such wholehearted adoption of the word by the American narra
tor, in the face of normal restraint, demands attention.
"Bloody," of course, operates as a profane intensive; but
at one and the same time the prolific term is also a heart
word. When the narrator hunts kudu through "bloody Africa,"
he tracks the sign of the heart across the domain of the
heart.
The American hunter finally meets his elusive prey in
the virgin country that opens up Chapter Twelve. On the
last afternoon of the safari's last day, just when he has
almost resigned himself to defeat, suddenly comes news of
the spotting of the kudu. It is as if a hole opens sudden
ly in what had been a closed universe and the narrator
shoots through into the universe of change and chance in
Part IV. Initially the narrator brings with him the weight
of preconceptions from Part III ("my exhiliration died with
the stretching out of this plain, the typical poor game
country"), but the land surprises him as he moves on into
the veritable explosion of green that burgeons before him:
The grass was green and smooth, short
as a meadow that has been mown and is
newly grown, and the trees were big,
high-trunked, and old with no under
growth but only the smooth green of the
turf like a deer park. . (p. 217)
"Putting-green smoothness," "this green valley"the virgin
land is hallmarked by fertility, both vegetative and animal.


93
narrator and. his party strike out for the kudu and the vir
gin land in the first scene of Chapter Twelve. From the
front seat the narrator "looked around at the back of the
car. M'Cola was asleep."
The sleeping guide has fulfilled the potential resi
dent within him from his first appearance in the narrative.
From the moment M'Cola raises his "bald black skull" and
displays the "thin Chinese hairs at the corners of his
mouth," his exterior is always cast in Oriental terms. The
ethnic imagery, reinforced by his geographical duties as
guide, serves as a constant visual reminder that above all
this guide helps to orient the narrator within the world.
When in Part III the American pupil internalizes the accept
ing, appreciative viewpoint held toward the world by his
African mentor, he is then provided with the means to relate
to that world. The vision of the Oriental African furnishes
an internal gyroscope for his pupil, permitting sure move
ment in a world increasingly fluid. The need for such
ability becomes paramount when the hunting party separates
from the rest of the safari and deserts the road, directing
their car toward parts unknown. As the party ventures out,
M'Cola takes a backseat and closes his eyes in sleep. In
the blind and along the road, the black countenance has
always acknowledged and valued the world passing before it,
but now it closes itself to the world, its faculties in
suspension. The new land M'Cola travels generates demands


PART III
THE MIND IN THE WORLD
The Guide M'Cola
As the narrator waits at the side of the road in the
first scene of Green Hills of Africa/ another figure also
crouches with him in the roadside blind. That figure, the
guide M'Cola, has come to the fore in the pivotal shift of
perspective from the sensory to the intellectual in the
flashback of Part II. This shift is signaled by the chang
ing prominence of the native guides: when the more elemental
Droopy leads the safari to the border of his country and can
then go no farther, the more knowledgeable M'Cola emerges as
the dominant African. M'Cola's importance is indicated by
the position of prominence he holds at the narrator's side,
first in the roadside blind and then when the narrative
returns to the present time of Part III. The narrative shift
in emphasis, and the consequent rise of M'Cola, bears direct
ly upon the American hunters on the safari. As previously
discussed, the blind the narrator and M'Cola occupy in Part
I and the one Karl shoots from in Part II function as arche
typal womb/tombs. Karl's hunt should rightfully climax his
search for kudu, but instead the blind that cradles him
labors and brings forth only the freak kudu head. The
70


50
Now he was going to show me some
thing. Skillfully he slit open
the stomach and turned it inside,
tripe side, out, emptying the grass
in it on the ground, shook it, then
put the liver and kidneys inside it
and with the knife cut a switch
from the tree the buck lay under
and sewed the stomach together with
the withe so that the tripe made a
bag to carry the other delicacies in.
Then he cut a pole and put- the bag
on the end of it, running it through
the flaps, and put it over his
shoulder. . .(p. 54)
Under Droopy's tutelage, the narrator discovers the
plasticitv of the body. Unlike Karl's rhinceros, a shell
destined for public display upon a wall, the reedbuck at
Droopy's touch becomes an object of protean possibility,
magically transmuting from one state to another as inside
becomes out, organs become containers, consumer becomes
nourishment. To an even more emphatic degree than the
rhinoceros, the reedbuck carries no public or cultural
significance; its lesson for the narrator is strictly
personal
An intrinsic part of this lesson, the coalescing of
the arts of hunting and writing, clearly comprises the
central event of the reedbuck incident. The tool with
which the narrator must dress the carcass is a penknife
("Droopy had no skinning knife and I had only a penknife
to stick him with"). Since this particular artifact was
first used in the maintainance of quill pens, its double
function as an instrument of writing and of hunting


38
and missed, and why didn't he get any
letters, what did the guide say kongoni
for that time, they did, he knew they
did, but he said nothing of all that,
only, "Whatever you say," a little
desperately. (p. 62)
This paragraph delineating Karl's thoughts upon the
hunting he has just concluded stands out in the narrative
for, except for the use of the third person point of view,
the passage is an interior monologue, the only one of
its kind in the book. By its structure, that of an
essentially one-sentence paragraph, the monologue traces
the activity of a "mind . revolving."
Firearms, of course, constitute as necessary a part
of the safari's equipment as vehicles and tents and,
like the other elements, contribute to the imagistic
richness of the hunt. On at least three separate occasions
in the journey through Africa, the double-barreled shot-
cfun and the Springfield rifle owned by the narrator figure
decisively in crucial turning points of the narrator's
journey. However, the gun suggested in Karl's monologue
("His mind was bitterly revolving eight blank days") is
the first to introduce firearm imagery. That suggested
weapon, the revolver, draws attention to itself and to
Karl because, unlike the larger shotgun and rifle, it
is not a standard hunting instrument. As a metaphor this
particular gun illuminates the dynamics of the mind of
the hunter. The revolver connotes action that is circular


69
'Poor old darling.' She stroked my
head.
'What did you say to him?' I was
lying with my face away from her. I
did not want to see her.
'Sent him for champagne. He loves to
go for champagne.'
Then later: 'Do you feel better, dar
ling? Is the head any better?
'It's better.'
'Lie quiet. He's gone to the other
side of town.'
Again the mysterious interpolation 'Then
later.' What does it signify? What has
happened meanwhile? Why is Jake's head
suddenly 'better' now? Hemingway has
preferred to leave this part of the narra
tion an enigma, for perhaps he was not
quite sure in his mind whether to give
expression to what he wanted to convey
or not. Alternatively, he may not have
been sure in advance of the limit to
which Jake's privation would take him.
But it seems certain that during this
scene Jake receives and Brett gives him
a perverted sexual satisfaction. Such
satisfaction has been the subject of
literature earlier. But the solicitude
with which Hemingway presents the theme,
and also how he projects it more as a
necessity of the moment or the circum
stances in question than as a variation
willfully contrived, speak of his crafts
manship.
. . In the stillness of the moment, both
Jake and Brett see the uncommon and the
unthinkable as their present demanda
demand which comes with an insistence
and compels obedience. The simple adverb
'then,' repeated a little later as 'then
later,' shows the fulfillment of that urge,
while the forward action of the novel is
at a standstill."
d
Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Heming
way's Fiction (Rutherford; Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971}, p. 85.


81
Suddenly in the country of rain there is a refuge, affording
warmth and nourishment:
I undressed, got into mosquito boots
and heavy pyjamas and sat on the cot,
ate a breast of roast guinea hen and
drank a couple of tin cups of half
whiskey and water. (p. 181)
This new form that arises abruptly from the drowned road
side fulfills the missing element of the inaugural land
scape. The waters have obliterated the "hollow half full of
ashes and dust"; in the form of the tent they have caused
to be created a womb of canvas.
The newly-realized enclosure provides the space for the
events that transpire that night. Preparing to sleep in the
tent, the narrator directs M'Cola:
"You sleep here. Out of the rain," I
pointed to the canvas where the rain
was making the finest sound that we,
who live much outside of houses, ever
hear. It was a lovely sound, even
though it was bitching us.
. . I woke when I heard M'Cola come
in, make his bed and go to sleep, and
I woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me. . (p. 182)
The first night of the present time in Green Hills of Africa,
M'Cola takes the narrator into his world. Master and novice
mold themselves to the contours of the roadside blind, accom
panied by the two cumbersome natives. The second night
reprises the physical proximity of narrator and guide as
they sat side-by-side. But the night in the tent also marks
a more profound closeness; this time it is the narrator who


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted
as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
June 1930
Dean, Graduate School


43
night and were back in the forest
in the morning before it was light,
or that they winded us, or heard
the men, and were simply shy and
kept in the forest, or what was it?
Me putting out the theories, Pop
pricking them with his wit, some
times considering them from polite
ness, sometimes with interest, like
the one about the moon. (pp. 74-5)
The image of the moon in the narrators speculations regard
ina rhino behavior also contains the crux of the human
behavior. Two processes are going on in Part II: the
narrator, as he learns of the world and the body, is
waxing; his counterpart Karl is waning. The gradual slough
ing off of Karl and the values he embraces is accomplished
verbally and visibly. Suggestions of obsolescence cluster
about Karl throughout tne course of Part II. "Old Karl,"
"Good old Karl," "old Karl," "old Karl" mark the hunter's
decline. Eis appearance also bodes ill: "Karl was thin
now, his skin sallow, his eyes very tired looking and he
seemed a little desperate." From his first steps into
camp, Karl steadily atrophies. While reaping one
external trophy after another, he withers internally,
over the course of seven chapters growing "steadily
gloomier," "tired," "pale and gaunt looking," "tired"--
a descent which climaxes in the narrator's diagnosis,
"I dont think he's well now."
The waning of Karl augurs an adjustment in the
Western psyche, a bringing into proportion of one facet


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47
this role. The native possesses a naturally attractive
face and physique; in addition, he boasts tribal scars,
"handsome ones beside his cheekbones and others, symmetrical
and decorative, on his chest and belly." As they do in
the description of his scars, the words "handsome" and
"beautiful" keynote Droopy's appearance on the safari,
being applied to him by men and women alike, and even
italicized at times (p. 64). Thus, as confirmed by
the narrator's visual scrutiny and by the verbal approba
tions, throughout Droopy's time in the hunt people respond
to him first and foremost as an aesthetic phenomenon.
The unique character of his beauty indicates his
importance to the narrator. Droopy's patterned skin
evidences a concern with the surface and the visual.
It constitutes an explicit recognition and glorification
of the body and its image, nature enhanced at the hands
of man.
As do ail the guides, Droopy serves in two capacities,
guiding the narrator/hunter through the country of Africa
and the narrator/artist through the terrain of art. It
is vital to the workings of the narrative that these two
functions issue from the same source, that what makes good
hunting makes good art. During the rhino hunt, the
narrator learns from Droopy that art and action are one
and the same. Looking beautiful, functioning beautifully,
the African completely integrates the two. He admits no


29
sighting of the rhino. The place and the manner by which
it enters the narrative indicate the importance of this
animal: the rhino are sighted from the first green hill
in Green Hills of Africa ("we . climbed, sweating, the
small, steep hill on the right to sit there with our backs
against the hilltop and glass the . green, pleasant
country"), and their entrance is described strictly within
the language of a vision. Prohibited by distance and rough
terrain from physical contact, permitted access only by
"the glasses" that are so carefully mentioned in three of
the four sentences of this passage, the narrator can contact
the game only as an image, only aesthetically. So, in
this, the maiden hunt of the longest section of the book,
a hunt described as "fine" even though no game is taken,
the narrator sits atop the first green hill of his story
and conceives a vision that ripples outward to touch the
entire course of events in Part II.
Details of the four rhino glimpsed from the hill
substantiate the comprehensiveness of this vision. In
the rhino hunt, inner and outer realities work together;
the rhino objectifies outwardly the inner state of its
pursuers. The dynamics of the narrative are generated by
a finely-hcned correspondence between the men and the
animals they pursue: the characteristics and behavior
of the sought-after illuminate subtly yet profoundly the
desires and drives of the seekers. The correspondence


41
and this American abound. The personal situation of each
man includes a present lack of wife, job, and home; Karl's
name mimics Kandisky's in its Germanic spelling; and both
men indulge in aesthetic forms concomitant with verbal
man, conversation in Kandisky's case and the unspoken
soliloquy in Karl's. The extent and import of the link
between these two men becomes even clearer in the chronology
of Green Hills. One recalls that Part II, "Pursuit Re
membered," is told as a flashback. Therefore Karl's foray
into the hills (of which we see only the return) and
Kandisky's journey along the road (of which we see only
the end) coincide. The narrative concerns itself with
Karl and his story when the Western man consummate in
Kandisky holds sway.
Karl, of all the hunting party, most resembles the
narrator in age, sex, and skill, and the groundwork for
his function as an alter ego is laid out early in the
narrator's observation of the two male rhinos locked in
territorial combat upon the green hill. The outcome of
the battle between the verbal values Karl espouses and
the visual ones the narrator is learning rides with
these respective champions; the American soul wrestles
with itself as its two sons engage in a contest cf such
consequence that the very earth is riven between them.
The quest for dominance appears most blatantly in
the politics of the hunt when the two hunters scrupulously


64
of the Rift Valley Karl inherits is the ashes and dust
the tomb. The hunter experiencing this inner deterioration
soon finds a memento mori among the hunted. The last night
in Part II, Karl brings in
a very strange and unfortunate kudu.
Only the skin running from the eyes
down to the nostrils, smooth gray
and delicately marked with white,
and the big, graceful ears were
beautiful. The eyes were already
dusty and there were flies around
them and the horns were heavy,
coarse, and instead of spiralling
high they made a heavy turn and
slanted straight out. It was a
freak head, heavy and ugly. (p. 173)
The tremendous wrenchinq necessary to the formation
of the Rift Valley hints at the magnitude of the narrator's
split with his friend and alter ego. The rift heralds
a realignment at the core of the narrator, as the intellec
tual ism espoused by Karl is rejected. The part of the
narrator most like Karl wanes along with that hunter.
For the first time on the safari, the narrator is suddenly
addressed as "Old Timer," "the old man, and "Old Hem"
all on the evening before and the evening of Karl's
capture of the misshapen kudu head. But as the head dies,
so the body is born. Having travelled through Droopy's
country and absorbed the lessons there, the narrator is
open to the revitalizing powers of Lake Manyara. His
stalking through the hummocks and canals while birdshooting
is climaxed by an abrupt fall into the lake: "you slip


56
A "canyon [that] ran down to the Rift Valley, seeming
to narrow at the far end where it cut through the wall of
the rift," constitutes Droopy's arena of action. As would
be expected in the case of the native who has acted as
a guide to the body, Droopy's country abounds in physical
proliferation, from the lushness of its vegetation ("the
trees were heavy and tall and the floor of the canyon,
that from above had been a narrow gash, opened to a forest-
banked stream"), to the superabundance of game. In their
search for water buffalo the hunting party are confronted
at almost every turn with prize rhino specimen, which in
every case turn out to be cows accompanied by one, if not
two, calves. The reproductive activity attested to by this
display pervades not only plants and animals in Droopy's
country, but men as well.
Throughout his tutelage to Droopy, the narrator has
been undergoing a regeneration, of which his sojourn in
the canyon marks only an intensification. Prior to the
time of the narrative the American hunter had been ill,
but now he
. . had that pleasant feeling of
getting stronger every day. I was
underweight, had a great appetite
for meat, and could eat all I wanted
without feeling stuffy. Each day
I sweated out whatever we drank
sittina at the fire. . .(p. 55)
The regeneration of this American coincides with the
degeneration of the other American hunter on the safari,


THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA
By
SUSAN LYNN DRAKE
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO
THE UNIVERSITY
THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF FLORIDA
OF
IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF
DEGREE OF DOCTOR
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
OF PHILOSOPHY
THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
198 0

Bound by DOBBS BROS. LIBRARY BINDING CO., INC., St. Augustine, Florida
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ABSTRACT iv
PART I LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS i
The Form in the Landscape i
The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European.. 11
The View from the Blind: The Narrator 18
Notes to Part I 26
PART II LIVING IN THE FLESH 27
The Narrator's Rhinoceros 27
Karl' s Rhinoceros. 34
The Time of Droopy 45
Droopy's Country 55
Notes to Part II 68
PART III THE MIND IN THE WORLD 70
The Guide M'Cola... 7 0
M'Cola's Country 7 6
Beyond M'Cola 83
PART IV IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION . 91
The Form in the Landscape .... 91
The Sign of the Heart 99
The Kudu and the Sable 105
Notes to Part IV 120
LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 121
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH... 122
1X1

Abstract of Dissertation Presented
to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA
3y
Susan Lynn Drake
June 1980
Chairman: W.R. Robinson
24ajor Department: English
The Foreword which opens Green Hills of Africa pro
poses the narrator's attempt therein to present "the shape
of a country and the pattern of a month's action." Taking
direction from this declaration, this analysis pursues a
formalist concern with "shape" and "pattern throughout
the narrative. An examination of the opening images of the
work reveals twentieth century Western man at a cultural
crossroads, presented with two views of the world. One,
the orthodox view from the cross, glorifies the urge to
transcend the earth, to be above its processes. The alter
native is the heterodox view from the (hunting) blind, whic
acknowledges and accepts the earth in which existential man
must live. The Christian option being found bankrupt, tine
narrator chooses the secular perspective. From then on,

his journey through Africa articulates the process by
which he heals himself of the tradition of the cross and
proceeds to create his own story as an individual.
The shapes and patterns of the African safari supply
the means by which the narrator's journey is recounted:
the guides, the companions, the topography, and the animals.
Three native guides conduct separate segments of the safari's
travels, segments which correspond to distinct phases in the
narrator's growth. The first guide schools his American
pupil in the wisdom of the body, rhe second in the lessons
of the mind, and the third in the powers of the imagination.
The combination of these three facetsthe sensory, the
intellectual, and the creativeis seen to produce a whole
ness that enables the narrator-as-artist to eventually write
the account of his journey: Green Hills of Africa.
The two American companions, the narrator's wife P.O.M.
and his friend Karl, function as indicators of their hus
band and friend's progress under the guides. Each repre
sents a different part of the narrator's psyche, acting as
an alter ego. The companions emerge into the foreground of
the story when the values clustered about them are active in
the narrator, and recede when those values lessen.
The native guides and the American companions move
against the background of a landscape whose prevailing forms
relate the narrator's story on an archetypal level. The
most dominant topographical feature is the road the safari
v

travels upon, which is equated with the inventive, forward-
thrusting urge in mankind. The road takes the narrator's
steps through a succession of archetypal matrical forms:
the Rift Valley, the hunting blind, and the ground cloth
tent. An overview reveals that these shapes constitute
advances in man's relationship to the earth. From the pri
mordial chasm, to the quantitatively-shaped hollow, to the
qualitatively-transformed cotton shelter, the earth proves
responsive to man-as-maker.
Just as the African earth dynamically structures the
narrative with its shapes, so do the major animals of the
safari with the patterns of their horns. For example, the
narrator hunts the more elemental rhinoceros, whose "horn"
is merely a fleshy extension of its nose, when he himself
is embroiled in the functionings of the body. The series
of antelope encountered in the course of the safari--the
reedbuck, eland, oryx, water buckplay prologue to the
most intricate of all the horned game, the kudu and the
sable. In a closing examination, these two animals are
considered as aesthetic phenomena. The pair together cli
max the narrator's imaginative vision. In the extraordin
ary forms of their horns, the narrator sees the workings of
the life process itself, the spiralling helix of the kudu
evoking the evolutionary thrust of generation, the scimitar
curve of the sable, the inevitable and necessary consequence
of death.
vi

PART I
LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS
The Form in the Landscape
We were sitting in the blind that
Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs
and branches at the edge of the salt
lick when we heard the truck coming.
At first it was far away and no one
could tell what the noise was. Then
it moved slowly nearer, unmistakable
now, louder and louder until, agoni
zing in a clank of loud irregular
explosions, it passed close behind us
to go on up the road. The theatrical
one of the two trackers stood up.
"It is finished," he said.
I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.
"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide.l
In The Nature of Narrative Robert Scholes and Robert
Kellogg observe that "in Western narrative . the hetero
dox or personal symbol system has . tended to replace
the orthodox." One particular Western narrative, Green
Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway, grapples with just such
a replacement, documenting the death of the "orthodox" world
view and heralding the coming of the "heterodox." Such a
transition is accomplished on every level of the work, gener-
ically, imagistically, stylistically. And it is all gener
ated by the first scene of the narrative.

2
The larger background for this scene augurs a time of
momentous change, for Green Hills is set in a continent in
motion. The African locale of the narrative is caught up
in a natural turmoil, the imminent onslaught of the rainy
season ("the rains were moving north each day from Rhodesia").
This natural upheaval triggers in turn a social one, the
migration of peoples along routes away from the danger ("all
along the road we passed groups of people making their way
to the v/estward"). It is against a backdrop of change on
continental, seasonal, and populational proportions that
the narrative opens. The subsequent story grows out of the
seed of the opening landscape. The narrator and hunting
party have left their car to sit, waiting for game, in a
blind beside the road. As they wait, another--failingvehi
cle passes along the road. Its movement inspires one of the
party to his feet, arms outstretched and mouth open. The
elements of the vignette are few and stark, yet they reso
nate through the narrative: the road, the blind, the two
vehicles, the figure that stands cruciate over the blind
and the figure that curls within its cavity. This crucial
conjunction of forms enacts that moment of great transition
when the narrator of Green Hills-the heterodox individual
is born, and a new world with him. It constitutes the cen
tral act of the narrative.
The story the narrator cf Green Hills tells is that of
change, and the manner in which he tells his story reflects

3
his subject. In the introductory essay to Hemingway and
His Critics, Carlos Baker narrows Scholes and Kellogg's
observation about the decline of the orthodox and the ascen
dancy of the heterodox symbol system in Western literature
to its more specific application at the hands of Hemingway:
He seems early to have rejected the
arbitrary importation of symbols which
are not strictly germane to the action
at hand. . Instead of ransacking
other arts and literatures for viable
symbols, he chose rather to allow the
object or scene or person whose function
was to be symbolic to gather its meanings
through a process of association strict
ly within the terms of the ongoing narra
tive. 3
This method characterizes all facets of the creative pro
cess at work in Green Hills of Africa: by permitting an
object to "gather its meanings" only by the progress of the
narrative, the narrator implements on the imagistic plane
the story of movement he is telling on ail other planes.
The method by which such an object accrues value may be
observed in that primal image which winds its way through
the green hills, the road.
The procession of people passing along its length
designates the road as a thoroughfare for life:
[A]11 along the road we passed groups
of people making their way to the
westward. Some were naked except for
a greasy cloth knotted over one shoul
der, and carried bows and sealed quivers
of arrows. Others carried spears. The
wealthy carried umbrellas and wore draped
white cloth and their women walked behind
them,with their pots and pans. Bundles
and loads of skins were scattered along
ahead on the heads of other natives. All
were travelling away from the famine, (pp. 34-5)

4
The westward migration is no indistinguishable press of
humanity. The diversity of nationalities and cultures pres
ent in the scene affords a panoramic display of civiliza
tion, incorporating advances from near-nakedness to umbrel
las, from primitive arms to household accoutrements, from
single hunters to family entourages. The people who precede
the narrator on the road have made their contributions to
the story of the Westthe repetition of the verb "carry"
constantly evokes the human hands that skinned the pelt,
shaped the pot, wove the cloth. By this array of progres
sively more sophisticated artifacts, the road achieves a
temporal, evolutionary function. The linkage of the road
to time and change illuminates the narrator's relationship
to the scene. Like the people of the procession, he reveals
an affinity for the road: "watching the road, the people,
and all clearings in the bush for game," he, too, drives to
the westward. Like the Wanderobo hunters whose footsteps
he follows, like the stream of people he joins, the narrator
is a hunter, a wanderer/wonderer in the story of the West.
Clearly, whether they be physical implements for modifying
the environment or intellectual ones for structuring communal
interaction, the narrator inhabits a world of inherited forms.
The point at which Green Hills of Africa openswith its
first word the sweeping, all-inclusive "We" picks up the
story of twentieth century Western man. It designates the
point when the narrator enters the story of the road, the

5
moment at which he joins the procession of man-as-maker and
accepts the challenge to shape his own form.
It is along this crucial stretch of road that the
sweeping dimensions of the change engaging Green Hills are
delineated. As the narrator waits for game beside the road,
a truck "moved slowly nearer . until, agonizing in a
clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed close behind
us to go on up the road." Later, as the hunting party
return to camp in the narrator's car, their hunting spoiled
by the vehicle's passage,
we saw a big fire and as we came up
and passed, I made out a truck beside
the road. I told [the driver] to stop
and go back and as we backed into the
firelight there was a short, bandy
legged man with a Tyroler hat, leather
shorts, and an open shirt standing
before an un-hooded engine. . (p. 6)
The pattern traced out in the opening sequence by the narra
tor's car and the "agonizing" lorry enacts in miniature the
larger change transpiring in the narrative. The first
major topographical image in Green Hills, the road, serves
as an indicator of human invention. Hence vehicles, as
human inventions, travel forward upon the road to the degree
that they manifest the progressive impulse of the road. Ve
hicles are always present in Green Hills of Africa, even in
the farthest reaches of the virgin land in Part IV (p. 225).
But though other cars and trucks of the motor safari merit
reference, more attention is reserved for the narrator's

6
car, and most of that at this initial stretch of road. This
short span of sandy tracks marks the only overlap of the
journeys of the car and the lorry. The soundness of one
vehicle and the debility of the other is laid out in the
topography and chronology of the scene: in a finely choreo
graphed maneuver, the younger narrator (having advanced
beyond the lorry), must back up in order to reach the immo
bile vehicle of the older driver.
In the dynamics of the road, movement signals growth
while immobility indicates depletion. As enacted in their
pas de deux, the overlapping withand then the surpassing
ofthe lorry by the narrator's car signals the disfunction
of the values associated with the former vehicle and the
emergence of new values concomitant with the latter. The
identification of these values is established by the "pro
cess of association" Carlos Baker notes. In the instance
of the vehicles, their associations are accomplished by
masterful employment of the tool of juxtaposition. A.s the
hunting party crouches in the blind, the disabled lorry
passes by on the road:
The theatrical one of the two trackers
stood up.
"It is finished," he said.
I put my hand to my mouth and motioned
him down.
"It is finished," he said again and
spread his arms wide. (pp. 2-3)
The juxtaposition of the guide's speech with the traffic on

the road provides the vital mechanism of this scene. Most
fruitful is the indefinite reference of the pronoun in the
guides speech. This linguistic leeway enables "It" to
function in a multiplicity of ways. The most obvious re
ferent for "Tt" is the kudu hunting, which the truck has
just spoiled. But the careful coinciding of the guide's
outburst with the passage of the vehicle also allows "It"
to refer to the truck itself. The lorry is certainly as
"finished" as the hunting. Soon after passing the narrator,
the lorry ends its agonizing journey beside the road. The
vehicle fails not because its body gives out but because
its engineits working centeris no longer valid. "Do
you think it could be the timer? It sounded as though it
might be a timing knock when you went past us," the narrator
volunteers. Given the temporal context of the road, this
diagnosis of problems with time and change pinpoints exact
ly the ailment of the lorry. A means of forward motion
that once was operable is not now, emitting what its driver,
the European Kandisky, calls "that noise of death inside."
The values associated with the vehicle are thus labeled
anachronistic. Among all the vehicles on the safari, the
truck Kandisky drives is specified as a "lorry," one of the
two Briticisms prevalent in the narrative and a term reserved
in the main for this particular vehicle. This European
identity is reinforced by the loyalties of the lorry's
driver, a man who boasts "I represent European organization."

8
To the European identity is added a Christian one as well,
by the allusion of both the words and the posture of the
guide to the dying Christ on the cross ("'It is finished,'
he said . and spread his arms wide."). The echo by the
lorry driver of "It is finished" ("That lorry is finished")
seals the identification with the crucifix. Thus, "It"
(European civilization), "It" (the religion that fueled
that civilization)all the "It"s associated with the truck
are finished. The vehicle comes to rest off the road, its
weight to be hauled away, corpse-like, by a truck from the
safari.
The eclipse of the lorry by the car depicts the tran
sition from a Christian to a secular world. Again, the
indefinite reference in the guide's speech provides the
means for such a conclusion. Lacking a stated reference,
the pronoun "It" may also be self-reflexive, referring to
the allusion itself the guide presents. Put so, the self
reflexive pronoun turns the guide's pronouncement against
itself. In this case, the "It" of "It is finished" is the
crucifixion itselfnow "It" is finished. The Christian
view of the world, predicated upon the moment of death when
a human being passes from the existence of earth into an
other-worldly one, is dead. The transcendental thrust of
Christianity is absolutely and categorically denied by the
initial image of Green Hills of Africa. In the earthen
blind where the narrative discovers him, the narrator has

9
assumed an attitude of waiting. But what results from
this waiting is not the supernatural agent followers of the
cruciate figure have anticipated for nearly two thousand
years, but rather a new human beingborn of the earth.
The place by the side of the road from which the narra
tor issues forth to walk the land of Africa and to tell his
story commands attention. The guide who rises like a cross
does so as the narrator and others are
sitting, leaning back, knees high,
heads low, in a hollow half full of
ashes and dust, watching through
the dried leaves and thin branches. . .
(p. 5)
The first observation to be made about the hollow beside the
road is that it is as much a man-made object as the spears
and umbrellas which dot the African road. The first sentence
of Chapter One declares the structure's origins: "We were
sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of
twigs and branches. ..." Human hands dug the hole and
placed the vegetation. But unlike the other products of men'
hands, the blind by virtue of its size and function assumes
added importance. The walls and cover of the cavity provide
shelter for the hunters. The resulting completeness with
which the structure enfolds its human inhabitants likens the
shelter to a microcosm, to a world. The character of the
blind as an inherited form lies in the men who shaped it,
the Wanderobo hunters introduced in the first sentence of
Chapter One. Yet following such a prominent introduction,

10
Wanderobos prove rather scarce in the narrative. One occa
sionally wanders through the green hills, leaving traces of
his foraging (pp. 183-4), but not until Part IV does one
appear to assist the safari. However, the initial sparce-
ness of specific Wanderobos invites a broadening of the
tribal term to include all who have wandered in the earth
and brought their wonder to bear upon it. The hollow by the
side of the road functions as a stage in the human flowering
of the road. Its dimensions mark the frontiers reached by
the wanderer/wonderers who preceded the narrator, the fron
tiers of the world from which Green Hills of Africa unfolds.
This unfolding begins with the very first word of
Chapter One. By beginning with the word "We," and thereby
delaying a strict identification of the referent of the
plural pronoun, the text reaches out and incorporates the
reader into its plurality, into its world. The inclusive
nature of the "We" places the reader most assuredly within
a human structure--within the hollow of the narrator/hunter,
within the first person narrative of the narrator/artist.
The hollow serves as a stage in the events of the road where
old values are sloughed off and new ones assumed. Its
confines provide the battleground for two processes at work
in the narrative, the decline of the "orthodox" world view
and the initial stirrings of the "heterodox." The blind
marks the conjunction of the two processes, its critical
nature punctuated by the terms of life and death. Much is

11
revealed by the physical appearance of the blind, described
as "a hollow half full of ashes and dust." In depicting
the withering away of Christianity, Biblical allusions in
this passage appropriately deal only with death, e.g., the
corpse of the crucifixion and the "ashes and dust ("ashes
to ashes, dust to dust") that partially fill the cavity.
Most importantly, unlike the artifacts the natives carry
upon the road, the form the narrator occupies no longer
functions: no game is ever bagged from the blind. Yet, as
its description implies, the blind is both a tomb and a
womb. Surmounted by a human cross and half filled with
decayed matter, it certainly appears a grave. But at the
same time the curve of its shape suggests a matrix, and its
other half is filled with a white hunter who, "sitting,
leaning back, knees high, head . low," assumes the posi
tion of a fetus. The cocoon-like hollow, dug from dust
and covered with "dried leaves and thin branches," presents
to the undiscerning eye an image of death. But within that
husk dwells the miraculous kernel of change, a wanderer/won
derer curled like an unborn child and gifted with the same
impulse to move and grow.
The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European
As the hunters leave the blind empty-handed and head
back toward their camp, they pass in the light of a road
side fire a "short, bandy-legged man with a Tyroler hat,

12
leather shorts, and an open shirt." The driver of the
lorry, Kandisky appears only in Chapter One, the narrative
overlap of the car and lorry journeys. He is a European
expatriate, having left his native Austria for an African
plantation, and hence a wanderer like the narrator. But
although this European has wandered geographically, he has
not stirred imaginativelyno matter how many miles into
Africa Kandisky may have travelled, his mind is still in
Europe. As their nationalities attest, the American narra
tor and the Austrian Kandisky represent the opposing forces
in the war (World War I) that consumes such a large part of
Kandisky's conversation at lunch the following day (pp 29-
32). His involvement with the military likens Kandisky to
another veteran of that same conflict, Frederick Henry. But
unlike his American counterpart who walked away from the
conflict, the Austrian has not bidden a farewell to arms.
In a sense, that conflict still rages in the overlap of
Chapter One between the American and the European, between
an individualist and an orthodoxist non pareil.
Kandisky always exists as a member of a large group.
In a burst of self-aggrandizement the orthodoxist outlines
his approach to life:
"I represent European organization. I
come now from organizing recruitment
of the natives. This takes time. It
is impressive. I have been away from
my family for three months. The organi
zation is organized. You do it in a
week as easily, but it is not so
impressive." (pp. 17-18)

13
His life expresses itself only through the many organiza
tions in which he has entrenched himself. One such struc
ture is the German cause of World War I. An Austrian,
Kandisky volunteered for the German army and served under
Von Lettow's command. Now, years later, he continues to
display the same allegiances that motivated that act. For
this veteran, more than property perished in that conflict;
the very ideals that generated it, the abstractions of
"patriot" and "duty," no longer operate in the post-war
world. When Kandisky seeks indemnification for the African
plantation he lost and volunteers those abstractions as his
reasons for fighting, he is told, "That is very beautiful.
But you cannot hold us responsible for your noble sentiments.
Kandisky's lost plantation is emblematic of the larger world
that ceased to exist at the end of World War I. Dispossess
ed of land and values, he now wanders the hills of Africa.
One vestige of Kandisky's military service survives in
his concern with titles. He painstakingly addresses the
party's white hunter as "Colonel" Phillips until Pop cor
rects him: "I'm a Mister, by the way. We use these military
titles as nicknames." The hunters have adapted a public
formality to a private, affectionate use; Kandisky, however,
is never known by anything other than his last name. This
predilection for titles reveals a pervasive bias in the
former soldier. The European is almost totally verbal in
his relationship to the world. .As one would expect of a

14
man who offered his life for abstractions, Kandisky is the
quintessential man of words. The European looks upon people
only as functionaries of the structures he maintains, a
perspective which is formalized in the language he uses.
Avoiding any expression of a private self, he never allows
the familiarity that goes with first names or nicknames,
but rather perpetuates the status quo by using titles or
the more reserved family names. By his use of words Kandisky
also preserves another structure, the sisal shamba, owned
by an East Indian for whom the Europeannow a manager
recruits a native workforce. When the narrator first sights
Kandisky in the firelight, the organizer stands "in a crowd
of natives." That image which distinguishes between "manag
er" and "crowd" sums up Kandisky's world outlook. Far from
acknowledging individuals, he perceives the native Africans
only as a crowd to be organized, as primitives to be valued
only as "my cook" or "the boy." One cannot imagine such a
man enjoying a relationship like that the narrator shares
with the guide Droopy in Part II or M'Cola in Part III. The
extent to which the outer man overshadows the inner is
revealed within that most personal of structures, the fami
ly that waits for Kandisky at the sisal shamba. The only
male in a household of three, he does not particularize the
Kandisky women. The proprietary "mv wife" and "my daughter"
must suffice.

15
Deposed as the head of a shamba, left with a failing
vehicle ("That lorry is finished. ... It was all that
remained of my shamba. ... It is all gone except that
lorry"), Kandisky is chiefly distinguished in Chapter One
by an overwhelming sense of loss. The vehicle upon which
Kandisky enters the narrative is a relic of lost battles,
lost position, lost valuesa lost world. Bluntly faced
with the dilemma of change, Kandisky reacts with a conserva
tive instinct to shore up against that loss. Unable to
make the transition into a new world, he draws about him
self the shards of the past, trying to recreate the Old
World in the new world of Africa. This effort at recreation
begins with small details of food and reading matter and
ends with an all-encompassing world view. For instance, the
day after the narrator passes Kandisky's fire, the Austrian
announces, "Tonight we will have a special dish of Viennese
dessert. My cook has learned to make it very well." Such
an offer conjures up the sight of an African more familiar
with reedbuck tripe and kudu liver piling layer upon layer
of an over-delicate tortel The offering of neglible nutri
tional value pales against the plentiful red meat at the
hunters' fingertips.
This attitude of determined indifference to the land
before him leads Kandisky to seek not only bodily but
intellectual nourishment from distant European sources. When
Kandisky first meets the narrator by the fire, he recognizes

16
him as "the dichter" of Querschnitt fame (the narrator
explains: "The Querschnitt was a German magazine I had
written [for] . years before I could sell anything in
America"). Far away in the heart of Africa, Kandisky longs
for people he knows only through words, "the great old
Querschnitt group" of writers, "the people one would see if
one saw whom one wished to see." The narratorhaving seen
decides, "I did not wish to destroy anything this man had,
and so I did not go into those brilliant people in detail."
From their very first encounter on the road, the dichotomy
between word and vision, between what Kandisky believes from
reading to be true and what the narrator knows empirically
to be false, shapes a major issue in the narrative.
Kandisky in effect never sees Africa. Just as he pre
serves the structures of the past with his language, so he
denies the living processes of the present. The very first
word the European utters in Green Hills of Africa is "No,"
and negation hallmarks each of his responses thereafter.
He says "no" to the natives, preferring to catalogue the
quaint dances and songs ("[I]t is always interesting. The
natives and the language. I have many books of notes on
them") rather than learn from their indigenous knowledge
of the land; "no" to the noxirishment of the drink the narra
tor offers ("I never drink. It is not good for the mind"),
driving the proffer to exclaim, "Don't you ever want to
change your ideas?"; and "no" to the hunt, priding himself

17
on not killing game ("The life of the mind. This is not
killing kudu"), while blind to the irony of his own dress
as he "shift[s] his leather-breeched behind," this "Kandis
ky of the Tyroler pants."
The European wanderer, possessed by the past, makes no
effort to discover the present world that lies before him
or to adapt himself to the new environment. Instead, he
merely grafts the old onto the new:
"I have lost everything here but I
have more than anyone has in Eu
rope. . [I]n reality, I am a
king here. ... I extend one foot
and the boy places the sock on
it. . I extend the other foot
and he adjusts the other sock. I
step . into my drawers which
are held for me. Don't you think
that is very marvelous?" (p. 31)
"I am a king here." It is not far from Viennese desserts
and German journals to this crowning summation. Kandisky
has transplanted the whole of the European vision to African
soil. Perhaps a wanderer, he has lost the capacity for
wonder, aspiring only to duplicate the same hierarchical,
static pattern in every facet of his life: champion of a
world cause, petty tyrant of an African fiefdom, patriarch
of a submissive family. In each and every manifestation of
his life, the individual is subordinated to the organization.
One may label Kandisky's perspective on the world the
view from the cross. Such identification stems from the
opening sequence in Green Hills when the guide who recalls

13
the crucified Christ stands up in order to do so, towering
over his earth-covered companions. The juxtaposition of the
guide's rising with the movement of the lorry suggests the
European driver's Christian heritage, the tradition which
determines his way of looking at life. His point of view
the view from the crossis literally and philosophically
above the earth. It is the perspective of the omniscient
Christian God who resides not in, but above, the world,
beyond the reach of change. And it is that perspective
which dies in the blind.
The View from the Blind: The Narrator
Names and titlesverbal confirmation of one's place
in an ordered universeare essential to Kandisky's world.
The same is not true for the narrator. His public identity
as "Hemingway" arises for the first and only time in conver
sation with Kandisky in Chapter One: "Hemingway is a name I
have heard. Where? Where have I heard it? Oh, yes. The
dichter." Kandisky's response to the narrator is to label
him the "poet," and from then on the European sees not the
concrete individual before him, but rather a preconceived
notion of who "Hemingway" should be: "Why should any man
shoot a kudu? You, an intelligent man, a poet, to shoot
kudu." It is no surprise that Kandisky's characteristic
use of language to explore the imagination of this artist
fails. At the end of the longest conversation in the

19
entirety of the narrative (pp. 17-28) Kandisky is no closer
to making contact with that talent than he was at their
firelit meeting on the road.
After the episode with Kandisky in Chapter One, the
narrator returns to namelessness for the rest of the safari.
As Kandisky's verbal impasse underscores, Green Hills is not
the story of a name, not the story of a known quantity such
as "European organization." The significance of the absence
of names is strengthened by the absence of physical descrip
tion of the narrator in the text. He has been ill with
amoebic dysentery (p. 283); he has scars (p. 53). But for
all the attention paid to the rest of the body, its well
being and functioning, the narrator is as faceless as he is
nameless. Such an absence forces the reader to look not at
the narrator, but through his eyes, to assume his point of
view. The achievement of that point of view is a central
victory of Green Hills of Africa. From the moment the
guide in the blind intones, "It is finished," the reader
inhabits a relativistic world. The validity of any omnis
cient perspective concomitant with a Christian universe
collapses, to be replaced by that of the individual. The
world of Africa's green hills is not the world of an organi
zation man but of the "I" who tells the story of the journey
thereafter. When the artist adopts the view from the blind
over the view from the cross, the heterodox over the ortho
dox, a new story is born as well as a new storyteller. Green

20
Hills is an I/eye narrative, told by an unknown agent of
untapped possibilities.
The transition from an orthodox to a heterodox world
view is reflected in an important visual element of the
narrative, the twenty-nine illustrations (fourteen of them
two-page spreads) that punctuate the text. Just as there
is no set piece of description about the narrator, so there
is no sketched one. The drawings are characterized by the
careful scrutiny they bring to all their subjects, whether
animal, native, or hunter: the ibis (pp. 88-9, 135) and
hyena (p. 199), Droopy (p. ii) and the old man of Part IV
(p. 245), Pop and P.O.M. at Lake Manyara (pp. 124-5). But
the sketches are particularly valuable in their treatment
of the narrator. There exist no portraits, no closeups
that probe for clues to his "character." Rather than exist
ing as a completed essence before the narrative takes place
the narrator becomes during the unfolding of it. By his
interaction with the phenomenon of Africa, he creates him
self. Given this emphasis on self-realization, the draw
ings reveal much concerning the narrator's valuation of
certain human attributes. For example, the human head, as
the seat of the intelligence, is not isolated from or cele
brated apart from the body. Instead, the drawings present
whole-body silhouettes at a distancethe narrator inte
grated into the landscape (pp. 68-9, 136-7). The green
hills thus presented do not constitute a lost world like

21
that of Kandisky, but a world with which the narrator is
very much at one. The narrator's relationship to his world,
the key relationship in the narrative, resides in the part
of speech indicating relation, the preposition. The first
preposition in the text of Green Hills is "in" ("We were
sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built").
The relationship laid out in that word resonates through
the sweep of the story, from the first preposition to the
last--to the last word, in fact, of the narrative. The re
lationship of "in" between the narrator and his world deter
mines the topographical imagery of the African landscape:
the narrator squats in the blind, moves in_ the human traffic
of the road. In fact, "in" serves as the very nucleus of
the narrative itself. It is from the "in"-nermost point of
viewthat of a first person narrator, who is an active
protagonist, whose main activity is writingthat the narra
tor creates Green Hills of Africa, the imaginative answer
to Kandisky's intellectual "bocks of notes."
From style to imagery, the first paragraphs identify
Green Kills of Africa as a story of movement. The narra
tive opens in medias res; the progressive first verb, "were
sitting," indicates continuous action; and the imagery
augments such action: into the world of the narrator comes
a truck passing along the road he waits beside. The aptness
of this genre to the narrators experience quickly becomes

22
evident. The story of the road, in this case an African
safari, lends itself readily to the telling of this narra
tive. Being a tale of outward movement., it easily renders
simultaneous inner movement of the protagonist. The jour
ney through the green hills is not a mere accumulation of
experiences one after the other. It is a dynamic model of
the qualitative personal growth the narrator undergoes;
All elements of the safari function in this model
the guides, the companions, the animals. The African jour
ney divides into three segments, each under the aegis of a
particular native guide. These three lengths of road cor
respond to phases in the American's maturation, a process
of which the guides are limited promoters. The native that
governs a segment is endowed with certain talents and
awarenesses which he evokes and nurtures in the narrator
during his ascendency in the hunt. When the narrator fully
acquires these new skills, the native mentor fades from the
action and the narrator advances to more demanding lessons.
The narrators sojourn with the guides is cast in the
imagery of disease and health, his stay on the African con
tinent coinciding with his recovery from a European disease
Already I had had one of the diseases
and had experienced the necessity of
washing a three-inch bit of my large
intestine with soap and water and tuck
ing it back where it belonged in unnum
bered amount of times a day. There
were remedies which cured this and it
was well worth going through for what
I had seen and where I had been. Besides
I caught that on the dirty boat out from
Marseilles. (p. 283)

23
The three guides who supervise this coincident journey and
healingDroopy, M'Cola, and the Nanderobo of Part IV
present in their approaches to life a pattern of health.
3y placing himself under the mentorship of these three and
incorporating their lessons into his life, the narrator
survives illness and achieves wholeness. The nature of the
guides lessons stems from the death knell sounded in the
opening scene, "It is finished." Among numerous subjects,
the indefinite pronoun "it" refers to the self-reflexive
subject of the crucifixion itself. With the diminishment
of the crucifixion, the mortification of the flesh glori
fied therein also ends. The narrator is an inheritor of
this Christian tradition, as reflected in the diseased
condition of his own body. In order to advance beyond the
defunct tradition of the cross, an individual and cultural
healing must be enacted. A significant trait of the narra
tor's recuperation is that none of the natives guiding the
safari overlap in their authority. This clear division
places great emphasis upon the sequence in which they guide
the narrator. His first steps along the road follow those
of Droopy, from whom he learns the wisdom of the body.
This youngest and most elemental of the guides leads the
narrator in the flashback of Part II from the reedbuck hunt
of Chapter Three to the Rift Valley of Chapter Six. With
the resurgence of sensory health, the narrator next comes
under the sway of the older guide M'Cola, who assumes

24
prominence in Chapter Six. M'Coia presents the narrator
with an alternative to the tyrannical intellect rampant in
Kandisky. He offers a mental outlook oriented not to immu
table truths, but to empirical observation of the world's
events. And, finally, the narrator travels in Chapter
Twelve with a guide at his side known only by his tribal
name, a Wanderobo.
The brief span of the third guide's involvement (he
enters on the last scheduled day of the safari) and the
prophetic nature of that entrance (he bears the long-awaited
news of kudu and sable that sparks the narrator into action)
suggest that the Wanderobo functions less as a personality
and more as the qualities suggested by his name. The first
sentence of the narrative ("We were sitting in the blind
that Wanderobo hunters had built") places the narrator
squarely in the tradition of these hunters. The earthen
hollow constitutes part of the legacy of the Wanderobo; the
values inherent in his tribal name constitute another.
These qualities equip the American wanderer to act as
an agent of the imagination in Green Hills of Africa. The
first association of Wanderobo, "to wander," describes a
creature moving through his world. The word presumes no
destination. It focuses not on an end to which the journey
and surroundings are merely incidental, not on the eventual
cessation of movement. Rather, "wander" celebrates the
phenomenon of movement and the arena in which it takes

25
place. To this story of the road the homonymic pun, "to
wonder," contributes additional dimensions. The narrator
brings to bear upon his environment that spirit of inquiry
and observation raised by one meaning of the pun, "to
speculate." This curiosity, this passion to see marks the
adventure of the I/eye newly issued from the Wanderobo
shelter. And finally the pun functions within another of
its definitions, "to feel wonder." With the return of
physical health and mental perspective, the creative facul
ty also wells up within the narrator, infusing the sights
of Africa with a narrative cohesion. At the close of his
African journey, the narrator has achieved an inward whole
ness that will soon produce the vision that is Green Hills
of Africa.

26
Notes to Part I
Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), pp. 2-3. Further citations
will be given in the text.
2
Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of
Narrative (London: Oxford University Press'^ 19 66) p~. 98.
3
Carlos Baker, "Introduction: Citizen of the World,"
in Hemingway and His Critics, ed. Carlos Baker (New York:
Hill and Wang, 1962), p. 15.

PART II
LIVING IN THE FLESH
The Narrator's Rhinoceros
The imagery of the African safari provides the mecha
nism for tracing the journey the narrator takes toward inner
and outer health. One component of that mechanism, the
native guides, enter and pass from the ranks of the hunting
party. However, another component, the companions of the
safari, are constants in a world of change, there at the
beginning of the African adventure and there at the end.
Consequently, they perform a different service in chronicling
the narrator's story. The guides preside over long-range
periods of growth and then step aside as the narrator reaches
and then exceeds the limits of their expertise. However, the
companions act as alter egos for the narrator. The values
that cluster about each one are always present in the
narrator's psyche; the companions come to the fore in the
story when those values are being emphasized in him and
diminish when those values are de-emphasized. By such
delicate and ever-changing interplay, the companions
provide an indicator of the narrator's progress. Two
Americans accompany the narrator into the continent,
P.O.M., his wife, and Karl Kabor, his friend and fellow
27

28
hunter. Much of the "action at hand" in the seven chapters
of Part II stems from the friction between the narrator
and the companion Karl. Chapters Three and Four relate
the first skirmish in this conflict, a skirmish fought
by means of the rhinoceros.
Just as the guides acquire significance by the
sequence in which they conduct the safari, so do the major
animals of Green Hills by the sequence in which they are
hunted. The predominant species never overlap; a rhinoceros
is killed only in Chapter Four. The African rhino is the
first big game encountered in the flashback of Part II,
an animal free of associations in Western culture. Instead,
the rhinoceros gains its importance from the American hunter
who pursues it. That importance begins with its initial
sighting by the narrator from a hilltop;
Until five o'clock we did not see
anything. Then, without the glasses,
I saw something moving over the
shoulder of one of the valleys
toward a strip of the timber. In
the glasses it was a rhino, showing
very clear and minute at the dis
tance, red-colored in the sun, moving
with a quick waterbug-like motion
across the hill. Then there were
three more of them that came out of
the. forest, dark in the shadow, and
two that fought, tinily, in the
glasses, pushing head-on, fighting
in front of a clump of bushes while
we watched them and the light failed.
(pp. 49-50)
Just as the action of Part I springs from the blind
beside the road, so that of Part II springs from the

29
sighting of the rhino. The place and the manner by which
it enters the narrative indicate the importance of this
animal: the rhino are sighted from the first green hill
in Green Hills of Africa ("we . climbed, sweating, the
small, steep hill on the right to sit there with our backs
against the hilltop and glass the . green, pleasant
country"), and their entrance is described strictly within
the language of a vision. Prohibited by distance and rough
terrain from physical contact, permitted access only by
"the glasses" that are so carefully mentioned in three of
the four sentences of this passage, the narrator can contact
the game only as an image, only aesthetically. So, in
this, the maiden hunt of the longest section of the book,
a hunt described as "fine" even though no game is taken,
the narrator sits atop the first green hill of his story
and conceives a vision that ripples outward to touch the
entire course of events in Part II.
Details of the four rhino glimpsed from the hill
substantiate the comprehensiveness of this vision. In
the rhino hunt, inner and outer realities work together;
the rhino objectifies outwardly the inner state of its
pursuers. The dynamics of the narrative are generated by
a finely-hcned correspondence between the men and the
animals they pursue: the characteristics and behavior
of the sought-after illuminate subtly yet profoundly the
desires and drives of the seekers. The correspondence

30
between the two is established in several ways, beginning
with numbers: a lead rhino followed by a herd of three
mirrors the pioneering white hunter Pop and his American
hunting party. In addition, in a Part whose chief action
derives from conflict between two hunters, the animals
they pursue are the only beasts in the entire safari to
be observed fighting, and fighting between themselves
at that. By the parallel thus set up between men and
beasts, the "two [rhino] that fought, tinily, in the
glasses" place the ongoing competition between the nar
rator and Karl squarely within the context of a territo
rial btele between two dominant males.
The rhinoceros emerges as vital from its very first
appearance, trotting vigorously out onto the hill and
flashing vividly before the narrator's eye, "red-colored
in the sun." Red, the color of blood, of animal life,
distinguishes the rhino throughout the hunt. But even
more important is the source of that color. To P.O.M.'s
query, "What makes them so red?," Pop replies, "Rolling
in the mud." The narrator's rhino, too, shows "muddy
red." Thus the rhino wallows in the matrix of the earth,
absorbing its coloration and energy from an earthly,
i
not a celestial, origin.'1' And the pursuers of the rhino
are imbued with the same vigor as the game. Much is
made back in camp after the rhino sighting about the

31
hunters' own bathing in "nice, warm, muddy water." Such
immersion befits a protagonist born of an earthen blind.
Along with the above-mentioned components of the
narrator's hilltop visionthe place and manner of entrance
of the rhinoceros, their preoccupation and colorone other
trait reinforces and expands the analogy between pursuers
and pursued. These most contentious of game clash "head-
on," just as do the narrator and Karl in their rivalry
for the heads of the game. But a more comprehensive
clash between "heads" is involved, a conflict between
the mental outlooks of the two hunters. When Chapter
Four comes to a close, each hunter has bagged a rhino,
and each rhino embodies that particular hunter's concep
tion of the enterprise engaging him.
The narrator's hunt culminates in this animal:
There he was, long hulked, heavy-sided,
prehistoric looking, the hide like
vulcanized rubber and faintly trans
parent, scarred with a badly healed
horn wound that the birds had pecked
at, his tail thick, round, and pointed,
flat many-legged ticks crawling on him,
his ears fringed with hair, tiny pig
eyes, moss growing on the base of his
horn that grew out forward from his
nose. (p. 79)
The narrator's observation of his rhino is singularly
vivid and rich in particulars. In fact, this passage consti
tutes the initial vision of the green hill come to fruition.
What began as several animals viewed from afar in a dominating
landscape has narrowed to one specific animal confronted

32
in all its immediacy and uniqueness. Just as they did
in the procession of natives along the road in Part I,
artifacts play an integral role in the events of the
rhino hunt. The impulse that brings the narrator down
from his hillside seat to the side of the rhino aligns
him as closely with the binoculars by which he first
discerned the animal as with the gun that felled it. This
emphasis on the instrument of sight gives equal import
to the narrator's role as artist: in the act of learning
to focus, to distinguish the individual from the herd,
the eye of the creator undergoes substantial refinement.
One of the details revealed under the narrator's
scrutiny of the rhino concerns the animal's physical
condition; its hide is "scarred with a badly healed horn
wound that the birds had pecked at." Besides identifying
this rhino as one of the battling males viewed from the
hill, the scars also mark the narrator's prize as no
perfect specimen, but rather as a participant in and
veteran of the conflicts of the world. In addition to
rejecting an other-worldly standard of perfection, the
physical state of the rhino bears witness to the animal's
mortality. Once the Christian promise of immortality dies,
the question for the existential wanderer/wonderer
becomes how to live in and with the consequences of the
world. That this is the lesson on which the narrator
is embarked is substantiated by his own likeness to the

33
rhino. Of all the concrete description in Green Hills of
Africa, little of it deals with the narrator. The only
item he relates about himself is that he, like the rhino,
has been ill and, like the rhino, bears scars:
My own scars were all informal, some
irregular and sprawling, others simply
puffy welts. I had one on my forehead
that people still commented on, asking
if I had bumped my head. . ,(p. 53)
Thus both hunter and hunted emerge as creatures
buffeted by experience. In a major function the animals
of Africa perform in Green Hills, the rhinoceros stands
as a stage in the growth of its pursuer. Scarred, the
narrator incorporates the conditions of twentieth
century, post-Christian life; wounded, he must now learn
the lessons of the body that will result in healing. This
sensory orientation is indicated by his interaction with
the beast: he looks at and describes the whole body of
the rhino, valuing not just the prize of the head and
horn, but the complete animal. The story of Part II,
then, develops out of the narrator's need to grow into
a wholeness of body, to not only survive in the world,
but to flourish.
That the rhino indicates growth in the narrator is
borne, out by the vital part movement plays in the hunt.
Theirs is a dynamic encounter, initially an inner one as
the narrator responds to the challenge of the "muddy red"
game ("I was very excited at seeing him"), his own blood

34
racing; then one of outer movement as success depends upon
his ability to anticipate and then go with the actions
of the rhino.
He showed, trotting into the shallow,
boulder filled stream. Thinking of
one thing, that the shot was perfectly
possible, but that I must lead him
enough, must get ahead, I got on him,
then well ahead of him, and squeezed
off. I heard the whonk of the bullet
and, from his trot, he seemed to
explode forward. (p. 76)
The encounter demands, and receives, the best of the
hunter's skill (the horn is "nothincr extra. That was a
hell of a shot you made on him though, brother"). The
results of the narrator's effort, that extraordinary
show of proficiency called forth in the one-on-one
confrontation, stresses that the process of hunting
engages the narrator's passion. He does not walk away
with the "best" rhino, with another trophyin fact,
quite the opposite, given the condition of the rhino
and the size of its horn. What he does walk away with
from the rhino hunt is the internal victory of having
set, and met, his own challenge.
Karl's Rhinoceros
At the same time the narrator faces his rhinoceros
in an encounter of far-reaching dimensions, the other
American hunter on the safari, his friend Karl, also
brings down a rhino. And just as the first animal

35
reveals the impulsions of the narrator, so the second
reveals those of Karl:
There was the newly severed head of a
rhino that was a rhino. He was twice
the size of the one I had killed.
The little eyes were shut and a fresh
drop of blood stood in the corner of
one like a tear. The head bulked
enormous and the horn swept up and
back in a fine curve. The hide was
an inch thick where it hung in a
cape behind the head and was as white
where it was cut as freshly sliced
coconut. (p. 83)
The overwhelming feature of Karl's rhinoceros in
contrast to the narrator's is that this animal is already
dead when first viewed. The inanimate rhino climaxes
a hunt devoid of interaction between hunter and hunted.
Karl does not track the animal through the hills and
streams of its own ground, but stumbles upon it "just
outside of camp"; neither does he draw upon his skill
as a marksman in the confrontation, rather downing the
animal with an undetermined "five or six [shots], I
guess." When the narrator looks out from the green hill
at the spectacle of the battling bulls before him he
sees in their "head-on" conflict the same battle of
heads he fights with Karl. As becomes clear when he
regards his rhino, his mind is learning to value the
creatures of the world in their concrete wholeness, a
wholeness which necessitates consideration of and for the
body. Not so with Karl. "The newly severed head," the

36
"enormous" head, "this dead, head-severed" rhinoKarl
pursues and triumphantly captures the head of heads.
Already skinned, his rhino hangs emptied of all traces
of body. Its quantitative considerations of "size,"
"bulk," and "inches" merit acclaim in the public realm,
a rhino born to adorn some sportsman's wall. But quali
tatively the prize is as hollow as its skin. Lacking
all individuating characteristics (no ticks, moss, or
scars here), the monumental head represents the antithesis
of the narrator's private and personal achievement.
The deadness that typifies Karl's approach to the
hunt is expounded in two similes that appear in the
description of his rhinoceros. Both figures record the
diminution of the rhino's most salient feature, its red
color. In the first instance ("a fresh drop of blood
stood in the corner of one [eye] like a tear"), the color
that flashed so vividly before the narrator's eye from
the hilltop has in this specimen assumed the hue of sorrow.
In fact, the weeping head of "this huge, tear-eyed marvel
of a rhino," framed by a shroud of hide, resembles nothing
so much as a tragic mask. The second simile documents
the scope of this regression. In Karl's rhino, "the hide
. . was as white where it was cut as freshly sliced
coconut." The figure performs a double .function. A food
metaphor, it ironically describes a creature whose pursuer
cannot feed upon his kill. Karl's incapacity to utilize

37
the body is underscored when his plan to capture a leopard
with the rhino carcass is thwarted by a protected lion.
But even more significantly, the startling whiteness
the metaphor discloses about the hide presents a creature
blanched of the vitality that so distinguished the animals
of the hill in that original vision. Far from flowing
through veins or denoting intimate contact with the earth,
red appears in this rhino only as blood spilled at the
hands of Karl ("He was shaky with excitement and I saw
he had been washing blood off his hands). By no
accident do the eyes of this rhinoceros close shut. With
eyes as blind as those of the dead game, Karl cannot par
take of the vision of life the narrator perceives in the
opening pages of Part II.
The workings of the human head that resembles this
rhino are set forth in the passage that marks Karl's
entrance into camp:
"Whatever you say," Karl said. His mind
was bitterly revolving eight blank days
of hill climbing in the heat, out before
daylight, back at dark, hunting an animal
whose Swahili name he could not then
remember, with trackers in whom he had
no confidence, coming back to eat alone,
no one to whom he could talk, his wife
nine thousand miles and three months
away, and how was his dog and how was
his job, and god-damn it where were
they and what if he missed one when he
got shot, he wouldn't, you never missed
when it was really important, he was
sura of that, that was one of the tenets
of his faith, but what if he got excited

38
and missed, and why didn't he get any
letters, what did the guide say kongoni
for that time, they did, he knew they
did, but he said nothing of all that,
only, "Whatever you say," a little
desperately. (p. 62)
This paragraph delineating Karl's thoughts upon the
hunting he has just concluded stands out in the narrative
for, except for the use of the third person point of view,
the passage is an interior monologue, the only one of
its kind in the book. By its structure, that of an
essentially one-sentence paragraph, the monologue traces
the activity of a "mind . revolving."
Firearms, of course, constitute as necessary a part
of the safari's equipment as vehicles and tents and,
like the other elements, contribute to the imagistic
richness of the hunt. On at least three separate occasions
in the journey through Africa, the double-barreled shot-
cfun and the Springfield rifle owned by the narrator figure
decisively in crucial turning points of the narrator's
journey. However, the gun suggested in Karl's monologue
("His mind was bitterly revolving eight blank days") is
the first to introduce firearm imagery. That suggested
weapon, the revolver, draws attention to itself and to
Karl because, unlike the larger shotgun and rifle, it
is not a standard hunting instrument. As a metaphor this
particular gun illuminates the dynamics of the mind of
the hunter. The revolver connotes action that is circular

39
and repetitive. Karl's meditation upon his days in the
hills follows precisely this pattern, picking up a detail
(the "Swahili name he could not then remember"), worrying
with it ("god-damn it where were they"), and returning
to it again ("what did the guide say kongoni for that
time, they did, he knew they did"), with no progress made
or resolution reached through the mind's ruminations.
The identical phrases beginning and ending the passage
("Whatever you say," "Whatever you say") reinforce the
mental stalemate.
The obsession with words which prevails in the
monologue typifies Karl's sojourn in Africa: he misses
his quarry because he misunderstands a name; he bemoans
a lack of companionship because there is no one to talk
to (alone, among forty M'Bulusi); he is haunted by
formulated tenets he must live up to; and he languishes,
in the heart of Africa, from a lack of letters from home.
His preference for words hinders a full experiencing of
the wonder of the continent; the few sensory references
in the monologue relate only hardships suffered in its
terrain. As emptied of body as his trophy, Karl is one
big head.
Appropriately, this head seeks out an aesthetic
form indigenous to a man of words, the convention of the
unspoken soliloquy. As mentioned above, this literary
style is peculiar to Karl alone in Green Hills of Africa.

40
In addition to identifying his habit of mind, the soliloquy
also suggests Karl's state of mind; the utterance of a
lone speaker, the soliloquy expresses the estrangement
resulting from Karl's verbal obsession. No one on the
safari is more determinedly alone than Karl, deprived of
wife, job, and home, aloof from the continent he traverses
and the people he meets, obsessed with only one facet of
a multi-faceted event. When a human mind can be reduced
to the image of a revolver, that mind is a mind consumed.
But the analogy of the revolver makes an even more
damning assertion: the mind, or more precisely that
intellectual bent of mind which prevails in Karl, fails
as a weapon, as a means of viable action within the world.
The impotence of such a mind is carried through in the
image of the revolver, its ammunition only blanks, its
action only mechanical.
If certain traits found in the hunter Karl sound
familiar, that is because they have been encountered
before in the narrative. Karl is the intellectual great-
grandson of "Emerson, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Company,"
the Americans of whom the narrator stated in Part I, "You
[would not] gather that they had bodies. They had minds,
yes. Nice, dry, clean minds." And he is the first cousin
of the European intellectual to whom the narrator made this
observation--Kandisky. Parallels between the European

41
and this American abound. The personal situation of each
man includes a present lack of wife, job, and home; Karl's
name mimics Kandisky's in its Germanic spelling; and both
men indulge in aesthetic forms concomitant with verbal
man, conversation in Kandisky's case and the unspoken
soliloquy in Karl's. The extent and import of the link
between these two men becomes even clearer in the chronology
of Green Hills. One recalls that Part II, "Pursuit Re
membered," is told as a flashback. Therefore Karl's foray
into the hills (of which we see only the return) and
Kandisky's journey along the road (of which we see only
the end) coincide. The narrative concerns itself with
Karl and his story when the Western man consummate in
Kandisky holds sway.
Karl, of all the hunting party, most resembles the
narrator in age, sex, and skill, and the groundwork for
his function as an alter ego is laid out early in the
narrator's observation of the two male rhinos locked in
territorial combat upon the green hill. The outcome of
the battle between the verbal values Karl espouses and
the visual ones the narrator is learning rides with
these respective champions; the American soul wrestles
with itself as its two sons engage in a contest cf such
consequence that the very earth is riven between them.
The quest for dominance appears most blatantly in
the politics of the hunt when the two hunters scrupulously

42
divide up the territorial "beats" between themselves.
Karl and the narrator never hunt the big game together,
and the supposed infringement by the narrator upon Karl's
territory triggers an explosion in the latter in Chapter
Eight. The schism extends from Africa to America: "He
made my rhino look so small that I could never keep him
in the same small town where we lived. He had wiped him
out." But it assumes its most powerful proportions in
the topographical feature which commands the landscape
of Part II, the Rift Valley. The sentence which introduces
Karl into Part II designates this landmark as his destina
tion:
The trucks were to bring Karl in from
his kudu camp where he seemed to be
getting disgusted, or discouraged,
or both, and he could go down to the
Rift Valley the next day and kill some
meat and try for an oryx. (p. 61)
From this first appearance in Chapter Three, Karl's very
presence entails a rift.
That the differences between these two seemingly
similar men should reach such dimensions indicates a
crucial cleaving of allegiances within the narrator.
The model for this division crops up in a chat between
Jackson Phillips and the narrator the night immediately
preceding the rhino kills.
Pop was puzzled why the rhino were
all gone. Each day we had seen less
and we discussed whether it could be
the full moon, that they fed out at

43
night and were back in the forest
in the morning before it was light,
or that they winded us, or heard
the men, and were simply shy and
kept in the forest, or what was it?
Me putting out the theories, Pop
pricking them with his wit, some
times considering them from polite
ness, sometimes with interest, like
the one about the moon. (pp. 74-5)
The image of the moon in the narrators speculations regard
ina rhino behavior also contains the crux of the human
behavior. Two processes are going on in Part II: the
narrator, as he learns of the world and the body, is
waxing; his counterpart Karl is waning. The gradual slough
ing off of Karl and the values he embraces is accomplished
verbally and visibly. Suggestions of obsolescence cluster
about Karl throughout tne course of Part II. "Old Karl,"
"Good old Karl," "old Karl," "old Karl" mark the hunter's
decline. Eis appearance also bodes ill: "Karl was thin
now, his skin sallow, his eyes very tired looking and he
seemed a little desperate." From his first steps into
camp, Karl steadily atrophies. While reaping one
external trophy after another, he withers internally,
over the course of seven chapters growing "steadily
gloomier," "tired," "pale and gaunt looking," "tired"--
a descent which climaxes in the narrator's diagnosis,
"I dont think he's well now."
The waning of Karl augurs an adjustment in the
Western psyche, a bringing into proportion of one facet

44
of beingthe intellectwhich has tyrannized others. Its
consequent diminishment provides a space for the rediscovery
and burgeoning of the body that occupies Part II. Karl
wanes because he is trapped within his own mental revolutions,
unable to reach outside them for physical or emotional
nourishment. Pop confirms this starvation with another
food image, "I think he's off his feed a little." In the
end, a mind revolving is a mind consuming itself.
The final passage of Chapter Nine documents Karl's
inability to advance upon the road. The closing scene
carefully recapitulates the opening scene of the narrative,
its recurring elements inviting comparison. Karl describes
the hunt: "We were in the blind and they motioned me to
keep my head down and then when I looked up there he was
right beside us." The situation is the same as when the
narrator crouched beside the road in Part I: a hunter,
a womb-like blind, and the all-inclusive "we" that
presides at the event. But in Karl's case no birth
transpires; this hunter is not to be the next wanderer/
wonderer in the long line of artificers. Karl fails
because he provides no limbs to assume the fetal position,
because he proffers a verbal artifact, the soliloquy, that
proves inadequate as a tool. Realizing his incompleteness
as an agent of life, the "we" dissociates itself from Karl
and becomes an exclusive "they," motioning back the
untoward head. Significantly, the gesture of the "they"

45
reproduces exactly the movement with which the narrator
repudiates the black guide associated with Christianity
and European civilization in Chapter One ("'It is finished,'
he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down").
With this movement the "we" aligns itself with the
narrator; it is his story the voices of the road share,
not Karl's.
The Time of Droopy
Just as the waning of the moon describes the diminish-
ment of Karl recorded in Part II, so its waxing describes
the simultaneous flourishing of the narrator. The narrator
explicitly designates the period of this waxing as "the
time of Droopy" (p. 46). Chapter Three begins with the
American hunter carefully perusing the figure of the
African guide:
Droopy was a real savage with lids to
his eyes that nearly covered them,
handsome, with a great deal of style,
a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker.
He was about thirty-five, I should
think, and wore only a piece of
cloth, knotted over one shoulder,
and a fez that some hunter had given
him. He always carried a spear.
(p. 46)
One feature attracting the narrator's visual attention in
the opening passage is Droopy's attire, unique to him
among the principal natives of the safari. The knotted
cloth and the spear, however, recall other hunters

46
encountered earlier in the narrative, the line of the
westward migration upon the road: "Some were naked except
for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried
bows and sealed Quivers of arrows. Others carried spears.
Droopy's costume places him squarely among these bearers
of artifacts and culture; it is as if he has stepped out
of the procession to walk with the new hunter on the road
for a time. In addition to dress, another of the guide's
traits attracts the narrator; the native is "about thirty-
five, I should think." The interjection of the narrative
first person into this particular detail indicates its
importance; of all the participants on the safari, Droopy
alone is the same age as the narrator.^ This sharing of
time in their personal lives, as emphasized by the
personal pronoun, underscores the affinity between the
handsome hunter and the I/eye who regards him. The
time of Droopy portends a propitious time for the
narrator.
In Part II Droopy presides at the initial sighting
and subsequent downing of the narrator's rhinoceros:
"[MCola] and I [were] huntinq toqether and Droopy in
command of the show." The result of that show, the rhino
with its commanding features of physical size and bulk,
indicates the values of the guide presiding over its
mastery. In the growth of the narrator, Droopy serves
as a guide to the body. Droopys own body initiates

47
this role. The native possesses a naturally attractive
face and physique; in addition, he boasts tribal scars,
"handsome ones beside his cheekbones and others, symmetrical
and decorative, on his chest and belly." As they do in
the description of his scars, the words "handsome" and
"beautiful" keynote Droopy's appearance on the safari,
being applied to him by men and women alike, and even
italicized at times (p. 64). Thus, as confirmed by
the narrator's visual scrutiny and by the verbal approba
tions, throughout Droopy's time in the hunt people respond
to him first and foremost as an aesthetic phenomenon.
The unique character of his beauty indicates his
importance to the narrator. Droopy's patterned skin
evidences a concern with the surface and the visual.
It constitutes an explicit recognition and glorification
of the body and its image, nature enhanced at the hands
of man.
As do ail the guides, Droopy serves in two capacities,
guiding the narrator/hunter through the country of Africa
and the narrator/artist through the terrain of art. It
is vital to the workings of the narrative that these two
functions issue from the same source, that what makes good
hunting makes good art. During the rhino hunt, the
narrator learns from Droopy that art and action are one
and the same. Looking beautiful, functioning beautifully,
the African completely integrates the two. He admits no

48
disparity between the surface and the reality, between
the adorned skin and the trained muscles. The word which
recurs in the narrator's consideration of Droopy, and
which captures the unity the guide has achieved, is style.
"Handsome, with a great deal of style," "a great stylist
in everything he did"style as evidenced by Droopy is
not just extraneous flourish, but a marriage of inner
talent and outer training. Its holistic quality surfaces
in the climactic moment of the rhino hunt when Droopy
goes in first after the downed game, pausing only to
remove his fez:
"That's all the precautions he
needs," Pop said. "We bring up
a couple of heavy guns and Droopy
qoes in after him with one article
less of clothing." (p. 77)
The guide's quintessential act at this juncture of life
and death is to shed the superfluous object. He is able
to perform the task before him because he carries within
him the resources equal to that task.
One organ in particular distinguishes the superb
body of the guide. "With lids . that nearly covered
them," his eyes are the first feature the narrator notices.
That feature gives rise to his name, the nickname "Droopy,"
the familiarity of which further strengthens the personal
significance the African guide holds for the American
hunter. It also pinpoints the gift the two men hold in
common, the gift of vision. Droopy's eyes make possible

49
his occupation, his art, as "a fine hunter and a beautiful
tracker." He must bring his physical prowess, his intimacy
with land and game, and above all his trained eye to the
task at hand. Be it blood spoor in the high grass, rhino
track in the mud, or buffalo droppings in the rocks, to
assure successand survivalthe tracker must find the
pattern in the earth.
A patterned being in a world of pattern, Droopy inhabits
an aesthetic universe. As has each of the makers in that
line from which he steps, Droopy molds with his hands a form,
in his case the body--his own and those of his world. The
narrator receives a major lesson in the art of the body from
Droopy when he shoots a reedbuck in Chapter Three. Delineat
ing the roles of novice and teacher, the passage is phrased
as a lesson. The only animal taken in that chapter, the
buck appears when Droopy and the narrator hunt alone.
After succeeding in his wish "to make a shot to impress
Droopy," the narrator displays his skill with the reedbuck,
limited chiefly to dissection:
Once bled, I started to open him,
with the little knife, still showing
off to Droopy, and emptying him
neatly took out the liver, cut away
the gall, and laying the liver on a
hummock of grass, put the kidneys
beside it. (p. 54)
After viewing this demonstration, Droopy then takes his
turn, transforming the carcass from mere pieces of meat
into a tour de force of utility:

50
Now he was going to show me some
thing. Skillfully he slit open
the stomach and turned it inside,
tripe side, out, emptying the grass
in it on the ground, shook it, then
put the liver and kidneys inside it
and with the knife cut a switch
from the tree the buck lay under
and sewed the stomach together with
the withe so that the tripe made a
bag to carry the other delicacies in.
Then he cut a pole and put- the bag
on the end of it, running it through
the flaps, and put it over his
shoulder. . .(p. 54)
Under Droopy's tutelage, the narrator discovers the
plasticitv of the body. Unlike Karl's rhinceros, a shell
destined for public display upon a wall, the reedbuck at
Droopy's touch becomes an object of protean possibility,
magically transmuting from one state to another as inside
becomes out, organs become containers, consumer becomes
nourishment. To an even more emphatic degree than the
rhinoceros, the reedbuck carries no public or cultural
significance; its lesson for the narrator is strictly
personal
An intrinsic part of this lesson, the coalescing of
the arts of hunting and writing, clearly comprises the
central event of the reedbuck incident. The tool with
which the narrator must dress the carcass is a penknife
("Droopy had no skinning knife and I had only a penknife
to stick him with"). Since this particular artifact was
first used in the maintainance of quill pens, its double
function as an instrument of writing and of hunting

51
cannot be overlooked. To be legal meat, the body of the buck
must be stuck immediately (p. 157). Therefore, the skill
with which the narrator/hunter presses his knife against the
heart, his fingers against the body, determines the food
value of the kill. With like skill must the narrator/artist
press the pen against the paper, his imagination against
the matter of his world, to shape the living prose.
The killing of the reedbuck occasions an immediate exer
cise of style as the pupil applies in his narrative the values
Droopy has championed and he himself has assimilated.
These values are evidenced nowhere more powerfully than in
the conversation that brings the reedbuck chapter to an end.
The nighttime setting parallels in its makeup the one the
narrator has shared with Droopy during the day: a couple
(this time the narrator and his wife), alone (in their tent,
as the narrator has been in the country with his guide),
sharing the conflicts of their lives (in this case the
jealous rivalries of the Parisian literati).
. . said P.O.M. "We have fun though
don't w7e? Without all those people."
"God damn it if we don't. I've had a
better time every year since I can
remember."
"But isn't Mr. J. P. wonderful? Really?"
"Yes. He's wonderful."
"Oh, you're nice to say it. Poor Karl."
"Why?"

52
"Without his wife."
"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl." (p. 66)
Since the portion of the conversation immediately
preceding this exchange has divulged how another author
learned to write conversation by imitating the narrator,
the quoted lines become a virtuoso display in self-aware
style. No excess description impedes the functioning
of the speech; whatever physical and psychological
action transpires in the scene occurs within the words
themselves. The narrative does not dwell often upon
what might be called domestic scenes. In this one of
the few times it does, it lingers upon the couple alone,
upon these two who have sloughed off "all those people."
Having repudiated the Parisian literati, and deserted for
the evening their fellow travelers, the narrator and P.O.M.
withdraw from the world of society into the world of marriage
The physical space of that world is defined by the walls of
the tent that shelters them in the sleeping camp; the linguis
tic space of that world is defined by the pronoun "we."
In the description of Droopy at the beginning of
Chapter Three the personal pronoun rendered in language
the personal bond between the subject of that description
and the I/eye who described him. So in the conversation
between the narrator and his wife at the end of Chapter
Three, the plural personal pronoun conveys the intimacy
shared by the two conversers. Both speak in terms of

53
"we" as they muse about the life they share, acknowledging
verbally the union in which they are partners. And union-
the world of "we" is the subject of this passage, stylis
tically, psychologically, and sexually.
Karl, with whom the exchange concludes, has been
proved poor in many ways. He, like his friend, has had
the fortune to hunt with "good-looking savages" and the
chance to learn from them all that phrase entails. But
Karl learns nothing, failing to communicate even super
ficially with his guides. Significantly, Droopy never
hunts with Bwana Kabor. But Karl is manifestly poorer
in another way, as the conversation demonstrates. He
is poor because he lacks his wife, as is agreed upon by
the two voices we hear issuing into the quiet of the
night.
"... Poor Karl."
"Why?"
"Without his wife."
"Yes," I said. "Poor Karl."
The sentences are as unencumbered as Droopy without his
fez, as close to the emotion of the matter as the nar-
rator./hunter to the reedbuck's heart. Poor Karl with
out his wife, says a man with his wife. The unstated,
implied converse floats up into the African air as surely
as if it were inscribed upon the page: Poor Karl ....
Lucky me.

54
With these wordsspoken and unspokenthe conversation,
the scene, and the chapter close. No further narration
follows their utterance, but given the intensifying
intimacy of the passage, the break in the text points
toward husband and wife making love. Chaman Nahal has
pointed out the service of adverbs in implying sexual
intercourse in The Sun Also Rises.3 In Green Hills, rather
than taking the form of an adverbial interruption within
one line or between two lines as in Nahal's examples, the
sexually-suggestive break assumes the shape of the blank
space upon the page after the conversation. This presenta
tion of the sexual union by visual means bears out the
growing importance of the image within the narrative,
including that of the text as an image upon the page, as
the narrative passes from the verbal virtuosity which
sets the action into the visual one which fulfills it.
The narrator discusses sex outright a few paqes
later in Chapter Four (p. 72) and on at least one other
occasion in the narrative (p. 249), but the closing scene
of Chapter Three marks the only instance to hint at his
active engagement. The appropriateness of such a scene
to the purposes of the narrative is clear. It is fittinq
that the Part of the book most concerned with the body
should include its conjugal celebration, that a chapter
whose action is sparked by an eye/body relationship (the
narrator looking at Droopy) should climax in the most

55
intimate of such relationships. And, given this generating
power of the eye, it is even more fitting that this union
be realized visually: in that space upon the page after
Chapter Three ends and before Chapter Four begins, it is
as if the eye closes as the "I" withdraws into the intimacy
of "we." Only the tent which witnesses first an exchange
of words between the present wife and the lucky husband
witnesses then an exchange of hearts and bodies, deep in
the rich African night.
Droopy 1s Country
During the period designated as "the time of Droopy,"
the narrator and the safari enter a part of Africa known
among themselves as "Droopy's country." A "country" has
been defined previously by the narrator as "an area, a
valley or range of hills, a man can hunt in." This
usage in the hunting vocabulary allows the term to fill
a larger narrative need in Green Hills. Throughout the
safari, only one African country in the political sense
of the word is mentioned, and precious few towns; rather,
"country" takes on a role as psychic space, as an arena
of expertise within which a man may act. With this
emphasis the naturalistic is valued over the political,
the achievement of man as individual, over man in groups:
"Droopy's country" designates that perfect conjunction
between the demands of a particular terrain and the
talents of a particular hunter.

56
A "canyon [that] ran down to the Rift Valley, seeming
to narrow at the far end where it cut through the wall of
the rift," constitutes Droopy's arena of action. As would
be expected in the case of the native who has acted as
a guide to the body, Droopy's country abounds in physical
proliferation, from the lushness of its vegetation ("the
trees were heavy and tall and the floor of the canyon,
that from above had been a narrow gash, opened to a forest-
banked stream"), to the superabundance of game. In their
search for water buffalo the hunting party are confronted
at almost every turn with prize rhino specimen, which in
every case turn out to be cows accompanied by one, if not
two, calves. The reproductive activity attested to by this
display pervades not only plants and animals in Droopy's
country, but men as well.
Throughout his tutelage to Droopy, the narrator has
been undergoing a regeneration, of which his sojourn in
the canyon marks only an intensification. Prior to the
time of the narrative the American hunter had been ill,
but now he
. . had that pleasant feeling of
getting stronger every day. I was
underweight, had a great appetite
for meat, and could eat all I wanted
without feeling stuffy. Each day
I sweated out whatever we drank
sittina at the fire. . .(p. 55)
The regeneration of this American coincides with the
degeneration of the other American hunter on the safari,

57
his friend Karl. As suggested by the image of the moon
in the rhino hunt, Karl is waning while the narrator
waxes. One way the theme of physical waxing presents
itself is in the narrator's "great appetite." The acts
of eating and drinking afford much pleasure, be the
nourishment a "lunch of cold sliced tenderloin, bread,
and mustard, and a can of plums," or the beer that "was
still cool, from the night and opened by the tin opener
. . creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full-bodied."
As is borne out by the descriptions of the lunch and beer,
great care is taken to set forth in detail the concrete
things of the world, the bounty of the green hills that
sustains the body. Furthermore, the narrator's appetite
extends from the sustaining surplus of the world to the
world itself. Appropriately, a verb of appetite describes
the narrator's desire for the country in which he finds
himself: "New, being in Africa, I was hungry for more
of it."
What the narrator hungers after, and what Droopy
teaches him to find, is "now"through the appetites
of, the immediate demands of, the now of the body. Karl,
the narrator's chief alter ego in Part II, is trapped in
"then"; the compulsion of his intellect to remember a
life across the Atlantic never permits his senses to
experience the "now" of Africa. Revealingiy, Karl does
not enter Droopy's country, does not enter the world of

58
"now." But the narrator does, and upon entry he finds
in that country a stage of awareness best described by
Chaman Nahal:
The key word for understanding the
Hemingway hero, according to my
reading, is spontaneity. The
Hemingway hero is a man immensely
alive to everything, and in his
spontaneity he has the vital
capacity to react to life in innu
merable and unpredictable ways.
That is the true Hemingway hero:
a genuinely spontaneous individual
. . The desire in his heroes
is to feel everything fullyand
therefore slowly, egolessly. "He
did not want to rush his sensations
any," says Hemingway about Nick in
"Big, Two-Hearted River," and the
expression is typical. The life
of the trout, of the mink, and of
the mosquitoes and the grasshoppers
that is painted in the story comes
rushing to Nick because of his ex
treme sensitivity to what is going
on around him.4
While Nahal's unqualified extension of this observation
about Nick Adams to later, more complex protagonists may
be questioned, its rightness for the narrator at this
particular phase in his African journey is unquestionable.
For the duration of this sensory "now," the life of the
reedbuck, of the rhino, and of the tse-tse flies and
the locusts enriches the narrator every bit as much as
the life of Nick's country enriches him. The narrator
enters Droopy's countryand makes it his own.
Droopy walks into the green hills of Africaon a foot
safari with the narrator and M'Cola, through the high grasses

59
of his own country, onward to where the canyon meets the Rift
Valleyand then simply vanishes from the narrative, never
to be seen or mentioned again. The intensity and the brevity
of his walk among the hills suggest that this guide acts as
a vital, but limited, agent for promoting growth in the nar
rator. That Droopy presides over a distinct phase in the
journey of his pupil is borne out by the great capacities,
but even greater limitations, of his body, his time, and his
country. The first limitation is found in the superb body
whose eyes discern the trails and pinpoint the game. But for
all their efficiency, these organs look only earthward; they
do not incorporate lateral vision, the direction associated
with the fellow guide M'Cola. Droopys vision is that of the
primal interaction of man with earth, not the more complex
interaction of man with man. The drooping eyelids that beget
his name act as natural blinders, restricting his field of
sight to one plane. The resemblance of these lids to
blinders recalls a similar use of vision and places Droopy
in the sequence of the safari; the narrator follows the path
blazed by Droopy before he rises from the blind.
Just as Droopys body suffices only so far, so does
his utilization of the products of civilization. "The time
of Droopy" acquires added significance when one considers
the place of this guide among the company of westward
wanderer/wonderers on the road. Droopy most closely
resembles the more primitive of the peoples, the nomadic

60
hunters, as opposed to the more advanced family units with
which his cohort M'Cola is associated. In addition to
cultural advances signified by the societal groupings, the
guide's relationship to time is disclosed also by his deploy
ment of artifacts. Droopy wears the cruder knotted tunic,
in contrast to M'Cola's buttoned jacket. The inexperience
also plagues his knowledge of weapons. The African hunter
may wield handily the ever-present spear, but in the pivotal
confrontation with M'Cola after the buffalo kill, the
intricacies of a double-barrelled shotgun elude him.
I told Droopy he could keep my big gun.
He said he knew how to shoot so I took
the shells and put on the safety and
handing it to him told him to shoot.
He put it to his shoulder, shut the
wrong eye, and pulled hard on the
trigger, and again, and again. Then I
showed him about the safety and had
him put it on and off and snap the gun
a couple of times. M'Cola became very
superior during Droopy's struggle to
fire with the safety on and Droopy
seemed to get much smaller. (pp. 120-21}
This reversal in Droopy's role from a leader "in command
of the show" to one in need of instruction marks a major
shift in the narrative. For all his gifts, Droopy cannot
take the narrator into the twentieth century, into the present
time of the novel (the Part recounting his story, "Pursuit
Remembered," is a flashback). The boundaries of his talents
are presented in terms of vision; unable to coordinate his
eyes, he cannot fire the gun. And the narrator perceives

61
these boundaries optically: M'Cola gains in stature as
"Droopy seemed to get much smaller." This change in
physical perspective reflects a change in imaginative
perspective. Having absorbed all Droopy can teach him,
the narrator now looks to the guide who will loom large
in his next steps upon the road.
That road leads from Droopy's country to the rock
wall of Africa's Rift Valley. The narrator returns to
the road after having been thwarted from entering the
heart of the guide's country by a tangle of reeds that
defies the hunting party and forces Droopy to call off the
hunt ("We both felt good because we had made Droopy do
the calling-off and I was relieved as well"). Soon after,
a fine buffalo bull breaks from the thicket and the nar
rator bags him. Back in camp after the kill, planning the
next stretch of the safari, the narrator and Pop question
Droopy about the country just beyond his. "'Well ask
Droopy how the valley is.' Droopy didn't know. ..."
(p. 22). The layout of the land captures the crux of
the matter. Beyond the periphery of his vision, beyond
the borders of his canyonthe Rift Valley is out of
Droopy's country. During the time the guide and his
pupil walk together on the road, Droopy takes the narrator
forward. He gives freely of his special gifts, preparing
the narrator for the future (the reedbuck, an antelope,
foreshadows the more prized kudu, also an antelope).

62
Then, his task complete, Droopy walks to the end of his
country, and out of the narrator's story.
After following Droopy to the end of his country,
the narrator then proceeds beyond that country toward his
rendezvous with Karl at the Rift Valley. Of all the
lesser topographical features that contribute to the overall
"shape of a country," none occupies the African landscape
more imposingly than that gigantic cleft. The sentence
which introduces Karl into Part II designates the Rift
Valley as his destination, and after taking his "dream
rhino," Karl too directs his path that way. The name of
the valley captures the mood of the safari at this point;
Part II is rife with dissension. Bitter words pass between
the narrator and P.O.M. during (pp. 94-5) and after (p. 120)
the buffalo hunt, and bickerina preoccupies Karl and the
narrator on the plain in a hunt where the auarrv seems
more each other than the intended zebra. The personal
sniping demonstrates on a small scale the fiercer competi
tion between the two bia game hunters. The nature of
the first animal taken in the search for such game, the
rhinoceros, has established their conflict as a territo
rial one. In Chapter Six that territorial struggle
assumes monumental proportions: when the paths of the
two do cross, it is in terrain that suggests tensions
violent enought to split a continent asunder.

63
The moon that has shown over the African landscape
in Part II, illuminating the simultaneous processes of
waxing and waning, regeneration and degeneration, now
shines over the Rift Valley. And like that globe, the
valley too contains within itself the flux of life and
death. The Rift Valley reproduces on a panoramic scale
the womb/tomb archetype of the blind. Displaying the
bifurcation of the "hollow half full of ashes and dust,"
one of its halves holds the dust of the plain, the other
the waters of Lake Manyara. The world of the plain and
the world of the lake constitute distinct entities,
distinguished from one another most strikingly by their
wildlife. On the plain the black and white zebra "gallop
in the grey heat haze, raising a dust," while at the lake
"the unbelievable cloud" of rose-pink flamingoes rises and
settles at the sound of shots, as if attuned to a heart
beat (p. 133).
As they possess different topography and wildlife,
so the plain and the lake claim a different protagonist.
With "caked dust on his face," the plain marks Karl as
its own. From the moment he steps into Part II, Karl's
path has lead him to this place. Karl circumvents Droopy's
country, spurns the lessons of the senses. And in revenge
his body, deprived of nourishment, takes on the hue of
the plain: "eld Karl looked a grayish, yellow white in
the face . coming in like a death's head." The half

64
of the Rift Valley Karl inherits is the ashes and dust
the tomb. The hunter experiencing this inner deterioration
soon finds a memento mori among the hunted. The last night
in Part II, Karl brings in
a very strange and unfortunate kudu.
Only the skin running from the eyes
down to the nostrils, smooth gray
and delicately marked with white,
and the big, graceful ears were
beautiful. The eyes were already
dusty and there were flies around
them and the horns were heavy,
coarse, and instead of spiralling
high they made a heavy turn and
slanted straight out. It was a
freak head, heavy and ugly. (p. 173)
The tremendous wrenchinq necessary to the formation
of the Rift Valley hints at the magnitude of the narrator's
split with his friend and alter ego. The rift heralds
a realignment at the core of the narrator, as the intellec
tual ism espoused by Karl is rejected. The part of the
narrator most like Karl wanes along with that hunter.
For the first time on the safari, the narrator is suddenly
addressed as "Old Timer," "the old man, and "Old Hem"
all on the evening before and the evening of Karl's
capture of the misshapen kudu head. But as the head dies,
so the body is born. Having travelled through Droopy's
country and absorbed the lessons there, the narrator is
open to the revitalizing powers of Lake Manyara. His
stalking through the hummocks and canals while birdshooting
is climaxed by an abrupt fall into the lake: "you slip

65
and go face down and are sitting, enjoying being completely
wet finally, water cool on your behind, soaked with muddy
water, . M'Cola delighted with the spill" (p. 133).
Bathed in its amniotic fluids, for the narrator the Rift
Valley proves a womb.
Part II, "Pursuit Remembered," is as gigantic a chasm
in the chronology of Green Hills of Africa as the Rift
Valley is in the African landmass. Longer than all the
other Parts put together (seven chapters, as opposed to
two each in the other three Parts), "Pursuit Remembered"
is a flashback, a drop out of the present time between
Chapters Two and Ten. In fact, in the convoluted structure
of the narrative, Part II speeds toward the moment when
Part I begins. The use of the flashback, the mention of
memory in the Part's title, and the emphatic repetition of
the adverb "now" in the text suggest that, among ail its
other themes, Part II concerns itself intensely with two
men and how they deal with time. The first of these is the
narrator's companion. Encased in the mental revolutions
of his memories, Karl cannot open his senses to the "now"
that Droopy feels. For this man the present entails the
loss of everything he has so carefully deposited behind
in "then." But not only the present, the future too
entails loss: still basking in the conquest of the
incredible "dream rhino," Karl's only thought on the

66
safari's first day in the Rift Valley is that the following
day "he was facing possible defeat by oryx." In the world
of movement the narrator is learning to negotiate, Karl
wants everything to stand still, to be as changeless as
his past. Hence he values the end, not the processthe
trophy, not the hunt.
In contrast, the guide Droopy flows with the wholeness
of one moment to the wholeness of the next, from one "now"
to another "now." This immersion of himself in the fullness
of the present renders Droopy a truly gifted lover of life.
But as it frees him to the immediate in life, it also
imprisons him in it. For instance, when the narrator tries
to leave the unwieldy reedbuck carcass to be picked up by
porters later, Droopy simply cannot fathom his intent and
insists on carrying the animal to camp then. Although
unfettered by Karls past, Droopy cannot project ahead;
his present has no future. This inability to look beyond
the immediate consigns Droopy to the vicissitudes of a
physical life, unaided by mental disciplines such as
foresight. The sentence portraying the last act of the
guide in the narrative frames his deficiency as an
intellectual one: the one-timer tutor can tell his pupil
nothing about the country beyond his because "Droopy
didn't know."
Having had the luck to sojourn in Droopys country,
the narrator has acquired the guide's gift for "spontaneity."

67
Following in the African's steps has led to health; the
hunter waxes in body at Droopy's hands. But to overcome
the limitations of the guide, the narrator must be able
to advance into the future. This he will accomplish by
developing the ability to "know." This next stage in his
growth demands a different kind of mind than heretofore
encountered and requires a different guideM'Cola. So,
having survived the chasm of the Rift Valley, the chasm
of Part II, the narrator readies himself to crouch in
the blind, about to be born into the lessons of the road.

Notes to Part Ii
The reproductive capacity of the safari animals also
reflects the strength or weakness of the generative impulse
in each: rhinoceros cows and calves ("Manamouki! Manamoukii")
abound.
2
Hemingway was born in 1899; he went on safari 1933-4.
3
Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Heming
way's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971), pp. 43-44:
"We are now in chapter 7. Jake is
going up the stairs and the concierge
tells him that the lady of the previous
night, Brett that is, has been in to
see him and will call again. Soon
afterwards Brett arrives, this time
escorted by Count Mippipopolous in
person. Jake has had a shower and
leaves the Count and Brett, to go
into his bedroom to dress. He is
feeling 'tired and pretty rotten' when
Brett joins him in the bedroom.
'What's the matter, darling? Do you
feel rocky?'
She kissed me coolly on the forehead.
'Oh, Brett, I love you so much.'
'Darling,' she said. Then: 'Do you
want me to send him away?'
She is of course speaking of Count
Mippipopolous, but what is the mean
ing of the 'Then' here? What does it
denote a break with or a break away
from? What does Jake want? What is
it that he cannot receive or accom
plish in the presence of Count
Mippipopolous? . .
She goes to the next room and sends
the Count away.
She was gone out of the room. I lay
face down on the bed. I was having
a bad time. I heard them talking but
I aid not listen. Brett came in and
sat on the bed.

69
'Poor old darling.' She stroked my
head.
'What did you say to him?' I was
lying with my face away from her. I
did not want to see her.
'Sent him for champagne. He loves to
go for champagne.'
Then later: 'Do you feel better, dar
ling? Is the head any better?
'It's better.'
'Lie quiet. He's gone to the other
side of town.'
Again the mysterious interpolation 'Then
later.' What does it signify? What has
happened meanwhile? Why is Jake's head
suddenly 'better' now? Hemingway has
preferred to leave this part of the narra
tion an enigma, for perhaps he was not
quite sure in his mind whether to give
expression to what he wanted to convey
or not. Alternatively, he may not have
been sure in advance of the limit to
which Jake's privation would take him.
But it seems certain that during this
scene Jake receives and Brett gives him
a perverted sexual satisfaction. Such
satisfaction has been the subject of
literature earlier. But the solicitude
with which Hemingway presents the theme,
and also how he projects it more as a
necessity of the moment or the circum
stances in question than as a variation
willfully contrived, speak of his crafts
manship.
. . In the stillness of the moment, both
Jake and Brett see the uncommon and the
unthinkable as their present demanda
demand which comes with an insistence
and compels obedience. The simple adverb
'then,' repeated a little later as 'then
later,' shows the fulfillment of that urge,
while the forward action of the novel is
at a standstill."
d
Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Heming
way's Fiction (Rutherford; Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971}, p. 85.

PART III
THE MIND IN THE WORLD
The Guide M'Cola
As the narrator waits at the side of the road in the
first scene of Green Hills of Africa/ another figure also
crouches with him in the roadside blind. That figure, the
guide M'Cola, has come to the fore in the pivotal shift of
perspective from the sensory to the intellectual in the
flashback of Part II. This shift is signaled by the chang
ing prominence of the native guides: when the more elemental
Droopy leads the safari to the border of his country and can
then go no farther, the more knowledgeable M'Cola emerges as
the dominant African. M'Cola's importance is indicated by
the position of prominence he holds at the narrator's side,
first in the roadside blind and then when the narrative
returns to the present time of Part III. The narrative shift
in emphasis, and the consequent rise of M'Cola, bears direct
ly upon the American hunters on the safari. As previously
discussed, the blind the narrator and M'Cola occupy in Part
I and the one Karl shoots from in Part II function as arche
typal womb/tombs. Karl's hunt should rightfully climax his
search for kudu, but instead the blind that cradles him
labors and brings forth only the freak kudu head. The
70

71
influence of Karl, the mind revolvincr, dies in the dust of
of the plain. His blind proves a tomb. M'Cola, on the
other hand, partakes of the waters of Lake Manyara along
with the narrator and so survives to be one of the "we"
who gestate in the roadside blind. The image of the mind
that emerges in the figure of this guide presents an alter
native to the alienation rampant in Karl.
The progression from sensory development at the hands
of Droopy to mental development under the auspices of M'Cola
is presented as part of the narrator's process of maturation.
The ages of the respective guides correspond to the sequence
of the stages; the narrator learns the lessons of the body
from the younger Droopy, the lessons of the mind from the
older M'Cola. Their individual chronologies parallel the
panoramic chronology of the road image; Droopy walks the
length of his country barefoot, while M'Cola, more versed
in artifacts, goes shod. The narrator's maturation is also
framed in terms of vision. Prior to being born from the
blind, the narrator is taught by Droopy, gifted with dis
cerning, but earthbound, eyes. Droopy's successor, M'Cola,
raises his eyes to the level of human interaction, to the
larger scope of the world. When the narrator wakes to the
world outside the blind, he is born with M'Cola at his side,
the direct beneficiary of that guide's special vision.
M'Cola's unique appearance bears out his role as a
model of the mind. In the descriptive passages that begin

72
Part II the narrator carefully eyes first the handsome
Droopy and then M'Cola, remarking of the latter:
I remember how surprised I was the
first time I saw . how old the
upper body was. It had that aged
look you see in photographs of
Jeffries and Sharkey posing thirty
years after, the ugly, old-man
biceps and the fallen pectoral
muscles. (p. 48)
The deterioration of M'Cola's body, especially in contrast
with Droopy's, focuses attention instead upon his head:
M'Cola shook his head. I looked at
his bald skull and he turned his face
a little so that I saw the thin Chinese
hairs at the corners of his mouth.
(p. 3)
The narrator's act of looking at M'Cola constitutes one of
his very first acts in the narrative; from the beginning,
this head is central to his concerns. Its significance is
also validated by the primal image of the womb. The narra
tor turns to examine the head while he and his guide crouch
inside the blind; as the pair abandon the blind to walk
upright upon the road, a new mind is born.
Clues to the kind of mind active in M'Cola lie in the
traits of his extraordinary head. The baldness that accen
tuates the contours of the skull, the facial hair that is
identified in precise ethnic termsM'Cola presents to the
world the image of a buddha. And he maintains, along with
the appearance, the attitude of a buddha as well. Through
out the twists and turns of the safari, the "black Chinaman"
looks onas quarries are lost or taken, friendships flourish

73
or wither, other guides come and go. Through Droopy's
country, in the Rift Valley, and all along the road, the
life of Africa plays out before his all-encompassing gaze.
M'Cola's premier response to this panorama appears
first in the blind when an accompanying native scrawls his
name. The narrator reports that "M'Cola looked at the word
without a shadow of expression on his face." This reaction
of expressionlessness is the one detail in addition to the
description of M'Cola's face that the narrator notes in the
blind and its presence is crucial to an understanding of
this mind. The face with which M'Cola beholds the world is
expressionless--without ego. The native lives no life out
side the safari. In the only reference to an existence of
his own, Pop remarks that M'Cola has "a grown-up family in
the native reserve." The white hunter's choice of words
discloses the situation concisely: M'Cola has placed his
emotions as he has his familyin reserve. Unfettered by
external demands, neither is M'Cola prey to internal ones.
The vanity of the lesser guide, whose scrawling could prove
deleterious to the hunting party's shooting, leaves M'Cola
decidedly unmoved. This guide brings to the safari a view
point unobscured by personal emotions or preconceived
reactions. Rather, he comes almost as a tabula rasa, open
to whatever impressions the world might momentarily etch
upon him. The bald, bewhiskered buddha exhibits a counte
nance freed of its own self so that it may more clearly

74
perceive the phenomena passing before it. With unfurrowed
brow and unrestricted vision, M'Cola is the consummate
observer.
One response the world elicits from the guide occurs
in an incident recounted early in the narrative. The narra
tor recalls shooting guineas while M'Cola looks on.
He laughed always to see the birds
tumble and when I missed he roared
and shook his head again and again.
"Ask him what the hell he's laughing
about?" I asked Pop once.
"At B'wana," M'Cola said, and shook
his head, "at the little birds. ..."
So bird shooting became this marvelous
joke. If I killed, the joke was on
the birds and M'Cola would shake his
head and laugh and make his hands go
round and round to show how the bird
turned over in the air. And if I
missed, I was the clown of the piece
and he would look at me and shake with
laughing. (pp, 36-7)
The paradigm of the birds clarifies M'Cola's point of view.
The birds can tumble down in death or fly away in life; it
is all the same to him. In the struggle for survival that
unfolds before him, the African buddha views both life and
death with equanimity, as the necessary and equal poles be
tween which run the energies of the universe. This guide
sees all, and rejects nothing. The quality of mind inherent
in M'Cola is one unqualifiedly accepting of and profoundly
appreciative of the world.
This accepting, appreciative point of view allows M'Cola
to respond to the hunt scenario with pure, unadulterated

75
"delight." The word twice characterizes his response to
the narrator's battle with the birds, once in this passage
(p. 36) and again during the bird hunt at Lake Manyara
(p. 133). The nature of the laughter that shakes the black
head confirms his disinterest. M'Coia laughs simultaneous
ly "at B'wana" and "at the little birds." The "piece"
therefore boasts no heroes and no villains, only partici
pants, and all potential sources of delight. In fact, the
only theatrical role designated is that of "clown." The
narrator's antics at Lake Manyara earn him this part; when
he executes a pratfall into the lake in the manner of low
comedy, "M'Coia [is] delighted with this spill."
The terms in which the narrator chooses to describe
the bird passages place M'Cola's role as observer within
the highly structured context of the theater. In that con
text the world exists as spectacle and M'Coia as an extreme
ly able audience. Important ramifications follow from the
attitude the guide displays toward that spectacle. In his
vision entrances and exits interweave in a shifting, but
compensatory, whole. Hence death is no tragedy. The birds
may tumble down or they may fly away; the play goes on.
M'Coia in no sense inhabits a tragic world. The sense of
loss, of depletion that pervades Karls world does not enter
into the vision of this guide. Tears do not mar the black
face. Instead, the "piece" MCoia observes would be classi
fied a comedy. This genre inherently promotes M'Coia's

76
world view as an alternative to Karl's dour pessimism.
First, the broad humor of low comedy is no respecter of
persons; the genre does not lend itself as a vehicle for
the preservation of a public ego. Karl, rigid with anxiety,
hardly exhibits the resilience necessary to a clown. Sec
ondly, the physicality of the form insures contact with the
earth. Instead of the self-cannibalism of a mind revolving,
here the mind is turned outward, constantly attuned to its
surroundings. In order to comprehend the fullness of
M'Cola's vision, one may simply broaden the definition of
comedy from its more specialized classification as a thea
trical genre to its larger definition as the optimistic
element of life in general. In the end, this sweeping
earthly vista is the spectacle that enthralls M'Cola the
observer. Forsaking tears, the black head beholds the
world . with blankness at the things of ego, or with that
shake of approval at the wonder of things as they are.
M'Cola's Country
From the very start of its travels in Africa, the even
tual and inevitable onslaught of the continent's rainy
season has threatened the safari: "You could feel the rains
coming, as they moved steadily north, as surely as though
you watched them on a chart." The advance of the rains
spells a countdown for the travelers who must conclude their
hunting and leave before the storms render the roads to the

77
coast impassable. The present time of Green Hills of
Africa deals with the last four planned days of the hunt.
Part I covers the evening of the first day when Kandisky's
lorry disrupts the blind and the morning of the second day
when the narrator shoots guineas; Part II flashes back in
seven chapters to the preceding events of Droopy's country
and the Rift Valley; and then Part III returns to the pres
ent, to the afternoon of the second day that began in Part
I. It is on this afternoon that the rains arrive at last.
As the narrator and M'Cola head out in the car after lunch
to the saltlick, their coming difficulties are presaged by
puddles on the road from the previous night. Before long,
the skies shower "drizzlingly." The following morning (the
third and next-to-the-last day) opens with a "mist [hanging]
over the ground" which soon becomes "light rain pattering
in the leaves." This patter condenses first into "fairly
hard," then unmitigatedly "hard" rain, until the narrator
and his party stalk a world utterly saturated with moisture:
Puffs of cloud hung on the hillside
after the rain and the trees dripped
but we saw nothing. Not in the open
glades, not in the fields where the
bush thinned, not on the green hill
sides. (p. 189)
The farther the narrator endeavors to penetrate this stretch
of road, the denser grows the rain, until the safari is
forced to an absolute standstill in Chapter Ten.
M'Cola's presence pervades the four-day stretch of road
from the blind of Chapter One to the stasis of Chapter Ten.

78
In the canyon, Droopy introduced the narrator to the pro
tean possibilities that reside within physical forms; along
the length of road, M'Cola introduces him to the challenge
of things beyond human manipulation. This lengthM'Cola's
countryis the country of rain. The change of seasons
ranks as just as significant a terrestrial event as does
the Rift Valley, commanding a place in the scale of the
African landscape beyond the individual configuration of a
road, beyond a self-contained pocket of terrain. When
depicted on the vast continental sweep of Chapter Ten, rain
epitomizes the impersonal universe, nature beyond the human
ego.
From the seminal image in which he appears, M'Cola's
relationship to the natural world has been hallmarked by
acceptance and compliance. In the roadside blind, he and
the narrator accommodate themselves to the curves of the
dirt hollow; unlike the cruciate guide, they do not stride
above it like a colossus. Indeed, the hunter and the gun-
bearer literally efface themselves as they crouch in the
cover of the blind. The overall process of hunting provides
the narrator an avenue to purge himself of the ego that de
mands a display like the one in which the Christ-like guide
indulges. That opening image of the blind clearly sets
unbridled ego at odds with survivalthe native's rash words
and movements would scare away every animal within shooting
range. As practiced by the master M'Cola, hunting becomes

79
the suspension of ego. The narrator as novice must submit
to others more knowledgeable, bend to the demands of land
and weather, school the self in the inclinations of game,
and control momentary personal desires that would interfere
in the larger task at hand.
When the narrative resumes in Chapter Ten, it is after
the seven intervening chapters of Part II:
That all seemed a year ago. Now, this
afternoon in the car, on the way out to
the . saltlick, . just having
shot the guinea fowl, . losing a
shot the night before on this lick
because of the Austrian's truck, I knew
there were only two days more to hunt
before we must leave. (p. 176)
The opening sentences of Chapter Ten immediately recapture
the "now, this afternoon" of the second day. The inaugural
landscape of Green Hills reassembles itself: the road, the
narrator in movement on it, the gunbearer M'Cola along, their
destination the blind. But almost as soon as they set out,
it becomes apparent that this afternoon the hunting party
traverses a quite different terrain:
Where the sand was thin over the clay
there was a pool of water and you could
see that a heavy rain had drenched it
all on ahead. I did not realize what
this meant but Garrick threw his arms
wide, looked up to the sky and bared
his teeth in anger.
"It's no good," M'CoIa whispered.
(pp. 178-9)
The "Garrick" who throws his arms wide and grimaces at the
sky is the same guide who rose Christ-like over the blind

80
the day before. His identity, the cruciate stance he assumes
again, and M1Cola's recurring disapproval recreate his part
in the opening tableau. But the scene of the roadside blind
is not to be completely duplicated, for a new factor has
entered the landscape; in the night the rains have come.
The introduction of the rains alters the chemistry of the
scene, beginning by negating the narrator's second occupa
tion of the blind. The rains have decimated the saltlick,
thereby destroying the hollow's utility ("We settled down
in the blind and waited there until it was dark and a light
rain began to fall. Nothing came to the salt" [pp. 180-1]).
The inaugural tableau therefore lacks the very component
most central to its functioning, the womb archetype. But
as the rains sweep from their path one manifestation of this
generative image, so they also create another.
Drenching rain arrests the hunting party in mid-journey,
as the afternoon that began with puddles ends in a nightly
downpour. Despite his pressing awareness of ever-shortening
time, the narrator is forced to make camp on the road. An
event beyond human intention or manipulation, the rain physi
cally forces the narrator into a moment of contemplation.
In the night of rain he must reckon with this newly-evident
power of the earth, must determine his relationship to a
landscape that cannot be transcended. The cascading waters
occasion a provisional tent to be devised for the narrator:
Kamau had rigged a tent out of a big
canvas ground cloth, hung my mosquito
net inside, and set up the canvas cot.
M'Cola brought the food inside the
shelter tent. (p. 181)

81
Suddenly in the country of rain there is a refuge, affording
warmth and nourishment:
I undressed, got into mosquito boots
and heavy pyjamas and sat on the cot,
ate a breast of roast guinea hen and
drank a couple of tin cups of half
whiskey and water. (p. 181)
This new form that arises abruptly from the drowned road
side fulfills the missing element of the inaugural land
scape. The waters have obliterated the "hollow half full of
ashes and dust"; in the form of the tent they have caused
to be created a womb of canvas.
The newly-realized enclosure provides the space for the
events that transpire that night. Preparing to sleep in the
tent, the narrator directs M'Cola:
"You sleep here. Out of the rain," I
pointed to the canvas where the rain
was making the finest sound that we,
who live much outside of houses, ever
hear. It was a lovely sound, even
though it was bitching us.
. . I woke when I heard M'Cola come
in, make his bed and go to sleep, and
I woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me. . (p. 182)
The first night of the present time in Green Hills of Africa,
M'Cola takes the narrator into his world. Master and novice
mold themselves to the contours of the roadside blind, accom
panied by the two cumbersome natives. The second night
reprises the physical proximity of narrator and guide as
they sat side-by-side. But the night in the tent also marks
a more profound closeness; this time it is the narrator who

82
brings M'Colaaloneout from the rain, into shelter. The
evening the American hunter and the African gunbearer spend
together within the confines of the makeshift tent climaxes
the intimacy that has grown between the two men since Droopys
country. When the narrator takes M'Cola to be his tent com
panion, the novice is asking the master to come in. Physi
cally and intellectually, the effect of the narrator's
invitation to the tent is to internalize the vision of M'Cola.
Proof of this internalization comes quickly. Before
this night, the American hunter has held only one perspec
tive on rain: "I had thought of the rain only as something
that made tracking easy." The worth of the terrestrial
phenomenon was predicated entirely upon its value to the
hunter's own immediate purposes. But now, even though that
same phenomenon hinders the safari's efforts at its most
crucial time ("it was bitching us"), the narrator is yet
able to acknowledge "it was a lovely sound." With that ad
mission, he has acquired a perspective beyond the self; he
has incorporated the accepting and, even more importantly,
the appreciative viewpoint of M'Cola. As it falls before
the wise visage of the black buddha, rain is neither good
nor bad, it simply is; and its very participation in the
spectacle of the world confers a fineness and a loveliness
upon it.
A small detail of the tent scene confirms the complete
ness of the internalization. When the narrator sleeps,

83
M'Cola rests beside him; but when he wakes, he lies alone
under the canvas.
I woke when I heard M'Cola come in,
make his bed and go to sleep, and I
woke once in the night and heard him
sleeping by me; but in the morning
he was up and had made the tea before
I was awake. (p. 182)
M'Cola, the guide to the hunt, busies himself as he does
every day with the usual duties of the safari. But M'Cola,
the guide to a mind unfettered by Karl's shortsightedness,
having performed his most valuable duty, has been absorbed
into a more able agent of life. When the novice rises
alone from the night of rain, the view from the blind has
become the view from the tent. With M'Cola's help, the
narrator has learned to move not against, but with, the
mighty rhythms of the African continent.
Beyond M'Cola
The transition in guides from Droopy to M'Cola is pre
sented in Green Hills of Africa as part of a maturation
process the narrator is caught up in, a transition from a
sensual bonding with the world to an intellectual comprehen
sion of it. When the narrator follows the path through
Droopy's country, he walks behind a more idealized figure,
a guide at the apex of his skills. At that earlier stage
the American hunter depends much more heavily upon the Afri
can guide--for basic negotiation of territory, for elemen
tary procurement of meat. What Droopy introduces his pupil

84
tothrough the viscera of the reedbuck, the labyrinth of
the canyonis the body of the world, the absolute physi-
cality of Africa. Droopy's body lives at one with the
world's body; and the narrator recognizes and emulates this
harmony.
But this phase of awareness serves the narrator only
so far. Equating "self" with his surroundings, Droopy is
absorbed by the world; he knows no bounds but physical ones.
This guide lives entirely unaware of his own limitations as
a human being until brought up short by the edge of the
Rift Valiev, by the material presence of a rock wall! In
the end Droopy proves an indispensable, but circumscribed,
proponent of the narrator's growth. He experiences no
"other;" he does not know. In contrast to Droopy, the suc
ceeding guide does, above all else, know. M'Cola's ability
to mentally distinguish "self" from "other" is underscored
by the extreme example the world assumes as "other" in his
country: the deluge. The younger guide may merge into his
canyon, but the life-threatening rains insure the older
guide's preeminent awareness of difference. This awareness
of difference, this ability to discern "self" from "other"
most characterizes the guide. It manifests itself most
strikingly in the attitude M'Cola takes as spectator, with
the "other" (the world) as the play and the "self" (the
native) as audience.

85
Unlike the oblivious Droopy, M'Cola's vision embraces
both capacities and limitations, and rejects neither. The
acceptance he exercises while witnessing the safari's wan
derings extends to himself; M'Cola knows his own gifts and
failures. At the start of the rhinoceros hunt in Chapter
Three, the narrator notes: "M'Cola was not jealous of
Droopy. He simply knew that Droopy was . more of a
hunter, a faster and cleaner tracker." M'Cola also imparts
the potential of self-knowledge to the narrator. His
presence provides an antidote to the American hunter's com
petitiveness since he has witnessed the narrator's most
humiliating mistakes:
I sat there, using the sling, and shot
for [the Grant's] neck, slow7ly and
carefully, missing him eight times
straight in a mounting, stubborn rage,
not making a correction but shooting
for the same place in the same way
each time. ... I reached up my hand
to M'Cola for more cartridges, shot
again, carefully, and missed, and on
the tenth shot broke his damned neck.
I turned away without looking toward
him. (p. 82)
It is the knowledge of one's own finite capabilities that
provides a hedge against the ego that devours Karl.
It is precisely the shortcomings of M'Cola that signal
a more mature and healthy phase in the narrators growth.
The influence of the figure of the African guide upon the
safari lessens in importance as the American hunter learns
to function mere competently on his own. The narrator
operates much more independently of the guide to the

86
intellectual phase, M'Cola, than he ever did of the sensory
Droopy. This independencea realization on the narrator's
part of the widening separation between his emerging "self"
and the major "other" in his life at this point, M'Cola
is brought home in several ways. The narrator differs more
distinctly from M'Cola, in age and physique, for example,
whereas he was likened more to Droopy. And he is much more
able to criticize the elder native. Unlike Droopy, M'Cola
possesses foibles as well as wisdom. He commits major
errors out on the hunt, the gravest when he fails to prevent
P.O.M. from venturing into high grasses that might shield
a wounded buffalo (p. 116). But even this error in the
field pales against the repercussions that stem from one
particular oversight the guide makes in camp.
The narrator's hunting party wake from the night in the
tent to the morning of the third, penultimate, day of their
enterprise. They return to camp and attempt another stalk
through the moist environs, but meet with no success:
Finally it was dark and we went back
to camp. The Springfield was very
wet when we got out of the car and I
told M'Cola to clean it carefully and
oil it well. He said he would. . .
(pp. 189-90)
Chapter Eleven, the concluding chapter of Part III, then
chronicles the fourth and last planned day of the safari,
each of its precious minutes ticked off by the encroaching
rains. The hunting party make their first effort from a

87
blind, where the narrator has occasion to glance at his
gun:
Putting the Springfield across my
knees I noticed that there was rust
on the barrel. Slowly I pulled it
along and looked at the muzzle. It
was freshly brown with rust.
"The bastard never cleaned it last
night after that rain," I thought. . .
M'Cola had seen the rusty bore. His
face had not changed and I had said
nothing but I was full of contempt
and there had been indictment, evi
dence, and condemnation without a
word being spoken. So we sat there,
he with his head bent so only the
bald top showed, me leaning back and
looking out through the slit, and we
were no longex- partners, no longer
good friends; and nothing came to the
salt. (pp. 203-4)
That a safari and a friendship should, for all purposes,
end upon the ignominious sight of M'Cola bowing his head
against the narrator's anger rises from the significant cir
cumstances that comprise M'Colas neglect of the gun. Such
neglect constitutes the most serious breach in the guide's
duties on the safari, for M'Cola's chief function has been
gunbearer to the narrator. After the buffalo hunt in
Droopys country (p. 120-1), it was M'Cola's familiarity with
this twentieth century artifact, juxtaposed against Droopy's
unfamiliaritv, that indicated the ascendency of the older
guide over the younger one. The repetition of a pivotal
situation involving skill with a weapon again signals a
shift in the narrative, but this time away from M'Cola. The

88
schism that divides narrator and guide gains added import
when one realizes that its apparent cause, the rust along
the muzzle of the rifle, in fact results from the identical
phenomenon that brought the two men together. The rain that
enfolds the narrator and his guide in the union of the tent
also corrodes, not only the metal of the gun, but the matter
of their friendship as well.
A lapse in duty, then, discloses the limits of M'Cola's
sufficiency. The nature of the guide's error emanates not
from commission, but omission. This pattern of lack at
certain crucial points in the safari has characterized the
succession of guides: Droopy senses, but does not know;
M'Cola knows, but does not act. The night of rain which
promotes the rust marks a true union as the narrator incor
porates the vision of his master. But the union occurs in
circumstances not conducive to further advancement of the
narrator's growth. The story of that growth has always
been visualized in terms of movement, in the imagery of the
road. Yet the closest moment between M'Cola and the narra
tor transpires in stasis, with the truck forced to a stand
still and its passengers imprisoned by the rain. The topo
graphical imagery of Part III makes clear the bankruptcy of
M'Cola's vision: Chapter Ten begins in medias res, with the
narrator in movement upon the road; but Chapter Eleven,
chronicling the last day of the safari and the uncovering

89
of the guide's mistake, finds the entire enterprise stalled
upon the road.
M'Cola's vision has brought the expedition to this
impasse, with the narrator, like the guide, just looking at
the world, not acting in it. Just as the native's strengths
of acceptance and appreciation lie in his world view, so do
his faults. M'Cola remains essentially an onlookernot an
actorin the comedy of the world. The artifact instrumen
tal in his downfall illuminates the workings of this guide.
In Droopy's country the gun served to validate M'Cola's com
petence as guide; in the country of rain it invalidates his
competency for the next phase of the narrator's journey. In
addition, M'Cola is only the bearer of the gun, not the dis
charger of its explosive power. The bearer may look with
delight upon the spectacle of 3'wana and the birds, but he
himself makes neither life nor death happen. M'Cola never
kills during the safari; neither does he provide food. In
the end, M'Cola laughs at, not with, the world. The values
of this guide are those of a superb contemplator and he
generously passes on to a willing recipient the values of
a mind wide-ranging in its considerations, none more recep
tive in its outlook. But his limits lie in those same
values of the power of contemplation itself. As experienced
by the narrator of Green Hills of Africa, in the journey
this man makes intellect alone will suffice only so far.
By the end of three parts and eleven chapters of Green Kills,

90
the westward wanderer/wonderer has integrated Droopy's
grasp of the sensory with M'Cola's model of the mind.
Equipped now with body and mind, the narrator/artist leaves
behind the road of M'Cola for the third and most challeng
ing phase of his personal journeythe virgin land, the
country of the imagination.

PART IV
IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION
The Form in the Landscape
The advent of the rainy season entails a time of great
transition for the land of Africa, from the smallest guinea
to the largest elephant. The present of the narrative is
lived on the crest of a mounting wave of change, which
breaks over the landscape in the onslaught of rain. As
depicted in these pivotal four days between the dry and
rainy seasons, the world the narrator lives in is charac
terized above all by flux. The physical reaction of the
earth to the inundating waters indicates the nature of such
change. One immediate consequence is, of course, the rust
that eats at the metal of the narrator's gun; another is the
flooded saltlick. Both chemical decomposition and struc
tural damage bear witness to the destructive facet of the
process of change. But while the rain causes decay in the
present, it simultaneously prepares the continent for future
renewal. These seasonal rains supply the forward-looking
factor in the landscape of Green Hills of Africa; their
waters insure for the coming year the very greenness of the
hills. As evidenced in these multiple, co-existent perspec
tives, rain as the agent of change brings both corrosion
and generation to the continent of Africa.
91

92
Nowhere is the pervasiveness of this change reflected
more concisely than in the first scene in Part IV. On the
last afternoon of the safari, natives have come to the narra
tor's camp bearing electrifying news: "'He says,' Pop began,
'They have found a country where there are kudu and sable.'"
At this sudden release from what had been thought a doomed
enterprise, the narrator catapults out of the doldrums of
Chapter Eleven ("'I've hunted them hard, Pop. ... I've
enjoyed it and I havent worried up until today'") into the
motion of Chapter Twelve as he heads out to the new, unhunted
country with the natives. But the archetypal landscape sc
central to Part I has been washed by the rains of Part III.
Now as the narrator moves through that landscape in the
first scene of Part IV, three of its major components betray
the effect of that change; the guide, the read, and the
blind have been either destroyed or transformed.
Highly significant is the change effected in the human
component, the guide M'Cola. The figure of the African
guide looms less large as the safari nears its end, declining
from the heroic Droopy to the more fallible M'Cola. By the
time of Part IV, when the narrator abandons the road and the
blind, M'Cola has become only one among a handful of less
commanding figures. The current status of his participation
in the narrator's growth shows itself in the guide's reac
tion to the moment for which they've all waited, when the

93
narrator and. his party strike out for the kudu and the vir
gin land in the first scene of Chapter Twelve. From the
front seat the narrator "looked around at the back of the
car. M'Cola was asleep."
The sleeping guide has fulfilled the potential resi
dent within him from his first appearance in the narrative.
From the moment M'Cola raises his "bald black skull" and
displays the "thin Chinese hairs at the corners of his
mouth," his exterior is always cast in Oriental terms. The
ethnic imagery, reinforced by his geographical duties as
guide, serves as a constant visual reminder that above all
this guide helps to orient the narrator within the world.
When in Part III the American pupil internalizes the accept
ing, appreciative viewpoint held toward the world by his
African mentor, he is then provided with the means to relate
to that world. The vision of the Oriental African furnishes
an internal gyroscope for his pupil, permitting sure move
ment in a world increasingly fluid. The need for such
ability becomes paramount when the hunting party separates
from the rest of the safari and deserts the road, directing
their car toward parts unknown. As the party ventures out,
M'Cola takes a backseat and closes his eyes in sleep. In
the blind and along the road, the black countenance has
always acknowledged and valued the world passing before it,
but now it closes itself to the world, its faculties in
suspension. The new land M'Cola travels generates demands

94
beyond the elder guides capabilities. Therefore, having
equipped his pupil with a working legacy, M'Cola releases
him to the vision of the Wanderobo seated in the front
seat . and lapses into sleep. The narrator, a more
capable agent of life, must answer the demands of the vir
gin land.
The placement of the hunting company in the car reveals
the shifting emphasis in the narrator as he begins to track
the kudu. M'Cola has previously commanded the strategic
position by the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind
and then in the makeshift tent. But now one of the natives
who has brought news of the kudu and sable occupies that
place. The native, a Wanderobo tribesman, flanks the narra
tor in the front seat. It is important to the development
of the narrator, however, that one authority figure not
merely replace another. Consequently, because neither his
personal name nor a nickname is ever given in Part IV, the
Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the
qualities the name of his tribe suggests; when the narrator
ventures into the virgin country, into the unknown, the
qualities of the wanderer/wonderer come to the fore. This
transposition of a Wanderobo for M'Cola indicates the active
realignment going on in the narrator. An intellectual
observer, M'Cola lives apart from the life observed. As
the narrator grows into his full potential as an artist
incorporating Droopy's sensory health and M'Cola's mental

95
tolerancehe must reach beyond the latter's innate passiv
ity to become an imaginative participant in the creation
before him. This emphasis on participation finds its repre
sentative in the Wanderobo. Unlike M'Cola, whose unblink
ing vision comprehends an eternal present of counter-balan
cing beginnings and endings, the new nativelike the rains
in Part IIIturns to the future. He has seen the kudu and
sable, the magnetic quarries that draw the narrator on.
His forward-directed vision leads the hunters into Part IV.
The thrust of this vision becomes evident upon examina
tion of the role of the Wanderobo as a group throughout the
safari. From the very sentence that initiates the narra
tive"We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters
had built of twigs and branches"the Wanderobo functions as
the narrators predecessor in the journey of the road, the
builder of forms the narrator still inhabits. He is the
first artificer mentioned in the book and comes to repre
sent all the people on the road, the westward travellers
who carry arrows and spears, pots and pans, in their hands.
These implements mark the moment when the circumstances of
their wanderings set these people to wondering; the artifacts
are the answers of their invention to the challenge of the
environment. The same urge to manipulate one's world that
moved the travellers to shape weapons and containers, the
anonymous Wanderobo hunters to construct the blind, now
moves the narrator. He exhibits those values of mobility

96
and curiosity that provoked another wanderer/wonderer to
realize in twigs and branches the form in the landscape.
Just as M'Cola, the human component in the landscape,
undergoes change, so do the manmade forms. C-reen Hills
begins with the narrator crouching by a structure that
winds its way through the geography of eleven chapters
the road. But the downpour of Part III renders that road
impassable, and in the first scene of Part IV this trace
of man's presence quickly dissipates. The narrator's car
launches out on a "road that was only a track," "only a
cattle track." The hunters then pursue "a faint trail the Wan-
derobo pointed out" until "there was no track, only the
general direction to follow." Soon, having broken free of
the road and all outside points of reference, the party
rely instead on inner references, "driving with intelligence
and a sound feeling for the country." As a form the road
is a product of the past, its very existence the evidence
of others who have gone before. But before the establish
ment of roadways, pioneers must walk the virgin lands. If
the routes they ferret out are advantageous, others will
follow and the subsequent communal effort create the road.
But first must come the individual who dares to veer away
from the past of the road into the future of the unknown.
The road disappears from the landscape of Chapter Twelve
when the narrator enters the virgin land, when the road's

97
fixed, known direction renders it an instrument inadequate
to the scope of his wanderings.
Rather than disintegrating like the road, the second
manmade form in the landscapethe blindundergoes a meta
morphosis. Images of matrices mark the narrator's trek
across Africa: the Rift Valley, the Wanderobo blind, the
makeshift tent. The several permutations signify the narra
tor's intensifying involvement with the world: their con
struction shews man's advances in shaping his earth. A
primordial matrix commands the vista at the outset of the
safari, the awesome chasm of the Rift Valley, within whose
rock walls the waters of Lake Manyara quench the dust of
the plain. This first hollow is an entirely natural phenom
enon, singular and ponderous in its domination of the
countryside. The narrator and his companions feast on its
abundant supplies of water and game. The next womb image,
the blind built by the Wanderobos, exhibits in its making
an advance beyond the geological formation; it requires the
quantitative rearrangement of nature by man. Wanderobo
hands dug the hollow beside the road and placed the twigs
and branches above its sides in an effort to facilitate the
exploitation of another natural resource, the saltlick. In
the rift the range of the hunters is circumscribed to
the fertile shore of Lake Manyara; but with blinds that
can be built in any number and any place, the matrical form
multiplies to answer the needs of the human hunter. The

98
narrator, following in the footsteps of the Wanderobos, is
heir to their ingenuity; he too hunts from the blind. But
this construction never permits capture of the greater
kudu for which he searches, and in the rain of Part III,
both the saltlick and the nearby blind are washed away.
The thus outmoded form is altogether absent from the open
ing of Part IV. However, its function does not vanish from
the landscape; the blind metamorphoses into the makeshift
tent.
Throughout the African countryside, green tents have
dotted the path of the safari. For nine chapters the narra
tor has lived in enclosures that are both structured (house
like, with flaps for doors) and communal (such as the dining
tent, the most frequently mentioned tent, and others large
enough to accommodate couples). But a change transpires
after the destruction of the blind by the rain. The tent
that rises out of the flood in Part III differs from its
predecessors. First of all, it is improvised from its very
inception, beginning as a canvas ground cloth packed in the
narrator's car along with other supplies (p. 32). And
secondly, it is uniquely suited to the individual: when the
narrator is stranded on the road, the tent provides ideal
housing for this transient with its immediate response to
the environment ("My ground sheet tent was slung between a
tree and one side of the chicken coop"). This adaptibility
qualifies it for the exigencies of the kudu hunt, which is

99
manifestly an individual, not a communal, enterprise. Just
as the blind heralds an advance beyond the Rift Valley, so
the makeshift tent supercedes the blind. The blind entails
a quantitative reshaping of the earth; the processing of
cotton into canvas necessitates a qualitative transforma
tion of the material universe. The end product of this
process, a canvas cocoon, reaffirms in its connotation of
gestation the tent's identity as a matrical form. From a
chasm that dwarfs the hunter to a shelter that answers his
every demand, the matrix proves a viable form for the land
scape of Green Hills of Africa. The plural attributes of
its most refined version, the ground sheet tent, qualify
the tent for the world of change. It is strong enough to
withstand the country of rain, plastic enough to go into
the virgin land. With the re-emergence of the tent in
Part IV, the narrator comes into his own as a participant
in creation, as a maker of forms. The narrator/artist
carries this ability with him just as the narrator/hunter
carries the tent. In both capacities this individual com
mands the means to create a world.
The Sign of the Heart
The Foreword to Green Hills of Africa issues an intri
guing invitation to the narrative's readers: "Any one not
finding sufficient love interest is at liberty, while read
ing [this book], to insert whatever love interest he or she

100
may have at the time." That a seeming "travelogue" should
introduce the subject of love in its second sentence reveals
an unusual concern with that subject on the part of the
narrative. In many ways, however, Green Hills of Africa is
a love story. The "love interest" of the narrator is
revealed straight away in Chapter One; he and his friends
are sitting in the blind at the side of the road because
they have seen "long, heart-shaped, fresh tracks of four
greater kudu bulls that had been on the salt the night
before." Beginning with this first sign and continuing
throughout the narrative, the kudu is always described in
terms of the heart. In fact, the story opens upon a most
propitious day: when one examines the timing of the February
journey, one discovers that Green Hills begins on Valentine's
Day.1 But the employment of heart imagery ranges beyond
the sentimentality of the valentine to embrace the heart
and circulatory system in a subtle actualization of the pro
cesses of life itself. The narrator tracks the elusive
kudu to the "last hour of the last day" of the safari, for
not until then does a greater kudu bull appear before him.
Thus the "love interest" first raised in the Foreward has to
sustain the American hunter many, many African miles. Like
the rains which promise the future fertility of the hills
and the Wanderobo whose vision leads the hunting party to
the virgin land, the narrator's "love interest" provides a

101
major thrust in the narrative, as is so deftly indicated
in the homonymic "Foreward."
The varied wildlife the narrator meets in the course
of the safari serves to prepare him for his encounter with
the kudu in Part IV. The first animal killed under Droopy's
eye, the reedbuck, is an antelope like the kudu and func
tions as an antecedent for the more significant member of
its species. It initiates the heart imagery:
I felt for the heart behind the fore
leg with my fingers and feeling it
beating under the hide slipped the
knife in but it was short and pushed
the heart away. (p. 53)
Beginning with this initial contact, the narrator's effort i
to get to the heart, to grasp the living center. The reed
buck is a beginner's clumsy try; at the elemental phase in
Droopy's country the American hunter has much to learn. But
he senses intuitively what is most important about the task
before him, and he learns. After Droopy schools him in the
body, an incident in the Rift Valley gauges the effect:
we came on a water buck that had heard
us, but not scented us, and as we stood,
perfectly quiet, M'Cola holding his hand
on mine, we watched him, only a dozen
feet away. . M'Cola was grinning,
pressing his fingers tight on my wrist. . .
(pp. 138-9)
As the pair observe the water buck, also an antelope, the
native grasps the American's wristtaking his pulse. These
encounters with the two hunted animals act as indicators of
the hunter's own improving health; the proliferation of

102
heart imagery in the African bush country reflects the life
quickening within the narrator. His heart beats even more
strongly in the virgin land of Chapter Twelve when, having
absorbed MCola's contribution as well as Droopy's, he in
effect hunts alone. Aborigines hand a captured rabbit to
him:
[I] could feel the thumping of his
heart through the soft, warm, furry
body, and as I stroked him the Masai
patted my arm. (p. 220)
The narrator cradles the one indigenous creature while the
other registers his heart beat. Skin-to-skin, the rhythms
of the newcomer and his welcomers beat in time.
The territory which witnesses this attunement first
receives its designation in Chapter Twelve: "this was a
virgin country, an un-hunted pocket in the million miles
of bloody Africa." (p. 218) Given the presence of Mr.
Jackson Phillips, the safari's English white hunter, the
narrator's use of Briticisms such as "bloody assumes added
prominence. A few common examples"petrol" (gasoline),
"tin" (can), "torch" (flashlight)are thinly sprinkled
through the text, but on the whole the American hunter fore
goes their use. The two exceptions to this practice there
fore serve to make their respective points more effectively
The first Briticism in the narrative, "lorry," is used
specifically in Chapter One to solidly identify Kandisky's
vehicle as a European creation. The second exception,

103
"bloody," appears on practically every page of the text.
Such wholehearted adoption of the word by the American narra
tor, in the face of normal restraint, demands attention.
"Bloody," of course, operates as a profane intensive; but
at one and the same time the prolific term is also a heart
word. When the narrator hunts kudu through "bloody Africa,"
he tracks the sign of the heart across the domain of the
heart.
The American hunter finally meets his elusive prey in
the virgin country that opens up Chapter Twelve. On the
last afternoon of the safari's last day, just when he has
almost resigned himself to defeat, suddenly comes news of
the spotting of the kudu. It is as if a hole opens sudden
ly in what had been a closed universe and the narrator
shoots through into the universe of change and chance in
Part IV. Initially the narrator brings with him the weight
of preconceptions from Part III ("my exhiliration died with
the stretching out of this plain, the typical poor game
country"), but the land surprises him as he moves on into
the veritable explosion of green that burgeons before him:
The grass was green and smooth, short
as a meadow that has been mown and is
newly grown, and the trees were big,
high-trunked, and old with no under
growth but only the smooth green of the
turf like a deer park. . (p. 217)
"Putting-green smoothness," "this green valley"the virgin
land is hallmarked by fertility, both vegetative and animal.

104
In his first impression of this land, the narrator dubs it
"a deer park." Indeed, he points in the text to his choice
of words, pondering "how to describe this deer park country
and whether deer park was enough to call it." (p. 281) On
a simple level, the narrator's choice of words is appro
priate, since the antelope of the virgin country is related
to the deer family. But on a more complex level, "deer"
conjures up "dear," a heart word. In the case of the kudu,
the pun on "dear" operates in both senses of the word, as
something beloved and as something valued.
The most penetrating encounter of the narrator with
the beloved and valued creatures of the deer park is, of
course, his long-awaited rendezvous with the kudu. In the
"last hour best hour" of the safari, the hunting party sud
denly spots across a stream
a large, gray animal, white stripes
showing on his flanks and huge horns
curling back from his head as he stood,
broadside to us, head up, seeming to
be listening. (p. 229)
The narrator gets off two shots at the bolting game; then
none of us [were] breathing as we saw
him standing in a clearing a hundred
yards ahead, . looking back, wide
ears spread, big, gray, white-striped,
his horns a marvel, as he looked
straight toward us over his shoulder.
(pp. 230-31)
After firing once again, the narrator stumbles over a car
cass he discovers to be the first bull seen at the stream.
Then several yards ahead he finds the second bull who had

105
looked back. How prolific this green deer park! Not only-
does the narrator finally see a kudu after nearly exhaust
ing his allotted time, but it is a prize specimen and there
is not one, but two! It is as if in addition to the unex
pected new space of the unhunted land, the animal life too
begins to replicate.
The most extraordinary moment of the hunt occurs when
the second kudu looks straight back over his shoulder at
the hunting party; as M'Cola explains, the second bull,
having run with the wounded first bull, turns to discover
why that one no longer follows (p. 223). The image the ani
mal presents as he turns etches itself into the narrator's
vision: framed in a clearing, set off from the furor of the
chase, the kudu stands pristinely alone in its uniqueness.
This is the encounter to which the other antelope were pro
logue, and it is neither clumsy as with the reedbuck or
surreptitious as with the water buck. The bull halts
briefly in its forward plunge and for a moment two living
creatures behold each other in a direct and vital exchange.
The moment does not lingerthe kudu at the stream is
already dead, and soon so is its fellow. But in that one,
clear moment the hunter beholds his deer, the lover his
beloved.
The Kudu and the Sable
The narrator's preference for the greater kudu as his
"love interest" over trophies more traditionally associated

106
with African safaris discloses his concern with private,
not public, values. The structure of Green Hills of Africa
mirrors this emphasis by relating only one of the obliga
tory big game kills. The relegation of the confrontation
between the narrator and the lion to Chapter Two (pp. 40-41)
diffuses the impact of the incident early on. The hunt
practically ignores the bigger game, three lion and two
leopard being the only carnivores taken. The other meat-
eaters, for the most part, are the hyenas and the humans
themselves. Rather, the expedition centers more upon her
bivores, not even African exotica like elephants (of whom
we see only tracks and dung) but mostly antelope--rcan,
reedbuck, water buck, oryx, impala, eland, bushbuck, Grants
gazelle, kudu and sable. Indeed, as Pop says of the narra
tor's love interest, "[kudu are] the commonest big antelope
in this bush country. It's just that when you want to see
them you don't." Given the availability of the quarry, the
"dearness" of the deer park creatures must lie not in their
scarcity, but in their fulfillment of an inner need in the
narrator, in an inward response they alone evoke in him.
The sign of the heart leads here, to the clearing in
the wood where the kudu turns. These two factors, the place
and the manner in which the narrator discovers the bull,
illuminate what the narrator finds at the end of the heart-
shaped path. Having gotten off two shots, he spots an
animal he believes to be the first bull "standing in a

107
clearing a hundred yards ahead." It is most significant
that the place of this crucial encounter is "in a clearing."
A gerund, "clearing" indicates not only a place that has
been cleared but also an act that clears. It is this ver
bal attribute of the word that carries the kudu hunt pas
sage. The hunter's first shot, for example, depends
entirely upon his expertise in "clearing:" "[I] commenced
to crawl forward to be clear of the bush, sick afraid the
bull would jump." As the narrator/hunter successfully
clears his vision, so the narrator/artist clears his. His
eye catches the bull in a clearing, free of interference
from the terrain, free of human intrusion from the chase.
It is as if that narrative eye blinks to wash the scene of
all extraneous matter and opens, virgin, upon its long-
awaited object of desire.
In that one moment, "looking back, . his horns a
marvel, . [the kudu] looked straight toward us over his
shoulder." This direct, vibrant exchange between hunted
and hunter, image and artist, culminates in a far-reaching
vision of life. The narrator discovers the bull in motion:
in the momentary turn of its flight, and in the more endur
ing turnings of its life as captured in its spiralling
horns. Such turns, caught in the spirals, reveal much.
From the helix of the kudu to the arc of the sable, horns
are the layered excrescences of life. Unlike antlers which
are lost yearly, horns are lifetime tracings of the growth

108
of their formative organism. They acquire their shape from
constant contact with a vital center, the keratin benefici
aries of the pith that wells up from within. In addition
to the origins, the multitudinous shapes of the horns also
provide insight, the kudu horns in particular. The helical
growths incorporate a distinctive element of thrust in
their design; they grow not aimlessly, nor circle repeti
tively, but evolve. This evolution in their physical con
figuration also governs the appearance of the horns in the
timespan of the narrative. The sequence in which certain
horns are pursued at certain times in the narrative reveals
a pattern; beginning with the simple hook of the rhinoceros,
through the more intricate variations of the intervening
water buffalo and lesser antelope, to the complex spiral
of the kudu, the narrator pursues increasingly more developed
horns at the same time he is adding new dimensions to his
own experience. In the clearing when he finally sees before
him the spiral in its full complement, it is because he has
laid a proper foundation for it and can now be suitably
receptive. This correlation between the hunting trophies
and the narrator's existence is strengthened when he
expresses the impulse of his own life in horn-like terms:
"I've had a better time every year since I can remember."
The kudu horns prove particularly apt with their distin
guishing thrust; the comparative degree of "a better
time

109
every year" suggests not just an annual accumulation of
experience but a qualitative advance.
The principle of advance operative in the kudu horns
finds its linguistic equivalent in the part of speech most
conducive to action, the verbal, which carries the kudu
passage. The phrase "in the clearing," which initiates the
passage, utilizes the gerund. The narrator's subsequent
perception of the horns employs the attributes of another
verbal, the participle. These verbals imbue their subject
with activity; the magnificent kudu at the stream sports
"huge horns curling back from his head," "great, curling,
sweeping horns." The participles prepare the way for the
triumphant image the narrator relates when the hunting
party breaks camp in the virgin land. He stands alone before
the prizes of his journey and takes in their full beauty:
From the white, cleanly picked skulls
the horns rose in slow spirals that
spreading made a turn, another turn,
and then curved delicately in to those
smooth, ivory-like points. (p. 276}
In the narrator's observation, the participles give way to
the even more commanding vigor of active verbs. The horns
shape themselves right before the narrator's eyes: "the
horns rose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn,
another turn, and then curved delicately in." The spirals
embody the upward-struggling, ever-aspiring impulse forward
that has informed the story of Green Hills of Africa from
its first word to the end of the heart-shaped path and beyond.

110
These curling, sweeping, spreading growths that rise, turn,
and curve present a dynamic model of lifenot of what life
is, but of how it works.
When the narrator and his party finally enter the vir
gin land and set up camp in the on-coming darkness, they
manage to sight the kudu in record time; "we had not been
gone ten minutes" when the first bull appears. Soon after,
the darkness that circumscribed their hunting to the last
hour of the last day falls, yet brings with it a full night
of feasting:
It was getting cold and the night
was clear and there was the smell
of the roasting meat, the smell of
the smoke of the fire. . Each
man had his own meat or collection
of pieces of meat on sticks stuck
around the fire, they turned them
and tended them, and there was much
talking. (p. 239)
It is fitting that this hunt, more than any other, should
climax in a festival of food. Like the reedbuck before it,
the body of the kudu provides nourishment for the hunters
who have brought down their prey. The kudu is the gift of
the green hills. From the rains that fall yearly the grass
grows and turns the land to green; on that bounty the kudu
feed, and they in turn nourish man. This transformation of
energies, from the plant life of the green hills, to the
grasseating antelope, to the meateating man enacts more
and more complex stages in the mighty chain of earth's

Ill
regeneration of life with life. But the festival of the
kudu does not end with sated senses. At the same time kid
ney and liver broiled over the open fire satisfy the narra
tor/ hunter's hunger, the horns of the kudu furnish aesthet
ic nourishment for the narrator/artist. This revitali
zing property of the horns is stressed by their depiction
as a visual feast; their colors are cast in terms of food
imagery, "brown as walnut meats" and "the color of black
walnut meats." Rather than satiation, the festival of the
kudu invigorates the narrator. His eyes do not close at
all in sleep that night.
The narrator's quest for kudu ends with darkness, as
the hunters feed upon the takings of the day. The festival
of the kudu brings to a close the fourth day of the present
time of the narrative, the day designated in the first few
pages of Green Hills of Africa as the end of the safari.
But this original time limit of four days suddenly gives
way in Part IV. The bounds of the narrator's world have
already expanded to include the new space of the virgin
land; now they yield for an additional day, a new animal,
and a bonus chapter. It is highly significant that the
capture of the long-sought kudu does not climax the narra
tor's hunt. Such an unexpected turn in the timing of the
story demands attention. The words that herald the discov
ery of the kudu's home provide a clue to this aberration;

112
as Pop translates for the Wanderobo, "They have found a
country where there are kudu and sable. Thus from the
first the virgin land is identified as the home of the sable
as well as the kudu. Implicit in the Wanderobo's founding
vision, and borne out in the subsequent realization of that
vision, is this coupling of the helix-bearing kudu with the
other antelope. Neither species is even glimpsed by the
narrator outside the virgin land, while within its grounds
both flourish. The equal emphasis upon each one of the
antelope determines the structure of the narrative as well:
of the two chapters comprising Part IV, Chapter Twelve
deals with the kudu on the afternoon of the fourth day, and
Chapter Thirteen covers the sable on the fifth.
Chapter Twelve has established the first antelope, the
grey-and-white kudu, as a carrier of life. In Chapter Thir
teen its dark twin, the sable, becomes the champion of death.
The narrator's first glimpse of the sable parallels his
initial meeting with the kudu: "I saw the dark, heavy-built
antelope with scimitar-like horns swung back staring at us."
In the directness of the moment two features stand out that
are unique to the dark antelopeits color and its horns.
The striking blackness of the sable, the only antelope in
Green Hills with this hue, immediately calls up connotations
of death. The animal's very name is synonymous with black,
and phrases such as "dead black" and "black as hell" in the
narrator's description reinforce funereal associations. In

113
addition to the color of the sable, its horns also confirm
its identification with death. The "two great curves
nearly touching the middle of [the sable's] back" duplicate
the dark coloring of the coat. More profoundly, the func
tion of the horns in the survival of the animal is recalled
when the adjective "scimitar-like" compares their arc to a
weapon. Dyed in the signature of mourning and armed with a
death-dealing crest, the sable radiates the energy of death
The thematic and structural ascendancy of the dark
antelope brings into prominence a concern central to the
narrative, the phenomenon of death. One of the safari
guides provides a key insight along these lines in Chapter
Five at the shooting of the water buffalo: "'Kufai' M'Cola
said, making the word for dead almost explosive in its
force." This remarkable pronouncement carries implications
crucial to the narrator's story. Death in Green Hills of
Africa is, as indicated by the verbal expression M'Cola
gives it, an explosive phenomenon. The informing vision of
the narrative conceives destruction to be as dynamic, neces
sary, and valid a part of experience as preservation or
generation. The means with which this concern with death
is most completely worked out is in the image of the modern
day scimitar, the gun, the artifact which delivers this
explosive force into the hands of the hunter. The access
to the power that the gun offers faces each hunter with a
demanding question: how does one exercise this power?

114
The attitude of each hunter toward the gun reveals his
viewpoint toward the larger phenomenon of death in the
world. Kandisky, the representative of European organiza
tion, does not fire a shot in Green Hills. As evidenced by
his participation in the German war effort, he prefers the
group exertion of this power and the concomitant organiza
tional decisions that buffer him from facing death as an
individual. When Kandisky meets the narrator on the road
in Chapter One, the European chides the American hunter's
willingness to deal directly in deathwhile dining on
Grant gazelle at the narrator's table and sporting conspic
uous leather shorts. Kandisky's solution to the dilemma
of death is to refuse to confront the question; the parasit
ic and obtuse image he presents in the narrator's camp
refutes this solution outright. In contrast to the Austrian
expatriate, the native Africans exhibit a much more empiri
cal approach. For Droopy and M'Cola, the gun has functioned
as the supreme test of their fitness to guide the narrator
through the land of Africa. Their proficiency determines
their span of influence: the former's failure to master the
shotgun at the border of his country ends Droopys domina
tion of Part II; the latter's laxity in safeguarding the
rifle from the rain marks M'Cola's decline in Part III.
But both Droopy and M'Cola are limited to the role of gun-
bearer; they do not activate the arms they carry. The role

115
of discharger of the gun's explosive power is reserved to
the narrator.
The American has shot well throughout the safari, be
ginning with the reedbuck and rhino and culminating with
the kudu. Within the deerpark so green that it verges on
the idyllic, it seems there is nothing the narrator can't
do. Yet on the fifth day of the safari when the narrator
and his party take up the trail of the dark game, this
success evaporates. The kudu has appeared before the narra
tor in the clearing within ten minutes of his making camp
in the virgin land. But the sable must be tracked for hours,
forcing the hunting party to scramble through nearby hills.
Worst of all is the shooting. The first female animal in
the entire safari is mistakenly killed, and the much-prized
sable bull is not killed but terribly wounded. The resultant
chase after the bull culminates in a peak of physical punish
ment and mental frustration for the narrator; once lost,
neither he nor any of his guides can regain the trail of
the wounded sable.
The unattainable sable bull, resplendent in dusky coat
and horn, teaches the man who follows its tortuous path a
central lesson of Green Hills. When one accepts mortality,
one eschews any promise of an afterlife; one cannot kill
death. The narrator rejects such an escape in favor of
being a part of the present creation--and participation in
that creation entails mortality, limits, faults. After the

116
rapturous encounter with the kudu, the sable hunt provides
just such an exercise in limits; at its conclusion the
American hunter is momentarily overwhelmed with thoughts of
escape, musing morosely about the "decline" of America and
his planned return to "unspoiled" Africa (pp. 281-35). But
by the time the hunting party has driven the fifty-five
miles from the deerpark to where Pop and P.O.M. are camped,
the narrator has emptied himself of this nostalgic self-
indulgence. Those illusions are abandoned, along with any
desire to transcend the world, in the country of the dark
antelope.
Instead, the narrator finds his own answer to the ques
tion of death in the final moments before the party abandons
the deerpark camp. His inner resolution of this problem
finds expression in the image that climaxes his stay in the
virgin land and that he carries with him as he leaves its
uncharted spaces for the givens of the road:
From the white, cleanly picked skulls
the horns rose in slow spirals that
spreading made a turn, another turn,
and then curved delicately into those
smooth, ivory-like points. One pair
was narrower and taller against the
side of the hut. The other was almost
as tall but wider in spread and heavier
in beam. They were the color of black
walnut meats and they were beautiful
to see. I went over and stood the
Springfield against the hut between
them and the tips reached past the
muzzle of the rifle. (p. 267)
The horns are, of course, the precious helices from his two

117
kudu, gifts of the virgin land, their reaching and curving
"beautiful to see." But to this element of the image the
narrator adds another, placing between the two kudu racks
the artifact that made possible their capture. In this
juxtaposition of herns and gun lies the narrator's solution.
In one sense the weapon, the death-dealing rifle, stands
in place of the other, unattainable trophy and weapon, the
sable's scimitar horn. But in a more subtle and thorough
going sense those sable horns are vividly present in the
hutside composition after all. Their distinctive dark color
makes up the base of the spiralling kudu columns, and their
geometric configuration of the arc comprises half a helical
evolution. Thus by color and by shape the kudu horn incor
porates the sable into itself.
The same act of integration occurs with the Spring-
field rifle. Save for a ceremonial burst upon arrival at
Pop's camp, the study the gun forms with the kudu horns
marks its last appearance in Green Hills. Placed side by
side with the pairs of horns, the line of the muzzle paral
lels the reach of the horns; in similar manner the explosive
power potential in the gun complements the thrusting of the
helix. As set out in this final image, the narrator comes
to see that life does not reject death or separate itself
from it; rather, just as the longer kudu horns encompass the
shorter gun in their upward progress, so life incorporates
death and goes on. Nowhere is this integration more complete

118
than in the particular rifle that the narrator inserts
between the horns. Named for the season of rebirth, the
"Springfield" captures the vital interplay between death
and renewal.
******
As the narrator stands before the kudu horns and the
gun, his eye ascends the length of horn, moving from the
darker blacks and browns to the "ivory-like points." The
allusion to ivory furnishes, of course, a direct assess
ment of the value of the horn. From the very first night
of the safari a major source of ivory, the African elephant,
has crossed the expedition's trail, dotting the landscape
with its leavings (pp. 10, 249-50). But the elusive mam
moth never shows itself, a rather unusual feat. This well-
defined absence of elephants from the safari sheds light
upon the values operative in Green Hills. In the beginning
of the narrative when the American hunter tells Kandisky
that he is in Africa "shooting," the European admonishes,
"Not ivory, I hope." "No. For kudu," the narrator replies.
But later in the same conversation he tells Kandisky that
he would "kill a big enough [elephant].... A seventy
pounder. Maybe smaller." This spell of braggadocio proves
prophetic, for in the end the narrator does indeed shoot
for ivorybut not for that of the elephant. The acclaim of
the big game trophy and the monetary worth of the tusks may
well lure other hunters on other safaris, but on the narrator's

119
private quest through the hills of Africa those public
considerations are deemed as insubstantial as the phantom
elephant. Instead he ventures after, and wins, the real
ivory of Green Hills. The narrator/hunter takes home the
ivory pointed helix, although his pairs are bested by the
horns"the biggest, widest, darkest, longest-curling,
heaviest, most unbelievable pair of kudu horns"Karl has
brought in the interim to Pop's camp. The superlative de
gree of Karl's success underscores once again that for the
narrator/artist the value of his horns lies not in their
signification of public success, but rather in their func
tion as images in rendering his story of individual growth
And it is as an image in the service of the creative imagi
nation that the kudu horns climax the African adventure;
beyond the text a line drawing of a triumphant kudu bull
emblazons "The End" across the last page of the narrative.
This flotarish of the kudu at the end of the narrator's
imaginative quest validates the achievement of that quest:
the resultant work of art is the narrator's true trophy,
Green Hills of Africa his ivory.

120
Notes to Part IV
'''Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), 11:
"We had only three days more because
the rains were moving north each day
from Rhodesia and unless we were pre
pared to stay where we were through
the rains we must be out as far as
Handeni before they came- We had set
the seventeenth of February as the
last safe day to leave."

LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED
Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York:
Bantam Books, 1969.
. Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. Princeton
Princeton University Press, 1952.
(ed.) Hemingway and His Critics. New York:
Hill and Wang, 1961.
Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1935.
Kouwenhoven, John A. The Arts in Modern American Civiliza
tion. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1948.
. The Beer Can by the Roadway: Essays on What
is American About America. Garden City: Doubleday, 1961
Nahal, Chaman. The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's
Fiction. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Press, 1971.
Robbe-Grillet, Alain. For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction.
Translated by Richard Howard. New York: Grove Press,
Inc., 1965.
Robinson, W.R. "Frederic Henry's Individualist Art: The Form
of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms," unpublished
MS. University of Florida, 1975.
Scholes, Robert and Kellogg, Robert. The Nature of Narrative
London: Oxford University Press, 1966.
Stevens, Wallace. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and
the Imagination. New York: Vintage Books, 1942.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richard
son and Fielding. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1957.
121

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Susan Lynn Drake was born March 20, 1951. She attend
ed elementary and secondary schools in De Funiak Springs,
Florida, and graduated from Walton County High School in
1969. She received the Associate of Arts degree from
Pensacola Junior College, Pensacola, Florida, in 1971 and
the Bachelor of Arts from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg,
Florida, in 1973. She continued graduate studies at the
University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she
received the Master of Arts in 1976 and the Doctor of
Philosophy in 1930.
122

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly-
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
W.R. Robinson, Chairman
Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
1
Carl Brdahl
Associate Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Ira Clark
Associate Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted
as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
June 1930
Dean, Graduate School



88
schism that divides narrator and guide gains added import
when one realizes that its apparent cause, the rust along
the muzzle of the rifle, in fact results from the identical
phenomenon that brought the two men together. The rain that
enfolds the narrator and his guide in the union of the tent
also corrodes, not only the metal of the gun, but the matter
of their friendship as well.
A lapse in duty, then, discloses the limits of M'Cola's
sufficiency. The nature of the guide's error emanates not
from commission, but omission. This pattern of lack at
certain crucial points in the safari has characterized the
succession of guides: Droopy senses, but does not know;
M'Cola knows, but does not act. The night of rain which
promotes the rust marks a true union as the narrator incor
porates the vision of his master. But the union occurs in
circumstances not conducive to further advancement of the
narrator's growth. The story of that growth has always
been visualized in terms of movement, in the imagery of the
road. Yet the closest moment between M'Cola and the narra
tor transpires in stasis, with the truck forced to a stand
still and its passengers imprisoned by the rain. The topo
graphical imagery of Part III makes clear the bankruptcy of
M'Cola's vision: Chapter Ten begins in medias res, with the
narrator in movement upon the road; but Chapter Eleven,
chronicling the last day of the safari and the uncovering


85
Unlike the oblivious Droopy, M'Cola's vision embraces
both capacities and limitations, and rejects neither. The
acceptance he exercises while witnessing the safari's wan
derings extends to himself; M'Cola knows his own gifts and
failures. At the start of the rhinoceros hunt in Chapter
Three, the narrator notes: "M'Cola was not jealous of
Droopy. He simply knew that Droopy was . more of a
hunter, a faster and cleaner tracker." M'Cola also imparts
the potential of self-knowledge to the narrator. His
presence provides an antidote to the American hunter's com
petitiveness since he has witnessed the narrator's most
humiliating mistakes:
I sat there, using the sling, and shot
for [the Grant's] neck, slow7ly and
carefully, missing him eight times
straight in a mounting, stubborn rage,
not making a correction but shooting
for the same place in the same way
each time. ... I reached up my hand
to M'Cola for more cartridges, shot
again, carefully, and missed, and on
the tenth shot broke his damned neck.
I turned away without looking toward
him. (p. 82)
It is the knowledge of one's own finite capabilities that
provides a hedge against the ego that devours Karl.
It is precisely the shortcomings of M'Cola that signal
a more mature and healthy phase in the narrators growth.
The influence of the figure of the African guide upon the
safari lessens in importance as the American hunter learns
to function mere competently on his own. The narrator
operates much more independently of the guide to the


102
heart imagery in the African bush country reflects the life
quickening within the narrator. His heart beats even more
strongly in the virgin land of Chapter Twelve when, having
absorbed MCola's contribution as well as Droopy's, he in
effect hunts alone. Aborigines hand a captured rabbit to
him:
[I] could feel the thumping of his
heart through the soft, warm, furry
body, and as I stroked him the Masai
patted my arm. (p. 220)
The narrator cradles the one indigenous creature while the
other registers his heart beat. Skin-to-skin, the rhythms
of the newcomer and his welcomers beat in time.
The territory which witnesses this attunement first
receives its designation in Chapter Twelve: "this was a
virgin country, an un-hunted pocket in the million miles
of bloody Africa." (p. 218) Given the presence of Mr.
Jackson Phillips, the safari's English white hunter, the
narrator's use of Briticisms such as "bloody assumes added
prominence. A few common examples"petrol" (gasoline),
"tin" (can), "torch" (flashlight)are thinly sprinkled
through the text, but on the whole the American hunter fore
goes their use. The two exceptions to this practice there
fore serve to make their respective points more effectively
The first Briticism in the narrative, "lorry," is used
specifically in Chapter One to solidly identify Kandisky's
vehicle as a European creation. The second exception,


5
moment at which he joins the procession of man-as-maker and
accepts the challenge to shape his own form.
It is along this crucial stretch of road that the
sweeping dimensions of the change engaging Green Hills are
delineated. As the narrator waits for game beside the road,
a truck "moved slowly nearer . until, agonizing in a
clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed close behind
us to go on up the road." Later, as the hunting party
return to camp in the narrator's car, their hunting spoiled
by the vehicle's passage,
we saw a big fire and as we came up
and passed, I made out a truck beside
the road. I told [the driver] to stop
and go back and as we backed into the
firelight there was a short, bandy
legged man with a Tyroler hat, leather
shorts, and an open shirt standing
before an un-hooded engine. . (p. 6)
The pattern traced out in the opening sequence by the narra
tor's car and the "agonizing" lorry enacts in miniature the
larger change transpiring in the narrative. The first
major topographical image in Green Hills, the road, serves
as an indicator of human invention. Hence vehicles, as
human inventions, travel forward upon the road to the degree
that they manifest the progressive impulse of the road. Ve
hicles are always present in Green Hills of Africa, even in
the farthest reaches of the virgin land in Part IV (p. 225).
But though other cars and trucks of the motor safari merit
reference, more attention is reserved for the narrator's


95
tolerancehe must reach beyond the latter's innate passiv
ity to become an imaginative participant in the creation
before him. This emphasis on participation finds its repre
sentative in the Wanderobo. Unlike M'Cola, whose unblink
ing vision comprehends an eternal present of counter-balan
cing beginnings and endings, the new nativelike the rains
in Part IIIturns to the future. He has seen the kudu and
sable, the magnetic quarries that draw the narrator on.
His forward-directed vision leads the hunters into Part IV.
The thrust of this vision becomes evident upon examina
tion of the role of the Wanderobo as a group throughout the
safari. From the very sentence that initiates the narra
tive"We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters
had built of twigs and branches"the Wanderobo functions as
the narrators predecessor in the journey of the road, the
builder of forms the narrator still inhabits. He is the
first artificer mentioned in the book and comes to repre
sent all the people on the road, the westward travellers
who carry arrows and spears, pots and pans, in their hands.
These implements mark the moment when the circumstances of
their wanderings set these people to wondering; the artifacts
are the answers of their invention to the challenge of the
environment. The same urge to manipulate one's world that
moved the travellers to shape weapons and containers, the
anonymous Wanderobo hunters to construct the blind, now
moves the narrator. He exhibits those values of mobility


116
rapturous encounter with the kudu, the sable hunt provides
just such an exercise in limits; at its conclusion the
American hunter is momentarily overwhelmed with thoughts of
escape, musing morosely about the "decline" of America and
his planned return to "unspoiled" Africa (pp. 281-35). But
by the time the hunting party has driven the fifty-five
miles from the deerpark to where Pop and P.O.M. are camped,
the narrator has emptied himself of this nostalgic self-
indulgence. Those illusions are abandoned, along with any
desire to transcend the world, in the country of the dark
antelope.
Instead, the narrator finds his own answer to the ques
tion of death in the final moments before the party abandons
the deerpark camp. His inner resolution of this problem
finds expression in the image that climaxes his stay in the
virgin land and that he carries with him as he leaves its
uncharted spaces for the givens of the road:
From the white, cleanly picked skulls
the horns rose in slow spirals that
spreading made a turn, another turn,
and then curved delicately into those
smooth, ivory-like points. One pair
was narrower and taller against the
side of the hut. The other was almost
as tall but wider in spread and heavier
in beam. They were the color of black
walnut meats and they were beautiful
to see. I went over and stood the
Springfield against the hut between
them and the tips reached past the
muzzle of the rifle. (p. 267)
The horns are, of course, the precious helices from his two


106
with African safaris discloses his concern with private,
not public, values. The structure of Green Hills of Africa
mirrors this emphasis by relating only one of the obliga
tory big game kills. The relegation of the confrontation
between the narrator and the lion to Chapter Two (pp. 40-41)
diffuses the impact of the incident early on. The hunt
practically ignores the bigger game, three lion and two
leopard being the only carnivores taken. The other meat-
eaters, for the most part, are the hyenas and the humans
themselves. Rather, the expedition centers more upon her
bivores, not even African exotica like elephants (of whom
we see only tracks and dung) but mostly antelope--rcan,
reedbuck, water buck, oryx, impala, eland, bushbuck, Grants
gazelle, kudu and sable. Indeed, as Pop says of the narra
tor's love interest, "[kudu are] the commonest big antelope
in this bush country. It's just that when you want to see
them you don't." Given the availability of the quarry, the
"dearness" of the deer park creatures must lie not in their
scarcity, but in their fulfillment of an inner need in the
narrator, in an inward response they alone evoke in him.
The sign of the heart leads here, to the clearing in
the wood where the kudu turns. These two factors, the place
and the manner in which the narrator discovers the bull,
illuminate what the narrator finds at the end of the heart-
shaped path. Having gotten off two shots, he spots an
animal he believes to be the first bull "standing in a


100
may have at the time." That a seeming "travelogue" should
introduce the subject of love in its second sentence reveals
an unusual concern with that subject on the part of the
narrative. In many ways, however, Green Hills of Africa is
a love story. The "love interest" of the narrator is
revealed straight away in Chapter One; he and his friends
are sitting in the blind at the side of the road because
they have seen "long, heart-shaped, fresh tracks of four
greater kudu bulls that had been on the salt the night
before." Beginning with this first sign and continuing
throughout the narrative, the kudu is always described in
terms of the heart. In fact, the story opens upon a most
propitious day: when one examines the timing of the February
journey, one discovers that Green Hills begins on Valentine's
Day.1 But the employment of heart imagery ranges beyond
the sentimentality of the valentine to embrace the heart
and circulatory system in a subtle actualization of the pro
cesses of life itself. The narrator tracks the elusive
kudu to the "last hour of the last day" of the safari, for
not until then does a greater kudu bull appear before him.
Thus the "love interest" first raised in the Foreward has to
sustain the American hunter many, many African miles. Like
the rains which promise the future fertility of the hills
and the Wanderobo whose vision leads the hunting party to
the virgin land, the narrator's "love interest" provides a


9
assumed an attitude of waiting. But what results from
this waiting is not the supernatural agent followers of the
cruciate figure have anticipated for nearly two thousand
years, but rather a new human beingborn of the earth.
The place by the side of the road from which the narra
tor issues forth to walk the land of Africa and to tell his
story commands attention. The guide who rises like a cross
does so as the narrator and others are
sitting, leaning back, knees high,
heads low, in a hollow half full of
ashes and dust, watching through
the dried leaves and thin branches. . .
(p. 5)
The first observation to be made about the hollow beside the
road is that it is as much a man-made object as the spears
and umbrellas which dot the African road. The first sentence
of Chapter One declares the structure's origins: "We were
sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of
twigs and branches. ..." Human hands dug the hole and
placed the vegetation. But unlike the other products of men'
hands, the blind by virtue of its size and function assumes
added importance. The walls and cover of the cavity provide
shelter for the hunters. The resulting completeness with
which the structure enfolds its human inhabitants likens the
shelter to a microcosm, to a world. The character of the
blind as an inherited form lies in the men who shaped it,
the Wanderobo hunters introduced in the first sentence of
Chapter One. Yet following such a prominent introduction,


114
The attitude of each hunter toward the gun reveals his
viewpoint toward the larger phenomenon of death in the
world. Kandisky, the representative of European organiza
tion, does not fire a shot in Green Hills. As evidenced by
his participation in the German war effort, he prefers the
group exertion of this power and the concomitant organiza
tional decisions that buffer him from facing death as an
individual. When Kandisky meets the narrator on the road
in Chapter One, the European chides the American hunter's
willingness to deal directly in deathwhile dining on
Grant gazelle at the narrator's table and sporting conspic
uous leather shorts. Kandisky's solution to the dilemma
of death is to refuse to confront the question; the parasit
ic and obtuse image he presents in the narrator's camp
refutes this solution outright. In contrast to the Austrian
expatriate, the native Africans exhibit a much more empiri
cal approach. For Droopy and M'Cola, the gun has functioned
as the supreme test of their fitness to guide the narrator
through the land of Africa. Their proficiency determines
their span of influence: the former's failure to master the
shotgun at the border of his country ends Droopys domina
tion of Part II; the latter's laxity in safeguarding the
rifle from the rain marks M'Cola's decline in Part III.
But both Droopy and M'Cola are limited to the role of gun-
bearer; they do not activate the arms they carry. The role


14
man who offered his life for abstractions, Kandisky is the
quintessential man of words. The European looks upon people
only as functionaries of the structures he maintains, a
perspective which is formalized in the language he uses.
Avoiding any expression of a private self, he never allows
the familiarity that goes with first names or nicknames,
but rather perpetuates the status quo by using titles or
the more reserved family names. By his use of words Kandisky
also preserves another structure, the sisal shamba, owned
by an East Indian for whom the Europeannow a manager
recruits a native workforce. When the narrator first sights
Kandisky in the firelight, the organizer stands "in a crowd
of natives." That image which distinguishes between "manag
er" and "crowd" sums up Kandisky's world outlook. Far from
acknowledging individuals, he perceives the native Africans
only as a crowd to be organized, as primitives to be valued
only as "my cook" or "the boy." One cannot imagine such a
man enjoying a relationship like that the narrator shares
with the guide Droopy in Part II or M'Cola in Part III. The
extent to which the outer man overshadows the inner is
revealed within that most personal of structures, the fami
ly that waits for Kandisky at the sisal shamba. The only
male in a household of three, he does not particularize the
Kandisky women. The proprietary "mv wife" and "my daughter"
must suffice.


THE INWARD JOURNEY:
SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA
By
SUSAN LYNN DRAKE
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO
THE UNIVERSITY
THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF FLORIDA
OF
IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF
DEGREE OF DOCTOR
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
OF PHILOSOPHY
THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
198 0


98
narrator, following in the footsteps of the Wanderobos, is
heir to their ingenuity; he too hunts from the blind. But
this construction never permits capture of the greater
kudu for which he searches, and in the rain of Part III,
both the saltlick and the nearby blind are washed away.
The thus outmoded form is altogether absent from the open
ing of Part IV. However, its function does not vanish from
the landscape; the blind metamorphoses into the makeshift
tent.
Throughout the African countryside, green tents have
dotted the path of the safari. For nine chapters the narra
tor has lived in enclosures that are both structured (house
like, with flaps for doors) and communal (such as the dining
tent, the most frequently mentioned tent, and others large
enough to accommodate couples). But a change transpires
after the destruction of the blind by the rain. The tent
that rises out of the flood in Part III differs from its
predecessors. First of all, it is improvised from its very
inception, beginning as a canvas ground cloth packed in the
narrator's car along with other supplies (p. 32). And
secondly, it is uniquely suited to the individual: when the
narrator is stranded on the road, the tent provides ideal
housing for this transient with its immediate response to
the environment ("My ground sheet tent was slung between a
tree and one side of the chicken coop"). This adaptibility
qualifies it for the exigencies of the kudu hunt, which is


89
of the guide's mistake, finds the entire enterprise stalled
upon the road.
M'Cola's vision has brought the expedition to this
impasse, with the narrator, like the guide, just looking at
the world, not acting in it. Just as the native's strengths
of acceptance and appreciation lie in his world view, so do
his faults. M'Cola remains essentially an onlookernot an
actorin the comedy of the world. The artifact instrumen
tal in his downfall illuminates the workings of this guide.
In Droopy's country the gun served to validate M'Cola's com
petence as guide; in the country of rain it invalidates his
competency for the next phase of the narrator's journey. In
addition, M'Cola is only the bearer of the gun, not the dis
charger of its explosive power. The bearer may look with
delight upon the spectacle of 3'wana and the birds, but he
himself makes neither life nor death happen. M'Cola never
kills during the safari; neither does he provide food. In
the end, M'Cola laughs at, not with, the world. The values
of this guide are those of a superb contemplator and he
generously passes on to a willing recipient the values of
a mind wide-ranging in its considerations, none more recep
tive in its outlook. But his limits lie in those same
values of the power of contemplation itself. As experienced
by the narrator of Green Hills of Africa, in the journey
this man makes intellect alone will suffice only so far.
By the end of three parts and eleven chapters of Green Kills,


21
that of Kandisky, but a world with which the narrator is
very much at one. The narrator's relationship to his world,
the key relationship in the narrative, resides in the part
of speech indicating relation, the preposition. The first
preposition in the text of Green Hills is "in" ("We were
sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built").
The relationship laid out in that word resonates through
the sweep of the story, from the first preposition to the
last--to the last word, in fact, of the narrative. The re
lationship of "in" between the narrator and his world deter
mines the topographical imagery of the African landscape:
the narrator squats in the blind, moves in_ the human traffic
of the road. In fact, "in" serves as the very nucleus of
the narrative itself. It is from the "in"-nermost point of
viewthat of a first person narrator, who is an active
protagonist, whose main activity is writingthat the narra
tor creates Green Hills of Africa, the imaginative answer
to Kandisky's intellectual "bocks of notes."
From style to imagery, the first paragraphs identify
Green Kills of Africa as a story of movement. The narra
tive opens in medias res; the progressive first verb, "were
sitting," indicates continuous action; and the imagery
augments such action: into the world of the narrator comes
a truck passing along the road he waits beside. The aptness
of this genre to the narrators experience quickly becomes


62
Then, his task complete, Droopy walks to the end of his
country, and out of the narrator's story.
After following Droopy to the end of his country,
the narrator then proceeds beyond that country toward his
rendezvous with Karl at the Rift Valley. Of all the
lesser topographical features that contribute to the overall
"shape of a country," none occupies the African landscape
more imposingly than that gigantic cleft. The sentence
which introduces Karl into Part II designates the Rift
Valley as his destination, and after taking his "dream
rhino," Karl too directs his path that way. The name of
the valley captures the mood of the safari at this point;
Part II is rife with dissension. Bitter words pass between
the narrator and P.O.M. during (pp. 94-5) and after (p. 120)
the buffalo hunt, and bickerina preoccupies Karl and the
narrator on the plain in a hunt where the auarrv seems
more each other than the intended zebra. The personal
sniping demonstrates on a small scale the fiercer competi
tion between the two bia game hunters. The nature of
the first animal taken in the search for such game, the
rhinoceros, has established their conflict as a territo
rial one. In Chapter Six that territorial struggle
assumes monumental proportions: when the paths of the
two do cross, it is in terrain that suggests tensions
violent enought to split a continent asunder.


42
divide up the territorial "beats" between themselves.
Karl and the narrator never hunt the big game together,
and the supposed infringement by the narrator upon Karl's
territory triggers an explosion in the latter in Chapter
Eight. The schism extends from Africa to America: "He
made my rhino look so small that I could never keep him
in the same small town where we lived. He had wiped him
out." But it assumes its most powerful proportions in
the topographical feature which commands the landscape
of Part II, the Rift Valley. The sentence which introduces
Karl into Part II designates this landmark as his destina
tion:
The trucks were to bring Karl in from
his kudu camp where he seemed to be
getting disgusted, or discouraged,
or both, and he could go down to the
Rift Valley the next day and kill some
meat and try for an oryx. (p. 61)
From this first appearance in Chapter Three, Karl's very
presence entails a rift.
That the differences between these two seemingly
similar men should reach such dimensions indicates a
crucial cleaving of allegiances within the narrator.
The model for this division crops up in a chat between
Jackson Phillips and the narrator the night immediately
preceding the rhino kills.
Pop was puzzled why the rhino were
all gone. Each day we had seen less
and we discussed whether it could be
the full moon, that they fed out at


40
In addition to identifying his habit of mind, the soliloquy
also suggests Karl's state of mind; the utterance of a
lone speaker, the soliloquy expresses the estrangement
resulting from Karl's verbal obsession. No one on the
safari is more determinedly alone than Karl, deprived of
wife, job, and home, aloof from the continent he traverses
and the people he meets, obsessed with only one facet of
a multi-faceted event. When a human mind can be reduced
to the image of a revolver, that mind is a mind consumed.
But the analogy of the revolver makes an even more
damning assertion: the mind, or more precisely that
intellectual bent of mind which prevails in Karl, fails
as a weapon, as a means of viable action within the world.
The impotence of such a mind is carried through in the
image of the revolver, its ammunition only blanks, its
action only mechanical.
If certain traits found in the hunter Karl sound
familiar, that is because they have been encountered
before in the narrative. Karl is the intellectual great-
grandson of "Emerson, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Company,"
the Americans of whom the narrator stated in Part I, "You
[would not] gather that they had bodies. They had minds,
yes. Nice, dry, clean minds." And he is the first cousin
of the European intellectual to whom the narrator made this
observation--Kandisky. Parallels between the European


105
looked back. How prolific this green deer park! Not only-
does the narrator finally see a kudu after nearly exhaust
ing his allotted time, but it is a prize specimen and there
is not one, but two! It is as if in addition to the unex
pected new space of the unhunted land, the animal life too
begins to replicate.
The most extraordinary moment of the hunt occurs when
the second kudu looks straight back over his shoulder at
the hunting party; as M'Cola explains, the second bull,
having run with the wounded first bull, turns to discover
why that one no longer follows (p. 223). The image the ani
mal presents as he turns etches itself into the narrator's
vision: framed in a clearing, set off from the furor of the
chase, the kudu stands pristinely alone in its uniqueness.
This is the encounter to which the other antelope were pro
logue, and it is neither clumsy as with the reedbuck or
surreptitious as with the water buck. The bull halts
briefly in its forward plunge and for a moment two living
creatures behold each other in a direct and vital exchange.
The moment does not lingerthe kudu at the stream is
already dead, and soon so is its fellow. But in that one,
clear moment the hunter beholds his deer, the lover his
beloved.
The Kudu and the Sable
The narrator's preference for the greater kudu as his
"love interest" over trophies more traditionally associated


118
than in the particular rifle that the narrator inserts
between the horns. Named for the season of rebirth, the
"Springfield" captures the vital interplay between death
and renewal.
******
As the narrator stands before the kudu horns and the
gun, his eye ascends the length of horn, moving from the
darker blacks and browns to the "ivory-like points." The
allusion to ivory furnishes, of course, a direct assess
ment of the value of the horn. From the very first night
of the safari a major source of ivory, the African elephant,
has crossed the expedition's trail, dotting the landscape
with its leavings (pp. 10, 249-50). But the elusive mam
moth never shows itself, a rather unusual feat. This well-
defined absence of elephants from the safari sheds light
upon the values operative in Green Hills. In the beginning
of the narrative when the American hunter tells Kandisky
that he is in Africa "shooting," the European admonishes,
"Not ivory, I hope." "No. For kudu," the narrator replies.
But later in the same conversation he tells Kandisky that
he would "kill a big enough [elephant].... A seventy
pounder. Maybe smaller." This spell of braggadocio proves
prophetic, for in the end the narrator does indeed shoot
for ivorybut not for that of the elephant. The acclaim of
the big game trophy and the monetary worth of the tusks may
well lure other hunters on other safaris, but on the narrator's


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51
cannot be overlooked. To be legal meat, the body of the buck
must be stuck immediately (p. 157). Therefore, the skill
with which the narrator/hunter presses his knife against the
heart, his fingers against the body, determines the food
value of the kill. With like skill must the narrator/artist
press the pen against the paper, his imagination against
the matter of his world, to shape the living prose.
The killing of the reedbuck occasions an immediate exer
cise of style as the pupil applies in his narrative the values
Droopy has championed and he himself has assimilated.
These values are evidenced nowhere more powerfully than in
the conversation that brings the reedbuck chapter to an end.
The nighttime setting parallels in its makeup the one the
narrator has shared with Droopy during the day: a couple
(this time the narrator and his wife), alone (in their tent,
as the narrator has been in the country with his guide),
sharing the conflicts of their lives (in this case the
jealous rivalries of the Parisian literati).
. . said P.O.M. "We have fun though
don't w7e? Without all those people."
"God damn it if we don't. I've had a
better time every year since I can
remember."
"But isn't Mr. J. P. wonderful? Really?"
"Yes. He's wonderful."
"Oh, you're nice to say it. Poor Karl."
"Why?"


79
the suspension of ego. The narrator as novice must submit
to others more knowledgeable, bend to the demands of land
and weather, school the self in the inclinations of game,
and control momentary personal desires that would interfere
in the larger task at hand.
When the narrative resumes in Chapter Ten, it is after
the seven intervening chapters of Part II:
That all seemed a year ago. Now, this
afternoon in the car, on the way out to
the . saltlick, . just having
shot the guinea fowl, . losing a
shot the night before on this lick
because of the Austrian's truck, I knew
there were only two days more to hunt
before we must leave. (p. 176)
The opening sentences of Chapter Ten immediately recapture
the "now, this afternoon" of the second day. The inaugural
landscape of Green Hills reassembles itself: the road, the
narrator in movement on it, the gunbearer M'Cola along, their
destination the blind. But almost as soon as they set out,
it becomes apparent that this afternoon the hunting party
traverses a quite different terrain:
Where the sand was thin over the clay
there was a pool of water and you could
see that a heavy rain had drenched it
all on ahead. I did not realize what
this meant but Garrick threw his arms
wide, looked up to the sky and bared
his teeth in anger.
"It's no good," M'CoIa whispered.
(pp. 178-9)
The "Garrick" who throws his arms wide and grimaces at the
sky is the same guide who rose Christ-like over the blind


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly-
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
W.R. Robinson, Chairman
Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
1
Carl Brdahl
Associate Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Ira Clark
Associate Professor of English
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


101
major thrust in the narrative, as is so deftly indicated
in the homonymic "Foreward."
The varied wildlife the narrator meets in the course
of the safari serves to prepare him for his encounter with
the kudu in Part IV. The first animal killed under Droopy's
eye, the reedbuck, is an antelope like the kudu and func
tions as an antecedent for the more significant member of
its species. It initiates the heart imagery:
I felt for the heart behind the fore
leg with my fingers and feeling it
beating under the hide slipped the
knife in but it was short and pushed
the heart away. (p. 53)
Beginning with this initial contact, the narrator's effort i
to get to the heart, to grasp the living center. The reed
buck is a beginner's clumsy try; at the elemental phase in
Droopy's country the American hunter has much to learn. But
he senses intuitively what is most important about the task
before him, and he learns. After Droopy schools him in the
body, an incident in the Rift Valley gauges the effect:
we came on a water buck that had heard
us, but not scented us, and as we stood,
perfectly quiet, M'Cola holding his hand
on mine, we watched him, only a dozen
feet away. . M'Cola was grinning,
pressing his fingers tight on my wrist. . .
(pp. 138-9)
As the pair observe the water buck, also an antelope, the
native grasps the American's wristtaking his pulse. These
encounters with the two hunted animals act as indicators of
the hunter's own improving health; the proliferation of


26
Notes to Part I
Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), pp. 2-3. Further citations
will be given in the text.
2
Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of
Narrative (London: Oxford University Press'^ 19 66) p~. 98.
3
Carlos Baker, "Introduction: Citizen of the World,"
in Hemingway and His Critics, ed. Carlos Baker (New York:
Hill and Wang, 1962), p. 15.


72
Part II the narrator carefully eyes first the handsome
Droopy and then M'Cola, remarking of the latter:
I remember how surprised I was the
first time I saw . how old the
upper body was. It had that aged
look you see in photographs of
Jeffries and Sharkey posing thirty
years after, the ugly, old-man
biceps and the fallen pectoral
muscles. (p. 48)
The deterioration of M'Cola's body, especially in contrast
with Droopy's, focuses attention instead upon his head:
M'Cola shook his head. I looked at
his bald skull and he turned his face
a little so that I saw the thin Chinese
hairs at the corners of his mouth.
(p. 3)
The narrator's act of looking at M'Cola constitutes one of
his very first acts in the narrative; from the beginning,
this head is central to his concerns. Its significance is
also validated by the primal image of the womb. The narra
tor turns to examine the head while he and his guide crouch
inside the blind; as the pair abandon the blind to walk
upright upon the road, a new mind is born.
Clues to the kind of mind active in M'Cola lie in the
traits of his extraordinary head. The baldness that accen
tuates the contours of the skull, the facial hair that is
identified in precise ethnic termsM'Cola presents to the
world the image of a buddha. And he maintains, along with
the appearance, the attitude of a buddha as well. Through
out the twists and turns of the safari, the "black Chinaman"
looks onas quarries are lost or taken, friendships flourish



PAGE 1

THE INWARD JOURNEY: SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA By SUSAN LYNN DRAKE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OP PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 198

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I 00 d z p o o 3 z >. PS < ee o OS CQ CQ ca O a >-. -C a aa Copyright 198 by Susan Lynn Drake

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ABSTRACT v PART I LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS I The Form in the Landscape I The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European.. 11 The View from the Blind: The Narrator 18 Notes to Part I 26 PART II LIVING IN THE FLESH 27 The Narrator s Rhinoceros 27 Karl s Rhinoceros 34 The Time of Droopy 45 Droopy s Country 55 Notes to Part II 68 PART III THE MIND IN THE WORLD „ 70 The Guide M Cola 7 M 1 Cola's Country... 7 6 Beyond M'Cola 83 PART IV IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION 91 The Form in the Landscape 91 The Sign of the Heart 99 The Kudu and the Sable 105 Notes to Part IV 120 LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 121 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 122 ill

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE INWARD JOURNEY: SHAPE AND PATTERN IN GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA 3y Susan Lynn Drake June 1980 Chairman: W.R. Robinson Major Department: English The Foreword which opens Green Hills of Afr ica proposes the narrator's attempt therein to present "the shape of a country and the pattern of a month's action." Taking direction from this declaration, this analysis pursues a formalist concern with "shape" and "pattern" throughout the narrative. An examination of the opening images of the work reveals twentieth century Western man at a cultural crossroads, presented with two views of the world. One, the orthodox view from the cross, glorifies the urqe to transcend the earth, to be above its processes. The alternative is the heterodox view from the (hunting) blind, which acknowledges and accepts the earth in which existential man must live. The Christian option being found bankrupt, the narrator chooses the secular perspective. From then on, IV

PAGE 5

his journey through Africa articulates the process by which he heals himself of the tradition of the cross and proceeds to create his own story as an individual. The shapes and patterns of the African safari supply the means by which the narrator's journey is recounted: the guides, the companions, the topography, and the animals. Three native guides conduct separate segments of the safari's travels, segments which correspond to distinct phases in the narrator's growth. The first guide schools his American pupil in the wisdom of the body, the second in the lessons of the mind, and the third in the powers of the imagination. The combination of these three facets — the sensory, the intellectual, and the creative — is seen to produce a wholeness that enables the narrator-as-artist to eventually write the account of his journey: Green Hills of Af rica. The two American companions, the narrator's wife P.O.M. and his friend Karl, function as indicators of their husband and friend's progress under the guides. Each represents a different part of the narrator's psyche, acting as an alter ego. The companions emerge into the foreground of the story when the values clustered about them are active in the narrator, and recede when those values lessen. The native guides and the American companions move against the background of a landscape whose prevailing forms relate the narrator's story on an archetypal level. The most dominant topographical feature is the road the safari

PAGE 6

travels upon, which is equated with the inventive, forwardthrusting urge in mankind. The road takes the narrator's steps through a succession of archetypal matrical forms: the Rift Valley, the hunting blind, and the ground cloth tent. An overview reveals that these shapes constitute advances in man's relationship to the earth. From the primordial chasm, to the quantitatively-shaped hollow, to the qualitatively-transformed cotton shelter, the earth proves responsive to man -as -maker. Just as the African earth dynamically structures the narrative with its shapes, so do the major animals of the safari with the patterns of their horns. For example, the narrator hunts the more elemental rhinoceros, whose "horn" is merely a fleshy extension of its nose, when he himself is embroiled in the functionings of the body. The series of antelope encountered in the course of the safari — the reedbuck, eland, oryx, water buck — play prologue to the most intricate of all the horned game, the kudu and the sable. In a closing examination, these two animals are considered as aesthetic phenomena. The pair together climax the narrator's imaginative vision. In the extraordinary forms of their horns, the narrator sees the workings of the life process itself, the spiralling helix of the kudu evoking the evolutionary thrust of generation, the scimitar curve of the sable, the inevitable and necessary consequence of death. VI

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PART I LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS The Form in the Landscape We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs and branches at the edge of the saltlick when we heard the truck coming. At first it was far away and no one could tell what the noise was. Then it moved slowly nearer, unmistakable now, louder and louder until, agonizing in a clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed close behind us to go on up the road. The theatrical one of the two trackers stood up. "It is finished," he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down : It: is finished," he said again and spread his arms wide.l In The Nature of Narrative Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg observe that "in Western narrative the heterodox or personal symbol system has tended to replace 2 the orthodox."" One particular Western narrative, Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway, grapples with just such a replacement, documenting the death of the "orthodox" world view and heralding the coming of the "heterodox." Such a transition is accomplished on every level of the work, generically, imagistically, stylistically. And. it is all generated by the first scene of the narrative.

PAGE 8

The larger background for this scene augurs a time of momentous change, for Green Kills is set in a continent in motion. The African locale of the narrative is caught up in a natural turmoil, the imminent onslaught of the rainy season ("the rains were moving north each day from Rhodesia") This natural upheaval triggers in turn a social one, the migration of peoples along routes away from the danger ("all along the road we passed groups of people making their way to the westward"). It is against a backdrop of change on continental, seasonal, and populational proportions that the narrative opens. The subsequent story grows out of the seed of the opening landscape. The narrator and hunting party have left their car to sit, waiting for game, in a blind beside the road. As they wait, another--f ailing — vehicle passes along the road. Its movement inspires one of the party to his feet, arms outstretched and mouth open. The elements of the vignette are few and stark, yet they resonate through the narrative: the road, the blind, the two vehicles, the figure that stands cruciate over the blind and the figure that curls within its cavity. This crucial conjunction of forms enacts that moment of great transition when the narrator of Green Hills — the heterodox individual — is born, and a new world with him. It constitutes the central act of the narrative. The story the narrator of Green Hills tells is that of cha.nge r and the manner in which he tells his story reflects

PAGE 9

his subject. In the introductory essay to Hemingway and His Critics Carlos Baker narrows Scholes and Kellogg 1 s observation about the decline of the orthodox and the ascendancy of the heterodox symbol system in Western literature to its more specific application at the hands of Hemingway: He seems early to have rejected the arbitrary importation of symbols which are not strictly germane to the action at hand. Instead of ransacking other arts and literatures for viable symbols, he chose rather to allow the object or scene or person whose function was to be symbolic to gather its meanings through a process of association strictly within the terms of the ongoing narrative. 3 This method characterizes all facets of the creative process at work in Green Hills of Africa : by permitting an object to "gather its meanings" only by the progress of the narrative, the narrator implements on the imagistic plane the story of movement he is telling on all other planes. The method by which such an object accrues value may be observed in that primal image which winds its way through the green hills, the road. The procession of people passing along its length designates the road as a thoroughfare for life: [A] 11 along the road we passed groups of people making their way to the westward. Some were naked except for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried bows and sealed quivers of arrows. Others carried spears. The wealthy carried umbrellas and wore draped white clcth and their women walked behind them, with their pots and pans. Bundles and loads of skins were scattered along ahead on the heads of other natives. All were travelling away from the famine, (pp. 34-5)

PAGE 10

The westward migration is no indistinguishable press of humanity. The diversity of nationalities and cultures present in the scene affords a panoramic display of civilization, incorporating advances from near-nakedness to umbrellas, from primitive arms to household accoutrements, from single hunters to family entourages. The people who precede the narrator on the road have made their contributions to the story of the West — the repetition of the verb "carry" constantly evokes the human hands that skinned the pelt, shaped the pot, wove the cloth. By this array of progressively more sophisticated artifacts, the road achieves a temporal, evolutionary function. The linkage of the road to time and change illuminates the narrator's relationship to the scene. Like the people of the procession, he reveals an affinity for the road: "watching the road, the people, and all clearings in the bush for game," he, too, drives to the westward. Like the Wanderobo hunters whose footsteps he follows, like the stream of people he joins, the narrator is a hunter, a wanderer/wonder er in the story of the West. Clearly, whether they be physical implements for modifying the environment or intellectual ones for structuring communal interaction, the narrator inhabits a world of inherited forms, The point at which Green Hills of Africa opens — with its first word the sweeping, all-inclusive "We" — picks up the story of twentieth century Western man. It designates the point when the narrator enters the story of the road, the

PAGE 11

moment at which he joins the procession of man-as~maker and accepts the challenge to shape his own form. It is along this crucial stretch of road that the sweeping dimensions of the change engaging Green Hills are delineated. As the narrator waits for game beside the road, a truck "moved slowly nearer until, agonizing in a clank of loud irregular explosions, it passed close behind us to go on up the road." Later, as the hunting party return to camp in the narrator's car, their hunting spoiled by the vehicle's passage, we saw a big fire and as we came up and passed, I made out a truck beside the road. I told [the driver] to stop and go back and as we backed into the firelight there was a short, bandylegged man with a Tyroler hat, leather shorts, and an open shirt standing before an un-hooded engine. ... (p. 6) The pattern traced out in the opening sequence by the narrator' s car and the "agonizing" lorry enacts in miniature the larger change transpiring in the narrative. The first major topographical image in Green Hills the road, serves as an indicator of human invention. Hence vehicles, as human inventions, travel forward upon the road to the degree that they manifest the progressive impulse of the road. Vehicles are always present in Green Hills of Africa even in the farthest reaches of the virgin land in Part IV (p. 225) But though other cars and trucks of the motor safari merit reference, more attention is reserved for the narrator's

PAGE 12

6 car, and most of that at this initial stretch of road. This short span of sandy tracks marks the only overlap of the journeys of the car and the lorry. The soundness of one vehicle and the debility of the other is laid out in the topography and chronology of the scene: in a finely choreographed maneuver, the younger narrator (having advanced beyond the lorry) must back up in order to reach the immobile vehicle of the older driver. In the dynamics of the road, movement signals growth while immobility indicates depletion. As enacted in their pas de deux, the overlapping with— and then the surpassing of— the lorry by the narrator's car signals the disfunction of the values associated with the former vehicle and the emergence of new values concomitant with the latter. The identification of these values is established by the "process of association" Carlos Baker notes. In the instance of the vehicles, their associations are accomplished by masterful employment of the tool of juxtaposition. As the hunting party crouches in the blind, the disabled lorry passes by on the road: The theatrical one of the two trackers stood up. "It is finished," he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down "It is finished," he said again and spread his arms wide. (pp. 2-3) The juxtaposition of the guide's speech with the traffic on

PAGE 13

the road provides the vital mechanism of this scene. Most fruitful is the indefinite reference of the pronoun in the guide's speech. This linguistic leeway enables "It" to function in a multiplicity of ways. The most obvious referent for "Tt" is the kudu hunting, which the truck has just spoiled. But the careful coinciding of the guide's outburst with the passage of the vehicle also allows "It" to refer to the truck itself. The lorry is certainly as "finished" as the hunting. Soon after passing the narrator, the lorry ends its agonizing journey beside the road. The vehicle fails not because its body gives out but because its engine — its working center — is no longer valid. "Do you think it could be the timer? It sounded as though it might be a timing knock when you went past us," the narrator volunteers. Given the temporal context of the road, this diagnosis of problems with time and change pinpoints exactly the ailment of the lorry. A means of forward motion that once was operable is not now, emitting what its driver, the European Kandisky, calls "that noise of death inside." The values associated with the vehicle are thus labeled anachronistic. Among all the vehicles on the safari, the truck Kandisky drives is specified as a "lorry,'' one of the two Briticisms prevalent in the narrative and a term reserved in the main for this particular vehicle. This European identity is reinforced by the loyalties of the lorry's driver, a man who boasts :! I represent European organization."

PAGE 14

8 To the European identity is added a Christian one as well, by the allusion of both the words and the posture of the guide to the dying Christ on the cross ('"It is finished, 1 he said and spread his arms wide."). The echo by the lorry driver of "It is finished" ("That lorry is finished") seals the identification with the crucifix. Thus, "It" (European civilization) "It" (the religion that fueled that civilization) — all the "lt"s associated with the truck are finished. The vehicle comes to rest off the road, its weight to be hauled away, corpselike, by a truck from the safari. The eclipse of the lorry by the car depicts the transition from a Christian to a secular world. Again, the indefinite reference in the guide s speech provides the means for such a conclusion. Lacking a stated reference, the pronoun "It" may also be self-ref lexive, referring to the allusion itself the guide presents. Put so, the selfreflexive pronoun turns the guide's pronouncement against itself. In this case, the "It" of "It is finished" is the crucifixion itself — now "It" is finished. The Christian view of the world, predicated upon the moment of death when a human being passes from the existence of earth into an other-worldly one, is dead. The transcendental thrust of Christianity is absolutely and categorically denied by the initial image of Green Hills of Afric a. In the earthen blind where the narrative discovers him, the narrator has

PAGE 15

assumed an attitude of waiting. But what results from this waiting is not the supernatural agent followers of the cruciate figure have anticipated for nearly two thousand years, but rather a new human being — born of the earth. The place by the side of the road from which the narrator issues forth to walk the land of Africa and to tell his story commands attention. The guide who rises like a cross does so as the narrator and others are sitting, leaning back, knees high, heads low, in a hollow half full of ashes and dust, watching through the dried leaves and thin branches. (P5) The first observation to be made about the hollow beside the road is that it is as much a man-made object as the spears and umbrellas which dot the African road. The first sentence of Chapter One declares the structure's origins: "We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs and branches. ..." Human hands dug the hole and placed the vegetation. But unlike the other products of men's hands, the blind by virtue of its size and function assumes added importance. The walls and cover of the cavity provide shelter for the hunters. The resulting completeness with which the structure enfolds its human inhabitants likens the shelter to a microcosm, to a world. The character of the blind as an inherited form lies in the men who shaped it, the Wanderobo hunters introduced in the first sentence of Chapter One. Yet following such a prominent introduction,

PAGE 16

10 Wanderobos prove rather scarce in the narrative. One occasionally wanders through the green hills, leaving traces of his foraging (pp. 183-4), but not until Part IV does one appear to assist the safari. However, the initial sparceness of specific Wanderobos invites a broadening of the tribal term to include all who have wandered in the earth and brought their wonder to bear upon it. The hollow by the side of the road functions as a stage in the human flowering of the road. Its dimensions mark the frontiers reached by the wander er /wonder ers who preceded the narrator, the frontiers of the world from which Green Hills of Africa unfolds. This unfolding begins with the very first word of Chapter One. By beginning with the word "We," and thereby delaying a strict identification of the referent of the plural pronoun, the text reaches out and incorporates the reader into its plurality, into its world. The inclusive nature of the "We" places the reader most assuredly within a human structure—within the hollow of the narrator/hunter, within the first person narrative of the narrator/artist. The hollow serves as a stage in the events of the road where old values are sloughed off and new ones assumed. Its confines provide the battleground for two processes at work in the narrative, the decline of the "orthodox" world view and the initial stirrings of the "heterodox." The blind marks the conjunction of the two processes, its critical nature punctuated by the terms cf life and death. Much is

PAGE 17

11 revealed by the physical appearance of the blind, described as "a hollow half full of ashes and dust." In depicting the withering away of Christianity, Biblical allusions in this passage appropriately deal only with death, e.g., the corpse of the crucifixion and the "ashes and dust" ("ashes to ashes, dust to dust") that partially fill the cavity. Most importantly, unlike the artifacts the natives carry upon the road, the form the narrator occupies no longer functions: no game is ever bagged from the blind. Yet, as its description implies, the blind is both a tomb and a womb. Surmounted by a human cross and half filled with decayed matter, it certainly appears a grave. But at the same time the curve of its shape suggests a matrix, and its Qther half is filled with a white hunter who, "sitting, leaning back, knees high, head low," assumes the position of a fetus. The cocoon-like hollow, dug from dust and covered with "dried leaves and thin branches," presents to the undiscerning eye an image of death. But within that husk dwells the miraculous kernel of change, a wanderer /wonderer curled like an unborn child and gifted with the same impulse to move and grow. The View from the Cross: Kandisky the Euro pean As the hunters leave the blind empty-handed and head back toward their camp, they pass in the light of a roadside fire a "short, bandy-legged man with a Tyroler hat,

PAGE 18

12 leather shorts, and an open shirt." The driver of the lorry, Kandisky appears only in Chapter One, the narrative overlap of the car and lorry journeys. He is a European expatriate, having left his native Austria for an African plantation, and hence a wanderer like the narrator. But although this European has wandered geographically, he has not stirred imaginatively — no matter how many miles into Africa Kandisky may have travelled, his mind is still in Europe. As their nationalities attest, the American narrator and the Austrian Kandisky represent the opposing forces in the war (World War I) that consumes such a large part of Kandisky 's conversation at lunch the following day (pp. 29-32) His involvement with the military likens Kandisky to another veteran of that same conflict, Frederick Henry. But unlike his American counterpart who walked away from the conflict, the Austrian has not bidden a farewell to arms. In a sense, that conflict still rages in the overlap of Chapter One between the American and the European, between an individualist and an orthodox! st non pareil. Kandisky always exists as a member of a large group. In a burst of self-aggrandizement the orthodoxist outlines his approach to life: "I represent European organization. I come now from organizing recruitment of the natives. This takes time. It is impressive. I have been away from my family for three months. The organization is organized. You do it in a week as easily, but. it is not so impressive." (pp. 17-18)

PAGE 19

13 His life expresses itself only through the many organizations in which he has entrenched himself. One such structure is the German cause of World War I. An Austrian, Kandisky volunteered for the German army and served under Von Lettow's command. Nov;, years later, he continues to display the same allegiances that motivated that act. For this veteran, more than property perished in that conflict; the very ideals that generated it, the abstractions of "patriot" and "duty," no longer operate in the post-war world. When Kandisky seeks indemnification for the African plantation he lost and volunteers those abstractions as his reasons for fighting, he is told, "That is very beautiful. But you cannot hold us responsible for your noble sentiments." Kandisky *s lost plantation is emblematic of the larger world that ceased to exist at the end of Ivor Id War I. Dispossessed of land and values, he now wanders the hills of Africa. One vestige of Kandisky 's military service survives in his concern with titles. He painstakingly addresses the party's white hunter as "Colonel" Phillips until Pop corrects him: "I'm a Mister, by the way. We use these military titles as nicknames." The hunters have adapted a public formality to a private, affectionate use; Kandisky, however, is never known by anything other than his last name. This predilection for titles reveals a pervasive bias in the former soldier. The European is almost totally verbal in his relationship to the world. As one would expect of a

PAGE 20

man who offered his life for abstractions, Kandisky is the quintessential man of words. The European looks upon people only as functionaries of the structures he maintains, a perspective which is formalized in the language he uses. Avoiding any expression of a private self, he never allows the familiarity that goes with first names or nicknames, but rather perpetuates the status quo by using titles or the more reserved family names. By his use of words Kandisky also preserves another structure, the sisal shamba, owned by an East Indian for whom the European—now a managerrecruits a native workforce. When the narrator first sights Kandisky in the firelight, the organizer stands "in a crowd of natives." That image which distinguishes between "manager" and "crowd" sums up Kandisky 's world outlook. Far from acknowledging individuals, he perceives the native Africans only as a crowd to be organized, as primitives to be valued only as "my cook" or "the boy." One cannot imagine such a man enjoying a relationship like that the narrator shares with the guide Droopy in Part II or M'Cola in Part III. The extent to which the outer man overshadows the inner is revealed within that most personal of structures, the family that waits for Kandisky at the sisal shamba. The only male in a household of three, he does not particularize the Kandisky women. The proprietary "my wife" and "my daughter" must suffice.

PAGE 21

15 Deposed as the head of a shamba, left with a failing vehicle ("That lorry is finished. ... it was all that remained of my shamba. ... It is all gone except that lorry") Kandisky is chiefly distinguished in Chapter One ky an overwhelming sense of loss The vehicle upon which Kandisky enters the narrative is a relic of lost battles, lost position, lost values — a lost world. Bluntly faced with the dilemma of change, Kandisky reacts with a conservative instinct to shore up against that loss. Unable to make the transition into a new world, he draws about himself the shards of the past, trying to recreate the Old World in the new world of Africa. This effort at recreation begins with small details of food and reading matter and ends with an all-encompassing world view. For instance, the day after the narrator passes Kandisky' s fire, the Austrian announces, "Tonight we will have a special dish of Viennese dessert. My cook has learned to make it very well." Such an offer conjures up the sight of an African more familiar with reedbuck tripe and kudu liver piling layer upon layer of an over-delicate torte! The offering of neglible nutritional value pales against the plentiful red meat at the hunters' fingertips. This attitude of determined indifference to the land before him leads Kandisky to seek not only bodily but intellectual nourishment from distant European sources. When Kandisky first meets the narrator by the fire, he recognizes

PAGE 22

16 him as "the dichter of Querschnitt fame (the narrator explains: "The Querschnitt was a German magazine I had written [for] years before I could sell anything in America"). Far away in the heart of Africa, Kandisky longs for people he knows only through words, "the great old Querschnitt group" of writers, "the people one would see if one saw whom one wished to see." The narrator— having seen decides, "I did not wish to destroy anything this man had, and so I did not go into those brilliant people in detail." From their very first encounter on the road, the dichotomy between word and vision, between what Kandisky believes from reading to be true and what the narrator knows empirically to be false, shapes a major issue in the narrative. Kandisky in effect never sees Africa. Just as he preserves the structures of the past with his language, so he denies the living processes of the present. The very first word the European utters in Green Hills of Africa is "No," and negation hallmarks each of his responses thereafter. He says "no" to the natives, preferring to catalogue the quaint dances and songs ("[I]t is always interesting. The natives and the language. I have many books of notes on them") rather than learn from their indigenous knowledge of the land; "no" to the nourishment of the drink the narrator offers ("I never drink. it is not good for the mind"), driving the proffer to exclaim, "Don't you ever want to change your ideas?"; and "no" to the hunt, priding himself

PAGE 23

17 on not killing game ("The life of the mind. This is not killing kudu"), while blind to the irony of his own dress as he "shift [s] his leather-breeched behind," this "Kandisky of the Tyroler pants." The European wanderer, possessed by the past, makes no effort to discover the present world that lies before him or to adapt himself to the new environment. Instead, he merely grafts the old onto the new: "I have lost everything here but I have more than anyone has in Europe. [i] n reality, I am a king here. ... I extend one foot and the boy places the sock on it. i extend the other foot and he adjusts the other sock. I step into my drawers which are held for me. Don't you think that is very marvelous?" (p. 31) I am a king here It is not far from Viennese desserts and German journals to this crowning summation. Kandisky has transplanted the whole of the European vision to African soil. Perhaps a wanderer, he has lost the capacity for wonder, aspiring only to duplicate the same hierarchical, static pattern in every facet of his life: champion of a world cause, petty tyrant of an African fiefdom, patriarch of a submissive family. m each and every manifestation of his life, the individual is subordinated to the organization. One may label Kandisky' s perspective on the world the v iew from the cross Such identification stems from the opening sequence in Green Hills when the guide who recalls

PAGE 24

18 the crucified Christ stands up in order to do so, towering over his earth-covered companions. The juxtaposition of the guide's rising with the movement of the lorry suggests the European driver's Christian heritage, the tradition which determines his way of looking at life. His point of view — the view from the cross — is literally and philosophically above the earth. It is the perspective of the omniscient Christian God who resides not in, but above, the world, beyond the reach of change. And it is that perspective which dies in the blind. The View from the Blind: The Narrator Names and titles — verbal confirmation of one's place in an ordered universe — are essential to Kandisky's world. The same is not true for the narrator. His public identity as "Hemingway" arises for the first and only time in conversation with Kandisky in Chapter One: "Hemingway is a name I have heard. Where? Where have I heard it? Oh, yes. The dichter Kandisky's response to the narrator is to label him the "poet," and from then on the European sees not the concrete individual before him, but rather a preconceived notion of who "Hemingway" should be: "Why should any man shoot a kudu? You, an intelligent man, a poet, to shoot kudu." It is no surprise that Kandisky's characteristic use of language to explore the imagination of this artist fails. At the end of the longest conversation in the

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19 entirety of the narrative (pp. 17-28) Kandisky is no closer to making contact with that talent than he was at their firelit meeting on the road. After the episode with Kandisky in Chapter One, the narrator returns to namelessness for the rest of the safari. As Kandisky 's verbal impasse underscores, Green Hills is not the story of a name not the story of a known quantity such as "European organization." The significance of the absence of names is strengthened by the absence of physical description of the narrator in the text. He has been ill with amoebic dysentary (p. 283); he has scars (p. 53). But for all the attention paid to the rest of the body, its wellbeing and functioning, the narrator is as faceless as he is nameless. Such an absence forces the reader to look not at the narrator, but through his eyes, to assume his point of view. The achievement of that point of view is a central victory of Green Hills of Africa From the moment the guide in the blind intones, "It is finished," the reader inhabits a relativistic world. The validity of any omniscient perspective concomitant with a Christian universe collapses, to be replaced by that of the individual. The world of Africa's green hills is not the world of an organization man but of the "I" who tells the story of the journey thereafter. When the artist adopts the view from the blind over the view from the cross, the heterodox over the orthodox, a new story is born as well as a new storyteller. Green

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20 Hills is an I/eye narrative told by an unknown agent of untapped possibilities. The transition from an orthodox to a heterodox world view is reflected in an important visual element of the narrative, the twenty-nine illustrations (fourteen of them two-page spreads) that punctuate the text. Just as there is no set piece of description about the narrator, so there is no sketched one. The drawings are characterized by the careful scrutiny they bring to all their subjects, whether animal, native, or hunter: the ibis (pp. 88-9, 135) and hyena (p. 199) Droopy (p. ii) and the old man of Part IV (p. 245), Pop and P.O.M. at Lake Manyara (pp. 124-5). But the sketches are particularly valuable in their treatment of the narrator. There exist no portraits, no closeups that probe for clues to his "character." Rather than existing as a completed essence before the narrative takes place, the narrator becomes during the unfolding of it. 3y his interaction with the phenomenon of Africa, he creates himself. Given this emphasis on self-realization, the drawings reveal much concerning the narrator's valuation of certain human attributes. For example, the human head, as the seat of the intelligence, is not isolated from or celebrated apart from the body. Instead, the drawings present whole-body silhouettes at a distance— the narrator integrated into the landscape (pp. 68-9, 136-7). The green hills thus presented do not constitute a lost world like

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21 that of Kandisky, but a world with which the narrator is very much at one. The narrator's relationship to his world, the key relationship in the narrative, resides in the part of speech indicating relation, the preposition. The first preposition in the text of Green Hills is "in" ("We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built"). The relationship laid out in that word resonates through the sweep of the story, from the first preposition to the last — to the last word, in fact, of the narrative. The relationship of "in" between the narrator and his world determines the topographical imagery of the African landscape: the narrator squats in the blind, moves in the human traffic of the road. In fact, "in" serves as the very nucleus of the narrative itself. It is from the "in"-nermost point of view — that of a first person narrator who is an active protagonist whose main activity is writing — that the narrator creates Green Hills of Africa the imaginative answer to Kandisky' s intellectual "books of notes." From style to imagery, the first paragraphs identify Green Kills of Africa as a story of movement, The narrative opens in medias res ; the progressive first verb, "were sitting," indicates continuous action; and the imagery augments such action: into the world of the narrator comes a truck passing along the road he waits beside. The aptness of this genre to the narrator's experience quickly becomes

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22 evident. The story of the road, in this case an African safari, lends itself readily to the telling of this narrative. Being a tale of outward movement, it easily renders simultaneous inner movement of the protagonist. The journey through the green hills is not a mere accumulation of experiences one after the other. It is a dynamic model of the qualitative personal growth the narrator undergoes All elements of the safari function in this model — the guides, the companions, the animals. The African journey divides into three segments, each under the aegis of a particular native guide. These three lengths of road correspond to phases in the American's maturation, a process of which the guides are limited promoters. The native that governs a segment is endowed with certain talents and awarenesses which he evokes and nurtures in the narrator during his ascendency in the hunt. When the narrator fully acquires these new skills, the native mentor fades from the action and the narrator advances to more demanding lessons. The narrator's sojourn with the guides is cast in the imagery of disease and health, his stay on the African continent coinciding with his recovery from a European disease: Already I had had one of the diseases and had experienced the necessity of washing a threeinch bit of my large intestine with soap and water and tucking it back where it belonged in unnumbered amount of times a day. There were remedies which cured this and it was well worth going through for v/hat I had seen and where I had been. Besides I caught that, on the dirty boat out from Marseilles. (p. 283)

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23 The three guides who supervise this coincident journey and healing — Droopy, M'Cola, and the Wanderobo of Part IV — present in their approaches to life a pattern of health. By placing himself under the mentorship of these three and incorporating their lessons into his life, the narrator survives illness and achieves wholeness. The nature of the guides' lessons stems from the death knell sounded in the opening scene, "It is finished." Among numerous subjects, the indefinite pronoun "it" refers to the self -reflexive subject of the crucifixion itself. With the diminishment of the crucifixion, the mortification of the flesh glorified therein also ends. The narrator is an inheritor of this Christian tradition, as reflected in the diseased condition of his own body. In order to advance beyond the defunct tradition of the cross, an individual and cultural healing must be enacted. A significant trait of the narrator's recuperation is that none of the natives guiding the safari overlap in their authority. This clear division places great emphasis upon the sequence in which they guide the narrator. His first steps along the road follow those of Droopy, from whom he learns the wisdom of the body. This youngest and most elemental of the guides leads the narrator in the flashback of Part II from the reedbuck hunt of Chapter Three to the Rift Valley of Chapter Six. With the resurgence of sensory health, the narrator next comes under the sway of the older guide M'Cola, who assumes

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24 prominence in Chapter Six. M'Cola presents the narrator with an alternative to the tyrannical intellect rampant in Kandisky. He offers a mental outlook oriented not to immutable truths, but to empirical observation of the world's events. And, finally, the narrator travels in Chapter Twelve with a guide at his side known only by his tribal name, a Wanderobo. The brief span of the third guide's involvement (he enters on the last scheduled day of the safari) and the prophetic nature of that entrance (he bears the long-awaited news of kudu and sable that sparks the narrator into action) suggest that the Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the qualities suggested by his name. The first sentence of the narrative ("We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built") places the narrator squarely in the tradition of these hunters. The earthen hollow constitutes part of the legacy of the Wanderobo; the values inherent in his tribal name constitute another. These qualities equip the American wanderer to act as an agent of the imagination in Green Hills of Africa The first association of Wanderobo, "to wander," describes a creature moving through his world. The word presumes no destination. It focuses not on an end to which the journey and surroundings are merely incidental, not on the eventual cessation of movement. Rather, "wander" celebrates the phenomenon of movement and the arena in which it takes

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25 place. To this story of the road the homonymic pun, "to wonder," contributes additional dimensions. The narrator brings to bear upon his environment that spirit of inquiry and observation raised by one meaning of the pun, "to speculate." This curiosity, this passion to see marks the adventure of the I/eye newly issued from the Uanderobo shelter. And finally the pun functions within another of its definitions, "to feel wonder." With the return of physical health and mental perspective, the creative faculty also wells up within the narrator, infusing the sights of Africa with a narrative cohesion. At the close of his African journey, the narrator has achieved an inward wholeness that will soon produce the vision that is Green Hills of Africa.

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26 Notes to Part I Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935), pp. 2-3. Further citations will be given in the text. 2 Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of Narrative (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 98. 3 Carlos Baker, "Introduction: Citizen of the World," in Hemingway and His Critics ed. Carlos Baker (New York: Hill and Wang, 1962), p. 15.

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PART II LIVING IN THE FLESH The Narrator's Rhinoceros The imagery of the African safari provides the mechanism for tracing the journey the narrator takes toward inner and outer health. One component of that mechanism, the native guides, enter and pass from the ranks of the huntingparty. However, another component, the companions of the safari, are constants in a world of change, there at the beginning of the African adventure and there at the end. Consequently, they perform a different service in chronicling the narrator's story. The guides preside over long-range periods of growth and then step aside as the narrator reaches and then exceeds the limits of their expertise. However, the companions act as alter egos for the narrator, The values that cluster about each one are always present in the narrator's psyche; the companions come to the fore in the story when those values are being emphasized in him and diminish when those values are de-emphasized. By such delicate and ever-changing interplay, the companions provide an indicator of the narrator's progress. Two Americans accompany the narrator into the continent, P.O.M., his wife, and Karl Kabor, his friend and fellow 27

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28 hunter. Much of the "action at hand" in the seven chapters of Part II stems from the friction between the narrator and the companion Karl. Chapters Three and Four relate the first skirmish in this conflict, a skirmish fought by means of the rhinoceros. Just as the guides acquire significance by the sequence in which they conduct the safari, so do the major animals of Green Hills by the sequence in which they are hunted. The predominant species never overlap; a rhinoceros is killed only in Chapter Four. The African rhino is the first big game encountered in the flashback of Part II, an animal free of associations in Western culture. Instead, the rhinoceros gains its importance from the American hunter who pursues it. That importance begins with its initial sighting by the narrator from a hilltop: Until five o'clock we did not see anything. Then, without the glasses, I saw something moving over the shoulder of one of the valleys toward a strip of the timber. In the glasses it was a rhino, showing very clear and minute at the distance, red-colored in the sun, moving with a quick waterbug-like motion across the hill. Then there were three more of them that came out of the forest, dark in the shadow, and two that fought, tinily, in the glasses, pushing head-on, fighting in front of a clump of bushes while we watched them and the light failed, (pp. 49-50) Just as the action of Part I springs from the blind beside the road, so that of Part II springs from the

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29 sighting of the rhino. The place and the manner by which it enters the narrative indicate the importance of this animal: the rhino are sighted from the first green hill in Green Hills of Africa ("we climbed, sweating, the small, steep hill on the right to sit there with our backs against the hilltop and glass the green, pleasant country") and their entrance is described strictly within the language of a vision. Prohibited by distance and rough terrain from physical contact, permitted access only by "the glasses" that are so carefully mentioned in three of the four sentences of this passage, the narrator can contact the game only as an image, only aesthetically. So, in this, the maiden hunt of the longest section of the book, a hunt described as "fine" even though no game is taken, the narrator sits atop the first green hill of his story and conceives a vision that ripples outward to touch the entire course of events in Part II. Details of the four rhino glimpsed from the hill substantiate the comprehensiveness of this vision. In the rhino hunt, inner and outer realities work together; the rhino objectifies outwardly the inner state of its pursuers. The dynamics of the narrative are generated by a finely-honed correspondence between the men and the animals thay pursue: the characteristics and behavior of the sought-after illuminate subtly yet profoundly the desires and drives of the seekers. The correspondence

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30 between the two is established in several ways, beginning with numbers: a lead rhino followed by a herd of three mirrors the pioneering white hunter Pop and his American hunting party. In addition, in a Part whose chief action derives from conflict between two hunters, the animals they pursue are the only beasts in the entire safari to be observed fighting, and fighting between themselves at that. By the parallel thus set up between men and beasts, the "two [rhino] that fought, tinily, in the glasses" place the ongoing competition between the narrator and Karl squarely within the context of a territorial battle between two dominant males. The rhinoceros emerges as vital from its very first appearance, trotting vigorously out onto the hill and flashing vividly before the narrator's eye, "red-colored in the sun." Red, the color of blood, of animal life, distinguishes the rhino throughout the hunt. But even more important is the source of that color. To P.O.M. 's query, "What makes them so red?," Pop replies, "Rolling in the mud." The narrator's rhino, too, shows "muddy red." Thus the rhino wallows in the matrix of the earth, absorbing its coloration and energy from an earthly, i not a celestial, origin. And the pursuers of the rhino are imbued with the same vigor as the game. Much is made back in camp after the rhino sighting about the

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31 hunters 1 own bathing in "nice, warm, muddy water." Such immersion befits a protagonist born of an earthen blind. Along with the above-mentioned components of the narrator's hilltop vision — the place and manner of entrance of the rhinoceros, their preoccupation and color — one other trait reinforces and expands the analogy between pursuers and pursued. These most contentious of game clash "headon," just as do the narrator and Karl in their rivalry for the heads of the game. But a more comprehensive clash between "heads" is involved, a conflict between the mental outlooks of the two hunters. When Chapter Four comes to a close, each hunter has bagged a rhino, and each rhino embodies that particular hunter's conception of the enterprise engaging him. The narrator s hunt culminates in this animal : There he was, long hulked, heavy-sided, prehistoric looking, the hide like vulcanized rubber and faintly transparent, scarred with a badly healed horn wound that the birds had pecked at, his tail thick, round, and pointed, flat many-legged ticks crawling on him, his ears fringed with hair, tiny pig eyes, moss growing on the base of his horn that grew out forward from his nose. (p. 7 9) The narrator's observation of his rhino is singularly vivid and rich in particulars. In fact, this passage constitutes the initial vision of the green hill come to fruition. What began as several animals viewed from afar in a dominating landscape has narrowed to one specific animal confronted

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32 in all its immediacy and uniqueness. Just as they did in the procession of natives along the road in Part I, artifacts play an integral role in the events of the rhino hunt. The impulse that brings the narrator down from his hillside seat to the side of the rhino aligns him as closely with the binoculars by which he first discerned the animal as with the gun that felled it. This emphasis on the instrument of sight gives equal import to the narrator's role as artist: in the act of learning to focus, to distinguish the individual from the herd, the eye of the creator undergoes substantial refinement. One of the details revealed under the narrator's scrutiny of the rhino concerns the animal's physical condition; its hide is "scarred with a badly healed horn wound that the birds had pecked at." Besides identifying this rhino as one of the battling males viewed from the hill, the scars also mark the narrator's prize as no perfect specimen, but rather as a participant in and veteran of the conflicts of the world. In addition to rejecting an other-worldly standard of perfection, the physical state of the rhino bears witness to the animal's mortality. Once the Christian promise of immortality dies, the question for the existential wanderer/wonderer becomes how to live in and with the consequences of the world. That this is the lesson on which the narrator is embarked is substantiated by his own likeness to the

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33 rhino. Of all the concrete description in Green Hills of Africa little of it deals with the narrator. The only item he relates about himself is that he, like the rhino, has been ill and, like the rhino, bears scars: My own scars were all informal, some irregular and sprawling, others simply puffy welts. I had one on my forehead that people still commented on, asking if I had bumped my head. .(p. 53) Thus both hunter and hunted emerge as creatures buffeted by experience. In a major function the animals of Africa perform in Green Hills the rhinoceros stands as a stage in the growth of its pursuer. Scarred, the narrator incorporates the conditions of twentieth century, post-Christian life; wounded, he must now learn the lessons of the body that will result in healing. This sensory orientation is indicated by his interaction with the beast: he looks at and describes the whole body of the rhino, valuing not just the prize of the head and horn, but the complete animal. The story of Part II, then, develops out of the narrator's need to grow into a wholeness of body, to not only survive in the world, but to flourish. That the rhino indicates growth in the narrator is borne out by the vital part movement plays in the hunt. Theirs is a dynamic encounter, initially an inner one as the narrator responds to the challenge of the "muddy red" game ("I was very excited at seeing him") his own blood

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34 racing; then one of outer movement as success depends upon his ability to anticipate and then go with the actions of the rhino. He showed, trotting into the shallow, boulder filled stream. Thinking of one thing, that the shot was perfectly possible, but that I must lead him enough, must get ahead, I got on him, then well ahead of him, and squeezed off. I heard the whonk of the bullet and, from his trot, he seemed to explode forward. (p. 7 6) The encounter demands, and receives, the best of the hunter's skill (the horn is "nothincr extra. That was a hell of a shot you made on him though, brother") The results of the narrator's effort, that extraordinary show of proficiency called forth in the one-on-one confrontation, stresses that the process of hunting engages the narrator's passion. He does not walk away with the "best" rhino, with another trophy — in fact, quite the opposite, given the condition of the rhino and the size of its horn. What he does walk away with from the rhino hunt is the internal victory of having set, and met, his own challenge. Karl's Rhinoceros At the same time the narrator faces his rhinoceros in an encounter of far-reaching dimensions, the other American hunter on the safari, his friend Karl, also brings down a rhino. And just as the first animal

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35 reveals the impulsions of the narrator, so the second reveals those of Karl: There was the newly severed head of a rhino that was a rhino. He was twice the size of the one I had killed. The little eyes were shut and a fresh drop of blood stood in the corner of one like a tear. The head bulked enormous and the horn swept up and back in a fine curve. The hide was an inch thick where it hung in a cape behind the head and was as white where it was cut as freshly sliced coconut. (p. 83) The overwhelming feature of Karl's rhinoceros in contrast to the narrator's is that this animal is already dead when first viewed. The inanimate rhino climaxes a hunt devoid of interaction between hunter and hunted. Karl does not track the animal through the hills and streams of its own ground, but stumbles upon it "just outside of camp"; neither does he draw upon his skill as a marksman in the confrontation, rather downing the animal with an undetermined "five or six [shots], I guess." When the narrator looks out from the green hill at the spectacle of the battling bulls before him he sees in their "head-on" conflict the same battle of heads he fights with Karl. As becomes clear when he regards his rhino, his mind is learning to value the creatures of the world in their concrete wholeness, a wholeness which necessitates consideration of and for the body. Not so with Karl. "The newly severed head," the

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36 "enormous" head, "this dead, head-severed" rhino — Karl pursues and triumphantly captures the head of heads. Already skinned, his rhino hangs emptied of all traces of body. Its quantitative considerations of "size," "bulk," and "inches" merit acclaim in the public realm, a rhino born to adorn some sportsman's wall. But qualitatively the prize is as hollow as its skin. Lacking all individuating characteristics (no ticks, moss, or scars here) the monumental head represents the antithesis of the narrator's private and personal achievement. The deadness that typifies Karl's approach to the hunt is expounded in two similes that appear in the description of his rhinoceros. Both figures record the diminution of the rhino's most salient feature, its red color. In the first instance ("a fresh drop of blood stood in the corner of one [eye] like a tear") the color that flashed so vividly before the narrator's eye from the hilltop has in this specimen assumed the hue of sorrow, In fact, the weeping head of "this huge, tear-eyed marvel of a rhino," framed by a shroud of hide, resembles nothing so much as a tragic mask. The second simile documents the scope of this regression. In Karl's rhino, "the hide was as white where it was cut as freshly sliced coconut." The figure performs a double .function. A food metaphor, it ironically describes a creature whose pursuer cannot feed upon his kill. Karl's incapacity to utilize

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37 the body is underscored when his plan to capture a leopard with the rhino carcass is thwarted by a protected lion. But even more significantly, the startling whiteness the metaphor discloses about the hide presents a creature blanched of the vitality that so distinguished the animals of the hill in that original vision. Far from flowing throuqh veins or denotinq intimate contact with the earth, red appears in this rhino only as blood spilled at the hands of Karl ("He was shakv with excitement and I saw he had been washing blood off his hands") By no accident do the eyes of this rhinoceros close shut. With eyes as blind as those of the dead game, Karl cannot partake of the vision of life the narrator perceives in the opening pages of Part II. The workings of the human head that resembles this rhino are set forth in the passage that marks Karl's entrance into camp : "Whatever you say," Karl said. His mind was bitterly revolving eight blank days of hill climbing in the heat, out before daylight, back at dark, hunting an animal whose Swahili name he could not then remember, with trackers in whom he had no confidence, coming back to eat alone, no one to whom he could talk, his wife nine thousand miles and three months away, and how was his dog and how was his job, and god-damn it where were they and what if he missed one when he got shot, he wouldn't, you never missed when it was really important, he was sure of that, that was one of the tenets of his faith, but what if he got excited

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38 and missed, and why didn't he get any letters, what did the guide say kongoni for that time, they did, he knew they did, but he said nothing of all that, only, "Whatever you say," a little desperately. (p. 62) This paragraph delineating Karl s thoughts upon the hunting he has just concluded stands out in the narrative for, except for the use of the third person point of view, the passage is an interior monologue, the only one of its kind in the book. By its structure, that of an essentially one-sentence paragraph, the monologue traces the activity of a "mind revolving." Firearms, of course, constitute as necessary a part of the safari's equipment as vehicles and tents and, like the other elements, contribute to the imagistic richness of the hunt. On at least three separate occasions in the journey through Africa, the double-barreled shotqun and the Springfield rifle owned by the narrator figure decisively in crucial turning points of the narrator's journey. However, the gun suggested in Karl's monologue ("His mind was bitterly revolving eight blank days") is the first to introduce firearm imagery. That suggested weapon, the revolver, draws attention to itself and to Karl because, unlike the larger shotgun and rifle, it is not a standard hunting instrument. As a metaphor this particular gun illuminates the dynamics of the mind of the hunter. The revolver connotes action that is circular

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39 and repetitive. Karl's meditation upon his days in the hills follows precisely this pattern, picking up a detail (the "Swahili name he could not then remember") worrying with it ("god-damn it where were they ) and returning to it again ("what did the guide say kongoni for that time, they did, he knew they did"), with no progress made or resolution reached through the mind's ruminations. The identical phrases beginning and ending the passage ("Whatever you say," "Whatever you say") reinforce the mental stalemate. The obsession with words which prevails in the monologue typifies Karl's sojourn in Africa: he misses his quarry because he misunderstands a name ; he bemoans a lack of companionship because there is no one to talk to (alone, among forty M'Bulusi); he is haunted by formulated tenets he must live up to; and he languishes, in the heart of Africa, from a lack of letters from home. His preference for words hinders a full experiencing of the wonder of the continent; the few sensory references in the monologue relate only hardships suffered in its terrain. As emptied of body as his trophy, Karl is one big head. Appropriately, this head seeks out an aesthetic form indigenous to a man of words, the convention of the unspoken soliloquy. As mentioned above, this literary style is peculiar to Karl alone in Green Hills of Africa

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40 In addition to identifying his habit of mind, the soliloquy also suggests Karl's state of mind; the utterance of a lone speaker, the soliloquy expresses the estrangement resulting from Karl's verbal obsession. No one on the safari is more determinedly alone than Karl, deprived of wife, job, and home, aloof from the continent he traverses and the people he meets, obsessed with only one facet of a multi-faceted event. When a human mind can be reduced to the image of a revolver, that mind is a mind consumed. But the analogy of the revolver makes an even more damning assertion: the mind, or more precisely that intellectual bent of mind which prevails in Karl, fails as a weapon, as a means of viable action within the world. The impotence of such a mind is carried through in the image of the revolver, its ammunition onlv blanks, its action only mechanical. If certain traits found in the hunter Karl sound familiar, that is because they have been encountered before in the narrative. Karl is the intellectual greatgrandson of "Emerson, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Company," the Americans of whom the narrator stated in Part I, "You [would not] gather that they had bodies. They had minds, yes. Nice, dry, • clean minds." And he is the first cousin of the European intellectual to whom the narrator made this observation— Kandisky. Parallels between the European

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41 and this American abound. The personal situation of each man includes a present lack of wife, job, and home; Karl's name mimics Kandisky's in its Germanic spelling; and both men indulge in aesthetic forms concomitant with verbal man, conversation in Kandisky's case and the unspoken soliloquy in Karl's. The extent and import of the link between these two men becomes even clearer in the chronology of Green Hills One recalls that Part II, "Pursuit Remembered," is told as a flashback. Therefore Karl's foray into the hills (of which we see only the return) and Kandisky's journey along the road (of which we see only the end) coincide. The narrative concerns itself with Karl and his story when the Western man consummate in Kandisky holds sway. Karl, of all the hunting party, most resembles the narrator in age, sex, and skill, and the groundwork for his function as an alter ego is laid out early in the narrator's observation of the two male rhinos locked in territorial combat upon the green hill. The outcome of the battle between the verbal values Karl espouses and the visual ones the narrator is learning rides with these respective champions; the American soul wrestles with itself as its two sons engage in a contest cf such consequence that the very earth is riven between them. The Quest for dominance appears most blatantly in the politics of the hunt when the two hunters scrupulously

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42 divide up the territorial "beats" between themselves. Karl and the narrator never hunt the big game together, and the. supposed infringement by the narrator upon Karl's territory triggers an explosion in the latter in Chapter Eight. The schism extends from Africa to America: "He made my rhino look so small that I could never keep him in the same small town where we lived. He had wiped him out." But it assumes its most powerful proportions in the topographical feature which commands the landscape of Part II, the Rift Valley. The sentence which introduces Karl into Part II designates this landmark as his destination: The trucks were to bring Karl in from his kudu camp where he seemed to be getting disgusted, or discouraged, or both, and he could go down to the Rift Valley the next day and kill some meat and try for an oryx. (p. 61) From this first appearance in Chapter Three, Karl's very presence entails a rift. That the differences between these two seemingly similar men should reach such dimensions indicates a crucial cleaving of allegiances within the narrator. The model for this division crops up in a chat between Jackson Phillips and the narrator the night immediately preceding the rhino kills. Pop was puzzled why the rhino were all gone. Each day we had seen less and we discussed whether it could be the full moon, that they fed out at

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43 night and were back in the forest in the morning before it was light, or that they winded us, or heard the men, and were simply shy and kept in the forest, or what was it? Me putting out the theories, Pop pricking them with his wit, sometimes considering them from politeness, sometimes with interest, like the one about the moon. (pp. 74-5) The image of the moon in the narrator's speculations regardina rhino behavior also contains the crux of the human behavior. Two processes are going on in Part II: the narrator, as he learns of the world and the body, is waxing ; his counterpart Karl is waning The gradual sloughing off of Karl and the values he embraces is accomplished verbally and visibly. Suggestions of obsolescence cluster about Karl throughout tne course of Part II. "Old Karl," "Good old Karl," "old Karl," "old Karl" mark the hunter's decline. His appearance also bodes ill: "Karl was thin now, his skin sallow, his eyes very tired looking and he seemed a little desperate." From his first steps into camp, Karl steadily atrophies. While reaping one external trophy after another, he withers internally, over the course of seven chapters growing "steadily gloomier," "tired," "pale and gaunt looking," "tired" a descent which climaxes in the narrator's diagnosis, "I don't think he's well now." The waning of Karl augurs an adjustment in the Western psyche, a bringing into proportion of one facet

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44 of being—the intellect— which has tyrannized others. Its consequent diminishment provides a space for the rediscovery and burgeoning of the body that occupies Part II. Karl wanes because he is trapped within his own mental revolutions, unable to reach outside them for physical or emotional nourishment. Pop confirms this starvation with another food image, "I think he's off his feed a little." In the end, a mind revolving is a mind consuming itself. The final passage of Chapter Nine documents Karl s inability to advance upon the road. The closing scene carefully recapitulates the opening scene of the narrative, its recurring elements inviting comparison. Karl describes the hunt: "We were in the blind and they motioned me to keep my head down and then when I looked up there he was right beside us." The situation is the same as when the narrator crouched beside the road in Part I: a hunter, a womb-like blind, and the all-inclusive "we" that presides at the event. But in Karl's case no birth transpires; this hunter is not to be the next wanderer/ wonderer in the long line of artificers. Karl fails because he provides no limbs to assume the fetal position, because he proffers a verbal artifact, the soliloquy, that proves inadequate as a tool. Realizing his incompleteness as an agent of life, the "we" dissociates itself from Karl and becomes an exclusive "they," motioning back the untoward head. Significantly, the gesture of the "they"

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45 reproduces exactly the movement with which the narrator repudiates the black guide associated with Christianity and European civilization in Chapter One ("'It is finished,' he said. I put my hand to my mouth and motioned him down") With this movement the "we" aligns itself with the narrator; it is his story the voices of the road share, not Karl's. The Time of Droopy Just as the waning of the moon describes the diminishment of Karl recorded in Part II, so its waxing describes the simultaneous flourishing of the narrator. The narrator explicitly designates the period of this waxing as "the time of Droopy" (p. 46) Chapter Three begins with the American hunter carefully perusing the figure of the African guide: Droopy was a real savage with lids to his eyes that nearly covered them, handsome, with a great deal of style, a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker. He was about thirty-five, I should think, and wore only a piece of cloth, knotted over one shoulder, and a fez that some hunter had given him. He always carried a spear, (p. 46) One feature attracting the narrator's visual attention in the opening passage is Droopy s attire, unique to him among the principal natives of the safari. The knotted cloth and the spear, however, recall other hunters

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46 encountered earlier in the narrative, the line of the westward migration upon the road: "Some were naked except for a greasy cloth knotted over one shoulder, and carried bows and sealed auivers of arrows. Others carried spears." Droopy 's costume places him squarely among these bearers of artifacts and culture; it is as if he has stepped out of the procession to walk with the new hunter on the road for a time. In addition to dress, another of the guide's traits attracts the narrator; the native is "about thirtyfive, I should think." The interjection of the narrative first person into this particular detail indicates its importance; of all the participants on the safari, Droopy alone is the same age as the narrator. 2 This sharing of time in their personal lives, as emphasized by the personal pronoun, underscores the affinity between the handsome hunter and the I/eye who regards him. The time of Droopy portends a propitious time for the narrator In Part II Droopy presides at the initial sighting and subsequent downing of the narrator's rhinoceros: "[M'Cola] and I [were] huntinq together and Droopy in command of the show." The result of that show, the rhino with its commanding features of physical size and bulk, indicates the values of the guide presiding over its mastery. In the growth of the narrator, Droopy serves as a guide to the body. Droopy s own body initiates

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47 this role. The native possesses a naturally attractive face and physique; in addition, he boasts tribal scars, "handsome ones beside his cheekbones and others, symmetrical and decorative, on his chest and belly." As they do in the description of his scars, the words "handsome" and "beautiful" keynote Droopy s appearance on the safari, being applied to him by men and women alike, and even italicized at times (p. 64) Thus, as confirmed by the narrator's visual scrutiny and by the verbal approbations, throughout Droopy' s time in the hunt people respond to him first and foremost as an aesthetic phenomenon The unique character of his beauty indicates his importance to the narrator. Droopy' s patterned skin evidences a concern with the surface and the visual. It constitutes an explicit recognition and glorification of the body and its image, nature enhanced at the hands of man. As do all the guides, Droopy serves in two capacities, guiding the narrator/hunter through the country of Africa and the narrator/artist through the terrain of art. It is vital to the workings of the narrative that these two functions issue from the same source, that what makes good hunting makes good art. During the rhino hunt, the narrator learns from Droopy that art and action are one and the same. Looking beautiful, functioning beautifully, the African completely integrates the two. He admits no

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48 disparity between the surface and the reality, between the adorned skin and the trained muscles. The word which recurs in the narrator's consideration of Droopy, and which captures the unity the guide has achieved, is style. "Handsome, with a great deal of style," "a great stylist in everything he did"— style as evidenced by Droopy is not just extraneous flourish, but a marriage of inner talent and outer training. its holistic quality surfaces in the climactic moment of the rhino hunt when Droopy goes in first after the downed game, pausing only to remove his fez: "That's all the precautions he needs," Pop said. "We bring up a couple of heavy guns and Droopy qoes in after him with one article less of clothing." (p. 77) The guide's quintessential act at this juncture of life and death is to shed the superfluous object. He is able to perform the task before him because he carries within him the resources equal to that task. One organ in particular distinguishes the superb body of the guide. "With lids that nearly covered them," his eyes are the first feature the narrator notices. That feature gives rise to his name, the nickname "Droopy," the familiarity of which further strengthens the personal significance the African guide holds for the American hunter. It also pinpoints the gift the two men hold in common, the gift of vision. Droopy s eyes make possible

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49 his occupation, his art, as "a fine hunter and a beautiful tracker." He must bring his physical prowess, his intimacy with land and game, and above all his trained eye to the task at hand. Be it blood spoor in the high grass, rhino track in the mud, or buffalo droppings in the rocks, to assure success — and survival — the tracker must find the pattern in the earth A patterned being in a world of pattern, Droopy inhabits an aesthetic universe. As has each of the makers in that line from which he steps, Droopy molds with his hands a form, in his case the body — his own and those of his world. The narrator receives a major lesson in the art of the body from Droopy when he shoots a reedbuck in Chapter Three. Delineating the roles of novice and teacher, the passage is phrased as a lesson. The only animal taken in that chapter, the buck appears when Droopy and the narrator hunt alone. After succeeding in his wish "to make a shot to impress Droopy," the narrator displays his skill with the reedbuck, limited chiefly to dissection: Once bled, I started to open him, with the little knife, still showing off to Droopy, and emptying him neatly took out the liver, cut away the gall, and laying the liver on a hummock of grass, put the kidneys beside it. (p. 54} Atter viewing this demonstration, Droopy then takes his turn, transforming the carcass from mere pieces of meat into a tour de force of utility:

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50 Now he was going to show me something. Skillfully he slit open the stomach and turned it inside, tripe side, out,, emptying the grass in it on the ground, shook it, then put the liver and kidneys inside it and with the knife cut a switch from the tree the buck lay under and sewed the stomach together with the withe so that the tripe made a bag to carry the other delicacies in. Then he cut a pole and putthe bag en the end of it, running it through the flaps, and put it over his shoulder. .(p. 54) Under Droopy s tutelaae, the narrator discovers the plasticitv of the body. Unlike Karl's rhinceros, a shell destined for public display upon a wall, the reedbuck at Droopy' s touch becomes an object of protean possibility, magically transmuting from one state to another as inside becomes out, organs become containers, consumer becomes nourishment. To an even more emphatic degree than the rhinoceros, the reedbuck carries no public or cultural significance; its lesson for the narrator is strictly personal An intrinsic part of this lesson, the coalescing of the arts of hunting and writing, clearly comprises the central event of the reedbuck incident. The tool with which the narrator must dress the carcass is a penknife ("Droopy had no skinning knife and I had only a penknife to stick him with") Since this particular artifact was first used in the maintainance of quill pens, its double function as an instrument of writing and of hunting

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51 cannot be overlooked. To be legal meat, the body of the buck must be stuck immediately (p. 157) Therefore, the skill with which the narrator/hunter presses his knife against the heart, his fingers against the body, determines the food value of the kill. With like skill must the narrator/artist press the pen against the paper, his imagination against the matter of his world, to shape the living prose. The killing of the reedbuck occasions an immediate exercise of style as the pupil applies in his narrative the values Droopy has championed and he himself has assimilated. These values are evidenced nowhere more powerfully than in the conversation that brings the reedbuck chapter to an end. The nighttime setting parallels in its makeup the one the narrator has shared with Droopy during the day: a couple (this time the narrator and his wife) alone (in their tent, as the narrator has been in the country with his guide) sharing the conflicts of their lives (in this case the jealous rivalries of the Parisian literati) . said P.O.M. "We have fun though don t we? Without all those people." "God damn it if we don't. I've had a better time every year since I can remember." "But isn't Mr. J. P. wonderful? Really?" "Yes. He's wonderful." "Oh, you're nice to say it. Poor Karl." "Why?"

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52 "Without his wife." "Yes," I said. "Poor Karl." (p. 66) Since the portion of the conversation immediately preceding this exchange has divulged how another author learned to write conversation by imitating the narrator, the quoted lines become a virtuoso display in self-aware style. No excess description impedes the functioning of the speech; whatever physical and psychological action transpires in the scene occurs within the words themselves. The narrative does not dwell often upon what might be called domestic scenes. In this one of the few times it does, it lingers upon the couple alone, upon these two who have sloughed off "all those people." Having repudiated the Parisian literati, and deserted for the evening their fellow travelers, the narrator and P.O.M. withdraw from the world of society into the world of marriage The physical space of that world is defined by the walls of the tent that shelters them in the sleeping camp; the linguistic space of that world is defined by the pronoun "we." In the description of Droopy at the beginning of Chapter Three the personal pronoun rendered in language. the personal bond between the subject of that description and the I/eye who described him. So in the conversation between the narrator and his wife at the end of Chapter Three, the plural personal pronoun conveys the intimacy shared by the two conversers. Both speak in terms of

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53 "we" as they muse about the life they share, acknowledging verbally the union in which they are partners. And union— the world of "we"-is the subject of this passage, stylistically, psychologically, and sexually. Karl, with whom the exchange concludes, has been proved poor in many ways. He, like his friend, has had the fortune to hunt with "good-looking savages" and the chance to learn from them all that phrase entails. But Karl learns nothing, failing to communicate even superficially with his guides. Significantly, Droopy never hunts with Bwana Kabor. But Karl is manifestly poorer in another way, as the conversation demonstrates. He is poor because he lacks his wife, as is agreed upon by the two voices we hear issuing into the quiet of the night. "... Poor Karl." "Why?" "Without his wife." "Yes," I said. "Poor Karl." The sentences are as unencumbered as Droopy without his fez, as close to the emotion of the matter as the narrator/hunter to the reedbuck's heart. Poor Karl without his wife, says a man with his wife. The unstated, implied converse floats up into the African air as surely as if it were inscribed upon the page: Poor Karl .... Lucky me.

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54 With these words — spoken and unspoken — the conversation, the scene, and the chapter close. No further narration follows their utterance, but given the intensifying intimacy of the passage, the break in the text points toward husband and wife making love. Chaman Nahal has pointed out the service of adverbs in implying sexual intercourse in The Sun Also Rises 3 In Green Hills rather than taking the form of an adverbial interruption within one line or between two lines as in Nahal s examples, the sexually-suggestive break assumes the shape of the blank space upon the page after the conversation. This presentation of the sexual union by visual means bears out the growing importance of the image within the narrative, including that of the text as an image upon the page, as the narrative passes from the verbal virtuosity which sets the action into the visual one which fulfills it. The narrator discusses sex outright a few paqes later in Chapter Four (p. 72) and on at least one other occasion in the narrative (p. 249) but the closing scene of Chapter Three marks the only instance to hint at his active engagement. The appropriateness of such a scene to the purposes of the narrative is clear. It is fittinq that the Part of the book most concerned with the body should include its conjugal celebration, that a chapter whose action is sparked by an eye/body relationship (the narrator looking at Droopy) should climax in the most

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55 intimate of such relationships. And, given this generating power of the eye, it is even more fitting that this union be realized visually: in that space upon the page after Chapter Three ends and before Chapter Four begins, it is as if the eye closes as the "I" withdraws into the intimacy of "we." Only the tent which witnesses first an exchange of words between the present wife and the lucky husband witnesses then an exchange of hearts and bodies, deep in the rich African night. Droopy 's Country During the period designated as "the time of Droopy," the narrator and the safari enter a part of Africa known among themselves as "Droopy' s country." A "country" has been defined previously by the narrator as "an area, a valley or range of hills, a man can hunt in." This usage in the hunting vocabulary allows the term to fill a larger narrative need in Green Hills Throughout the safari, only one African country in the political sense of the word is mentioned, and precious few towns; rather, "country" takes on a role as psychic space, as an arena of expertise within which a man may act. With this emphasis the naturalistic is valued over the political, the achievement of man as individual over man in groups : "Droopy s country" designates that perfect conjunction between the demands of a particular terrain and the talents of a particular hunter.

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56 A "canyon [that] ran down to the Rift Valley, seeming to narrow at the far end where it cut through the wall of the rift," constitutes Droopy 's arena of action. As would be expected in the case of the native who has acted as a guide to the body, Droopy s country abounds in physical proliferation, from the lushness of its vegetation ("the trees were heavy and tall and the floor of the canyon, that from above had been a narrow gash, opened to a forestbanked stream") to the superabundance of game. In their search for water buffalo the hunting party are confronted at almost every turn with prize rhino specimen, which in every case turn out to be cows accompanied bv one, if not two, calves. The reproductive activity attested to bv this display pervades not only plants and animals in Droopy 's country, but men as well. Throughout his tutelage to Droopy, the narrator has been undergoing a regeneration, of which his sojourn in the canyon marks only an intensification. Prior to the time of the narrative the American hunter had been ill, but now he had that pleasant feeling of getting stronger every day. I was underweight, had a great appetite for meat, and could eat all I wanted without feeling stuffy. Each day I sweated out whatever we drank sittina at the fire. .(p. 55) The regeneration of this American coincides with the degeneration of the other American hunter on the safari,

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57 his friend Karl. As suggested by the image of the moon in the rhino hunt, Karl is waning while the narrator waxes. One way the theme of physical waxing presents itself is in the narrator's "great appetite." The acts of eating and drinking afford much pleasure, be the nourishment a "lunch of cold sliced tenderloin, bread, and mustard, and a can of plums," or the beer that "was still cool, from the night and opened by the tin opener creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full-bodied." As is borne out by the descriptions of the lunch and beer, great care is taken to set forth in detail the concrete things of the world, the bounty of the green hills that sustains the body. Furthermore, the narrator's appetite extends from the sustaining surplus of the world to the world itself. Appropriately, a verb of appetite describes the narrator's desire for the country in which he finds himself: "New, being in Africa, I was hungry for more of it." What the narrator hungers after, and what Droopy teaches him to find, is "now"— through the appetites of, the immediate demands of, the now of the body. Karl, the narrator's chief alter ego in Part II, is trapped in "then"; the compulsion of his intellect to remember a life across the Atlantic never permits his senses tc experience the "now" of Africa. Revealingly, Karl does not enter Droopy' s country, does not enter the world of

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58 "now." But the narrator does, and upon entry he finds in that country a stage of awareness best described by Chaman Nahal : The key word for understanding the Hemingway hero according to my reading, is spontaneity. The Hemingway hero is a man immensely alive to everything, and in his spontaneity he has the vital capacity to react to life in innumerable and unpredictable ways. That is the true Hemingway hero: a genuinely spontaneous individual : • • The desire in his heroes is to feel everything fully — and therefore slowly, egolessly. "He did not want to rush his sensations any, says Hemingway about Nick in Big, Two-Hearted River," and the expression is typical. The life of the trout, of the mink, and of the mosquitoes and the grasshoppers that is painted in the story comes rushing to Nick because of his extreme sensitivity to what is going on around him. 4 While Nahal's unqualified extension of this observation about Nick Adams to later, more complex protagonists may be questioned, its rightness for the narrator at this particular phase in h-ia fn '„„ 1 ln niS African journey is unquestionable. For the duration of this sensory "now," the life of the reedbuck, of the rhino, and of the tse-tse flies and the locusts enriches the narrator every bit as much as the life of Nick's country enriches him. The narrator enters Droopy s country— and makes it his own. Droopy walks into the green hills of Africasafari with the narrator and M'Coia, through the hi on a foot gh grasses

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59 of his own country, onward to where the canyon meets the Rift Valley— and then simply vanishes from the narrative, never to be seen or mentioned again. The intensity and the brevity of his walk among the hills suggest that this guide acts as a vital, but limited, agent for promoting growth in the narrator. That Droopy presides over a distinct phase in the journey of his pupil is borne out by the great capacities, but even greater limitations, of his body, his time, and his country. The first limitation is found in the superb body whose eyes discern the trails and pinpoint the game. But for all their efficiency, these organs look only earthward; they do not incorporate lateral vision, the direction associated with the fellow guide M'Cola. Droopy s vision is that of the primal interaction of man with earth, not the more complex interaction of man with man. The drooping eyelids that beget his name act as natural blinders, restricting his field of sight to one plane. The resemblance of these lids to blinders recalls a similar use of vision and places Droopy in the sequence of the safari; the narrator follows the path blazed by Droopy before he rises from the blind. Just as Droopy s body suffices only so far, so does his utilization of the products of civilization. "The time of Droopy" acquires added significance when one considers the. place of this guide among the company of westward wanderer/wonder ers on the road. Droopy most closely resembles the more primitive of the peoples, the nomadic

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60 hunters, as opposed to the more advanced family units with which his cohort M'Cola is associated. in addition to cultural advances signified by the societal groupings, the guide's relationship to time is disclosed also by his deployment of artifacts. Droopy wears the cruder knotted tunic, in contrast to M' Cola's buttoned jacket. The inexperience also plagues his knowledge of weapons. The African hunter may wield handily the ever-present spear, but in the pivotal confrontation with M'Cola after the buffalo kill, the intricacies of a double-barrelled shotgun elude him. I told Droopy he could keep my big gun. He said he knew how to shoot so I took the shells and put on the safety and handing it to him told him to shoot. He put it to his shoulder, shut the wrong eye, and pulled hard on the trigger, and again, and again. Then I showed him about the safety and had him put it on and off and snap the gun a couple of times. M'Cola became very superior during Droopy • s struggle to fire with the safety on and Droopy seemed to get much smaller. (pp. 120-21} This reversal in Droopy *a role from a leader "in command of the show" to one in need of instruction marks a major shift in the narrative. For all his gifts, Droopy cannot take the narrator into the twentieth century, into the present time of the novel (the Part recounting his story, "Pursuit Remembered," is a flashback). The boundaries of his talents are presented in terms of vision: unable to coordinate his eyes, he cannot fire the gun. And the narrator perceives

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61 these boundaries optically: M'Cola gains in stature as "Droopy seemed to get much smaller." This change in physical perspective reflects a change in imaginative perspective. Having absorbed all Droopy can teach him, the narrator now looks to the guide who will loom large in his next steps upon the road. That road leads from Droopy' s country to the rock wall of Africa's Rift Valley. The narrator returns to the road after having been thwarted from entering the heart of the guide's country by a tangle of reeds that defies the hunting party and forces Droopy to call off the hunt ("We both felt good because we had made Droopy do the calling-off and I was relieved as well"). Soon after, a fine buffalo bull breaks from the thicket and the narrator bags him. Back in camp after the kill, planning the next stretch of the safari, the narrator and Pop question Droopy about the country just beyond his. "'We'll ask Droopy how the valley is.' Droopy didn't know. ..." (p. 22). The layout of the land captures the crux of the matter. Beyond the periphery of his vision, beyond the borders of his canyon— the Rift Valley is out of Droopy -s country. During the time the guide and his pupil walk together on the road, Droopy takes the narrator forward. He gives freely of his special gifts, preparing the narrator for the future (the reedbuck, an antelope, foreshadows the more prized kudu, also an antelope)

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62 Then, his task complete, Droopy walks to the end of his country, and out of the narrator's story. After following Droopy to the end of his country, the narrator then proceeds beyond that country toward his rendezvous with Karl at the Rift Valley. Of all the lesser topographical features that contribute to the overall "shape of a country," none occupies the African landscape more imposingly than that gigantic cleft. The sentence which introduces Karl into Part II designates the Rift Valley as his destination, and after taking his "dream rhino." Karl too directs his path that way. The name of the valley captures the mood of the safari at this point; Part II xs rife with dissension. Bitter words pass between the narrator and P.O.M. during (pp. 94-5) and after (p. 120) the buffalo hunt, and bickerina preoccupies Karl and the narrator on the plain in a hunt where the ouarrv seems more each other than the intended zebra. The personal sniping demonstrates on a small scale the fiercer competition between the two bier game hunters. The nature of the first animal taken in the search for such game, the rhinoceros, has established their conflict as a territorial one. in Chapter Six that territorial struggle assumes monumental proportions: when the paths of the two do cross, it is in terrain that suggests tensions violent enought to split a continent asunder.

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63 The moon that has shown over the African landscape in Part II, illuminating the simultaneous processes of waxing and waning, regeneration and degeneration, now shines over the Rift Valley. And like that globe, the valley too contains within itself the flux of life and death, The Rift Valley reproduces on a panoramic scale the womb/tomb archetype of the blind. Displaying the bifurcation of the "hollow half full of ashes and dust," one of its halves holds the dust of the plain, the other the waters of Lake Manyara. The world of the plain and the world of the lake constitute distinct entities, distinguished from one another most strikingly by their wildlife. On the plain the black and white zebra "gallop in the grey heat haze, raising a dust," while at the lake "the unbelievable cloud" of rose-pink flamingoes rises and settles at the sound of shots, as if attuned to a heartbeat ( p 133) As they possess different topography and wildlife, so the plain and the lake claim a different protagonist. With "caked dust on his face," the plain marks Karl as its own. From the moment he steps into Part II, Karl's path has lead him to this place. Karl circumvents Droopy • s country, spurns the lessons of the senses. And in revenge his body, deprived of nourishment, takes on the hue of the plain: "eld Karl looked a grayish, yellow white in the face coming in like a death's head." The half

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64 of the Rift Valley Karl inherits is the ashes and dust— the tomb. The hunter experiencing this inner deterioration soon finds a memento mori among the hunted. The last night in Part II, Karl brings in a very strange and unfortunate kudu. Only the skin running from the eyes down to the nostrils, smooth gray and delicately marked with white, and the big, graceful ears were beautiful. The eyes were already dusty and there were flies around them and the horns were heavy, coarse, and instead of spirallina high they made a heavy turn and slanted straight out. It was a freak head, heavy and ugly. (p. 173) The tremendous wrenchinq necessary to the formation of the Rift Valley hints at the magnitude of the narrator's split with his friend and alter ego. The rift heralds a realignment at the core of the narrator, as the intellect tualism espoused by Karl is rejected. The part of the narrator most like Karl wanes along with that hunter. For the first time on the safari, the narrator is suddenly addressed as "Old Timer," "the old man," and "Old Hem" — all on the evening before and the evening of Karl s capture of the misshapen kudu head. But as the head dies, so the body is born. Having travelled through Droopy s country and absorbed the lessons there, the narrator is open to the revitalizing powers of Lake Manyara. His stalking through the hummocks and canals while birdshooting is climaxed by an abrupt, fall into the lake: "you slip

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65 and go face down and are sitting, enjoying being completely wet finally, water cool on your behind, soaked with muddy water, M'Cola delighted with the spill" (p. 133). Bathed in its amniotic fluids, for the narrator the Rift Valley proves a womb. Part II, "Pursuit Remembered," is as gigantic a chasm in the chronology of Green Hills of Africa as the Rift Valley is in the African landmass. Longer than all the other Parts put together (seven chapters, as opposed to two each in the other three Parts) "Pursuit Remembered" is a flashback, a drop out of the present time between Chapters Two and Ten. In fact, in the convoluted structure of the narrative, Part II speeds toward the moment when Part I begins. The use of the flashback, the mention of memory in the Part's title, and the emphatic repetition of the adverb "now" in the text suggest that, among all its other themes, Part II concerns itself intensely with two men and how they deal with time. The first of these is the narrator's companion. Encased in the mental revolutions of his memories, Karl cannot open his senses to the "now" that Droopy feels. For this man the present entails the loss of everything he has so carefully deposited behind in "then." But not only the present, the future too entails loss: still basking in the conquest of the incredible "dream rhino," Karl's only thought on the

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66 safari's first day in the Rift Valley is that the following day "he was facing possible defeat by oryx." In the world of movement the narrator is learning to negotiate, Karl wants everything to stand still, to be as changeless as his past. Hence he values the end, not the process — the trophy, not the hunt. In contrast, the guide Droopy flows with the wholeness of one moment to the wholeness of the next, from one "now" to another "now." This immersion of himself in the fullness of the present renders Droopy a truly gifted lover of life. But as it frees him to the immediate in life, it also imprisons him in it. For instance, when the narrator tries to leave the unwieldy reedbuck carcass to be picked up by porters later Droopy simply cannot fathom his intent and insists on carrying the animal to camp then Although unfettered by Karl's past, Droopy cannot project ahead; his present has no future. This inability to look beyond the immediate consigns Droopy to the vicissitudes of a physical life, unaided by mental disciplines such as foresight. The sentence portraying the last act of the guide in the narrative frames his deficiency as an intellectual one: the one-timer tutor can tell his pupil nothing about the country beyond his because "Droopy didn' t know. Having had the luck to sojourn in Droopy s country, the narrator has acquired the guide's gift for "spontaneity."

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67 Following in the African's steps has led to health; the hunter waxes in body at Droopy 's hands. But to overcome the limitations of the guide, the narrator must be able to advance into the future. This he will accomplish by developing the ability to "know." This next stage in his growth demands a different kind of mind than heretofore encountered and requires a different guide — M'Cola. So, having survived the chasm of the Rift Valley, the chasm of Part II, the narrator readies himself to crouch in the blind, about to be born into the lessons of the road.

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68 Notes to Part Ii ''"The reproductive capacity of the safari animals also reflects the strength or weakness of the generative impulse in each: rhinoceros cows and calves ("Manamouki! Manamoukii") abound. 2 Hemingway was born in 18 99; he went on safari 1933-4. 3 Chaman Nahal, The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Heming w ay's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971) pp. 43-44: "We are now in chapter 7 Jake is going up the stairs and the concierge tells him that the lady of the previous night, Brett that is, has been in to see him and will call again. Soon afterwards Brett arrives, this time escorted by Count Mippipopolous in person. Jake has had a shower and leaves the Count and Brett, to go into his bedroom to dress. He is feeling 'tired and pretty rotten' when Brett joins him in the bedroom. 'What's the matter, darling? Do you feel rocky? She kissed me coolly on the forehead. 'Oh, Brett, I love you so much. 'Darling,' she said. Then: 'Do you want me to send him away? She is of course speaking of Count Mippipopolous, but what is the meaning of the 'Then' here? What does it denote a break with or a break away from? What does Jake want? What is it that he cannot receive or accomplish in the presence of Count Mippipopolous? She goes to the next room and sends the Count away. She was gone out of the room. I lay face down on the bed. I was having a bad time. I heard them talking but I did not listen. Brett came in and sat on the bed.

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69 'Poor old darling. She stroked my head. 'What did you say to him? I was lying with my face away from her. I did not want to see her. 'Sent him for champagne. He loves to go for champagne. Then later: 'Do you feel better, darling? Is the head any better? 1 'It' s better. 'Lie quiet. He's gone to the other side of town. Again the mysterious interpolation 'Then later. What does it signify? What has happened meanwhile? Why is Jake's head suddenly 'better' now? Hemingway has preferred to leave this part of the narration an enigma, for perhaps he was not quite sure in his mind whether to give expression to what he wanted to convey or not. Alternatively, he may not have been sure in advance of the limit to which Jake's privation would take him. But it seems certain that during this scene Jake receives and Brett gives him a perverted sexual satisfaction. Such satisfaction has been the subject of literature earlier. But the solicitude with which Hemingway presents the theme, and also how he projects it more as a necessity of the moment or the circumstances in question than as a variation willfully contrived, speak of his craftsmanship. ... In the stillness of the moment, both Jake and Brett see the uncommon and the unthinkable as their present demand — a demand which comes with an insistence and compels obedience. The simple adverb 'then,' repeated a little later as 'then later,' shows the fulfillment of that urge, while the forward action of the novel is at a standstill." 4 Chaman Nahal, The N arrative Pattern in Ernest Heming wa y's Fiction (Rutherford: Fairieigh Dickinson University Press, 1971), p. 85.

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PART III THE MIND IN THE WORLD The Guide M'Cola As the narrator waits at the side of the road in the first scene of Green Hills of Africa another figure also crouches with him in the roadside blind. That figure, the guide M'Cola, has come to the fore in the pivotal shift of perspective from the sensory to the intellectual in the flashback of Part II. This shift is signaled by the changing prominence of the native guides: when the more elemental Droopy leads the safari to the border of his country and can then go no farther, the more knowledgeable M'Cola emerges as the dominant African. M'Cola' s importance is indicated by the position of prominence he holds at the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind and then when the narrative returns to the present time of Part III. The narrative shift in emphasis, and the consequent rise of M'Cola, bears directly upon the American hunters on the safari. As previously discussed, the blind the narrator and M'Cola occupy in Part I and the one Karl shoots from in Part II function as archetypal womb/tombs. Karl's hunt should rightfully climax his search for kudu, but instead the blind that cradles him labors and brings forth only the freak kudu head. The 70

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71 influence of Karl, the mind revolving dies in the dust of of the plain. His blind proves a tomb. M'Cola, on the other hand, partakes of the waters of Lake Manyara along with the narrator and so survives to be one of the "we" who gestate in the roadside blind. The image of the mind that emerges in the figure of this guide presents an alternative to the alienation rampant in Karl. The progression from sensory development at the hands of Droopy to mental development under the auspices of M'Cola is presented as part of the narrator's process of maturation, The ages of the respective guides correspond to the sequence of the stages; the narrator learns the lessons of the body from the younger Droopy, the lessons of the mind from the older M'Cola. Their individual chronologies parallel the panoramic chronology of the road image; Droopy walks the length of his country barefoot, while M'Cola, more versed in artifacts, goes shod. The narrator's maturation is also framed in terms of vision. Prior to being born from the blind, the narrator is taught by Droopy, gifted with discerning, but earthbound, eyes. Droopy 's successor, M'Cola, raises his eyes to the level of human interaction, to the larger scope of the world. When the narrator wakes to the world outside the blind, he is born with M'Cola at his side, the direct beneficiary of that guide's special vision, M'Cola' s unique appearance bears out his role as a model of the mind. In the descriptive passages that begin

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72 Part II the narrator carefully eyes first the handsome Droopy and then M'Cola, remarking of the latter: I remember how surprised I was the first time I saw how old the upper body was. It had that aged look you see in photographs of Jeffries and Sharkey posing thirty years after, the ugly, old-man biceps and the fallen pectoral muscles. (p. 48) The deterioration of M'Cola' s body, especially in contrast with Droopy s, focuses attention instead upon his head: M'Cola shook his head. I looked at his bald skull and he turned his face a little so that I saw the thin Chinese hairs at the corners of his mouth, (p. 3) The narrator's act of looking at M'Cola constitutes one of his very first acts in the narrative; from the beginning, this head is central to his concerns. Its significance is also validated by the primal image of the womb. The narrator turns to examine the head while he and his guide crouch inside the blind; as the pair abandon the blind to walk upright upon the road, a new mind is born. Clues to the kind of mind active in M'Cola lie in the traits of his extraordinary head. The baldness that accentuates the contours of the skull, the facial hair that is identified in precise ethnic terms — M'Cola presents to the world the image of a buddha. And he maintains, along with the appearance, the attitude of a buddha as well. Throughout the twists and rurns of the safari, the "black Chinaman" looks on — as quarries are lost or taken, friendships flourish

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73 or wither, other guides come and go. Through Droopy 's country, in the Rift Valley, and all along the road, the life of Africa plays out before his all-encompassing gaze. M' Cola's premier response to this panorama appears first in the blind when an accompanying native scrawls his name. The narrator reports that "M'Cola looked at the word without a shadow of expression on his face." This reaction of expressionlessness is the one detail in addition to the description of M'Cola' s face that the narrator notes in the blind and its presence is crucial to an understanding of this mind. The face with which M'Cola beholds the world is expressionless — without ego. The native lives no life outside the safari. In the only reference to an existence of his own, Pop remarks that M'Cola has "a grown-up family in the native reserve." The white hunter's choice of words discloses the situation concisely: M'Cola has placed his emotions as he has his family — in reserve. Unfettered by external demands, neither is M'Cola prey to internal ones. The vanity of the lesser guide, whose scrawling could prove deleterious to the hunting party's shooting, leaves M'Cola decidedly unmoved. This guide brings to the safari a viewpoint unobscured by personal emotions or preconceived reactions. Rather, he comes almost as a tabula rasa, open to whatever impressions the world might momentarily etch upon him. The bald, bewhiskered buddha exhibits a countenance freed of its own self so that it may more clearly

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74 perceive the phenomena passing before it. With unfurrowed brow and unrestricted vision, M'Cola is the consummate observer. One response the world elicits from the guide occurs in an incident recounted early in the narrative. The narrator recalls shooting guineas while M'Cola looks on. He laughed always to see the birds tumble and when I missed he roared and shook his head again and again. "Ask him what the hell he's laughing about?" I asked Pop once. "At B'wana," M'Cola said, and shook his head, "at the little birds. ..." So bird shooting became this marvelous joke. If i killed, the joke was on the birds and M'Cola would shake his head and laugh and make his hands go round and round to show how the bird turned over in the air. And if I missed, I was the clown of the piece and he would look at me and shake with laughing. (pp. 36-7) The paradigm of the birds clarifies M'Cola' s point of view. The birds can tumble down in death or fly away in life; it is all the same to him. In the struggle for survival that unfolds before him, the African buddha views both life and death with equanimity, as the necessary and equal poles between which run the energies of the universe. This guide sees all, and rejects nothing. The quality of mind inherent m M'Cola is one unqualifiedly accepting of and profoundly appreciativ e of the world. This accepting, appreciative point of view allows M'Cola to respond to the hunt scenario with pure, unadulterated

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75 "delight." The word twice characterizes his response to the narrator's battle with the birds, once in this passage (p. 36) and again during the bird hunt at Lake Manyara (p. 133) The nature of the laughter that shakes the black head confirms his disinterest. M'Coia laughs simultaneously "at B'wana" and "at the little birds." The "piece" therefore boasts no heroes and no villains, only participants, and all potential sources of delight. In fact, the only theatrical role designated is that of "clown." The narrator's antics at Lake Manyara earn him this part; when he executes a pratfall into the lake in the manner of low comedy, "M'Coia [is] delighted with this spill." The terms in which the narrator chooses to describe the bird passages place M' Cola's role as observer within the highly structured context of the theater. In that context the world exists as spectacle and M'Coia as an extremely able audience. Important ramifications follow from the attitude the guide displays toward that spectacle. In his vision entrances and exits interweave in a shifting, but compensatory, whole. Hence death is no tragedy. The birds may tumble down or they may fly away; the play goes on. M'Coia in no sense inhabits a tragic world. The sense of loss, of depletion that pervades Karl's world does not enter into the vision of this guide. Tears do not mar the black face. Instead, the "piece" M'Coia observes would be classified a comedy. This genre inherently promotes M'Coia' s

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76 world view as an alternative to Karl's dour pessimism. First, the broad humor of low comedy is no respecter of persons; the genre does not lend itself as a vehicle for the preservation of a public ego. Karl, rigid with anxiety, hardly exhibits the resilience necessary to a clown. Secondly, the physicality of the form insures contact with the earth. Instead of the self -cannibalism of a mind revolving, here the mind is turned outward, constantly attuned to its surroundings. In order to comprehend the fullness of M' Cola's vision, one may simply broaden the definition of comedy from its more specialized classification as a theatrical genre to its larger definition as the optimistic element of life in general. In the end, this sweeping earthly vista is the spectacle that enthralls M'Cola the observer. Forsaking tears, the black head beholds the world with blankness at the things of ego, or with that shake of approval at the wonder of things as they are. M Cola s Country From the very start of its travels in Africa, the eventual and inevitable onslaught of the continent's rainy season has threatened the safari: "You could feel the rains coming, as they moved steadily north, as surely as though you watched them on a chart." The advance of the rains spells a countdown for the travelers who must conclude their hunting and leave before the storms render the roads to the

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77 coast impassable. The present time of Green Hills of Africa deals with the last four planned days of the hunt. Part I covers the evening of the first day when Kandisky's lorry disrupts the blind and the morning of the second day when the narrator shoots guineas; Part II flashes back in seven chapters to the preceding events of Droopy 's country and the Rift Valley; and then Part III returns to the present, to the afternoon of the second day that began in Part I. It is on this afternoon that the rains arrive at last. As the narrator and M'Cola head out in the car after lunch to the saltlick, their coming difficulties are presaged by puddles on the road from the previous night. Before long, the skies shower "drizzlingly. The following morning (the third and next-to-the-last day) opens with a "mist [hanging] over the ground" which soon becomes "light rain pattering in the leaves." This patter condenses first into "fairly hard," then unmitigatedly "hard" rain, until the narrator and his party stalk a world utterly saturated with moisture: Puffs of cloud hung on the hillside after the rain and the trees dripped but we saw nothing. Not in the open glades, not in the fields where the bush thinned, not on the green hillsides, (p. 189) The farther the narrator endeavors to penetrate this stretch of road, the denser grows the rain, until the safari is forced to an absolute standstill in Chapter Ten. M' Cola's presence pervades the four-day stretch of road from the blind of Chapter One to the stasis of Chapter Ten.

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78 In the canyon, Droopy introduced the narrator to the protean possibilities that reside within physical forms; along the length of road, M'Cola introduces him to the challenge of things beyond human manipulation. This length — M' Cola's country — is the country of rain. The change of seasons ranks as just as significant a terrestrial event as does the Rift Valley, commanding a place in the scale of the African landscape beyond the individual configuration of a road, beyond a self-contained pocket of terrain. When depicted on the vast continental sweep of Chapter Ten, rain epitomizes the impersonal universe, nature beyond the human ego. From the seminal image in which he appears, M 1 Cola's relationship to the natural world has been hallmarked by acceptance and compliance. In the roadside blind, he and the narrator accommodate themselves to the curves of the dirt hollow; unlike the cruciate guide, they do not stride above it like a colossus. Indeed, the hunter and the gunbearer literally efface themselves as they crouch in the cover of the blind. The overall process of hunting provides the narrator an avenue to purge himself of the ego that demands a display like the one in which the Christ-like guide indulges. That opening image of the blind clearly sets unbridled ego at odds with survival — the native's rash words and movements would scare away every animal within shooting range. As practiced by the master M'Cola, hunting becomes

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79 the suspension of ego. The narrator as novice must submit to others more knowledgeable, bend to the demands of land and weather, school the self in the inclinations of game, and control momentary personal desires that would interfere in the larger task at hand. When the narrative resumes in Chapter Ten, it is after the seven intervening chapters of Part II: That all seemed a year ago. Now, this afternoon in the car, on the way out to the saltlick, just having shot the guinea fowl, losing a shot the night before on this lick because of the Austrian's truck, I knew there were only two days more to hunt before we must leave. (p. 176) The opening sentences of Chapter Ten immediately recapture the "now, this afternoon" of the second day. The inaugural landscape of Green Hills reassembles itself: the road, the narrator in movement on it, the gunbearer M'Cola along, their destination the blind. But almost as soon as they set out, it becomes apparent that this afternoon the hunting party traverses a quite different terrain: Where the sand was thin over the clay there was a pool of water and you could see that a heavy rain had drenched it all on ahead. I did not realize what this meant but Garrick threw his arms wide, looked up to the sky and bared his teeth in anger. "It's no good," M'Cola whispered, (pp. 178-9) The "Garrick" who throws his arms wide and grimaces at the sky is the same guide who rose Christ-like over the blind

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80 the day before. His identity, the cruciate stance he assumes again, and M' Cola's recurring disapproval recreate his part in the opening tableau. But the scene of the roadside blind is not to be completely duplicated, for a new factor has entered the landscape; in the night the rains have come. The introduction of the rains alters the chemistry of the scene, beginning by negating the narrator's second occupation of the blind. The rains have decimated the saltlick, thereby destroying the hollow's utility ("We settled down in the blind and waited there until it was dark and a light rain began to fall. Nothing came to the salt" [pp. 180-1]). The inaugural tableau therefore lacks the very component most central to its functioning, the womb archetype. But as the rains sweep from their path one manifestation of this generative image, so they also create another. Drenching rain arrests the hunting party in mid-journey, as the afternoon that began with puddles ends in a nightly downpour. Despite his pressing awareness of evershortening time, the narrator is forced to make camp on the road. An event beyond human intention or manipulation, the rain physically forces the narrator into a moment of contemplation. In the night of rain he must reckon with this newly-evident power of the earth, must determine his relationship to a landscape that cannot be transcended. The cascading waters occasion a provisional tent to be devised for the narrator: Kamau had rigged a tent out of a big canvas ground cloth, hung my mosquito net inside, and set up the canvas cot. M'Cola brought the food inside the shelter tent. (p. 181)

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81 Suddenly in the country of rain there is a refuge, affording warmth and nourishment: I undressed, got into mosquito boots and heavy pyjamas and sat on the cot, ate a breast of roast guinea hen and drank a couple of tin cups of half whiskey and water. (p. 181) This new form that arises abruptly from the drowned roadside fulfills the missing element of the inaugural landscape. The waters have obliterated the "hollow half full of ashes and dust" ; in the form of the tent they have caused to be created a womb of canvas. The newly-realized enclosure provides the space for the events that transpire that night. Preparing to sleep in the tent, the narrator directs M'Cola: "You sleep here. Out of the rain," I pointed to the canvas where the rain was making the finest sound that we, who live much outside of houses, ever hear. It was a lovely sound, even though it was bitching us. ... I woke when I heard M'Cola come in, make his bed and go to sleep, and I woke once in the night and heard him sleeping by me. (p. 182) The first night of the present time in Green Hills of Africa M'Cola takes the narrator into his world. Master and novice mold themselves to the contours of the roadside blind, accompanied by the two cumbersome natives. The second night reprises the physical proximity of narrator and guide as they sat side-by-side. But the night in the tent also marks a more profound closeness; this time it is the narrator who

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82 brings M'Cola — alone — out from the rain, into shelter. The evening the American hunter and the African gunbearer spend together within the confines of the makeshift tent climaxes the intimacy that has grown between tha two men since Droopy s country. When the narrator takes M'Cola to be his tent companion, the novice is asking the master to come in Physically and intellectually, the effect of the narrator's invitation to the tent is to internalize the vision of M'Cola. Proof of this internalization comes quickly. Before this night, the American hunter has held only one perspective on rain: "I had thought of the rain only as something that made tracking easy." The worth of the terrestrial phenomenon was predicated entirely upon its value to the hunter's own immediate purposes. But now, even though that same phenomenon hinders the safari's efforts at its most crucial time ("it was bitching us"), the narrator is yet able to acknowledge "it was a lovely sound." With that admission, he has acquired a perspective beyond the self; he has incorporated the accepting and, even more importantly, the appreciative viewpoint of M'Cola. As it falls before the wise visage of the black buddha, rain is neither good nor bad, it simply is_; and its very participation in the spectacle of the world confers a fineness and a loveliness upon it, A small detail of the tent scene confirms the completeness of the internalization. When the narrator sleeps,

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83 M'Cola rests beside him; but when he wakes, he lies alone under the canvas. I woke when I heard M'Cola come in, make his bed and go to sleep, and I woke once in the night and heard him sleeping by me; but in the morning he was up and had made the tea before I was awake. (p. 182) M'Cola, the guide to the hunt, busies himself as he does every day with the usual duties of the safari. But M'Cola, the guide to a mind unfettered by Karl's shortsightedness, having performed his most valuable duty, has been absorbed into a more able agent of life. When the novice rises alone from the night of rain, the view from the blind has become the view from the tent. With M' Cola's help, the narrator has learned to move not against, but with, the mighty rhythms of the African continent. Beyond M'Cola The transition in guides from Droopy to M'Cola is presented in Green Hills of Africa as part of a maturation process the narrator is caught up in, a transition from a sensual bonding with the world to an intellectual comprehension of it. When the narrator follows the path through Droopy' s country, he walks behind a more idealized figure, a guide at the apex of his skills. At that earlier stage the American hunter depends much more heavily upon the African guide — for basic negotiation of territory, for elementary procurement of meat. What Droopy introduces his pupil

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84 to— through the viscera of the reedbuck, the labyrinth of the canyon — is the body of the world, the absolute physicality of Africa. Droopy' s body lives at one with the world's body; and the narrator recognizes and emulates this harmony. But this phase of awareness serves the narrator only so far. Equating "self" with his surroundings, Droopy is absorbed by the world; he knows no bounds but physical ones. This guide lives entirely unaware of his own limitations as a human being until brought up short by the edge of the Rift Valley, by the material presence of a rock wall! In the end Droopy proves an indispensable, but circumscribed, proponent of the narrator's growth. He experiences no "other;" he does not know In contrast to Droopy, the succeeding guide does, above all else, know. M' Cola's ability to mentally distinguish "self" from "other" is underscored by the extreme example the world assumes as "other" in his country: the deluge. The younger guide may merge into his canyon, but the life-threatening rains insure the older guide's preeminent awareness of difference. This awareness of difference, this ability to discern "self" from "other" most characterizes the guide. It manifests itself most strikingly in the attitude M'Cola takes as spectator, with the "other" (the world) as the play and the "self" (the native) as audience.

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85 Unlike the oblivious Droopy, M'Cola 1 s vision embraces both capacities and limitations, and rejects neither. The acceptance he exercises while witnessing the safari's wanderings extends to himself; M'Cola knows his own gifts and failures. At the start of the rhinoceros hunt in Chapter Three, the narrator notes: "M'Cola was not jealous of Droopy. He simply knew that Droopy was more of a hunter, a faster and cleaner tracker." M'Cola also imparts the potential of self-knowledge to the narrator. His presence provides an antidote to the American hunter s competitiveness since he has witnessed the narrator's most humiliating mistakes: I sat there, using the sling, and shot for [the Grant's] neck, slowly and carefully, missing him eight times straight in a mounting, stubborn rage, not making a correction but shooting for the same place in the same way each time. ... I reached up my hand to M'Cola for more cartridges, shot again, carefully, and missed, and on the tenth shot broke his damned neck. I turned away without looking toward him. (p. 82) It is the knowledge of one's own finite capabilities that provides a hedge against the ego that devours Karl. It is precisely the shortcomings of M'Cola that signal a more mature and healthy phase in the narrator's growth. The influence of the figure of the African guide upon the safari lessens in importance as the American hunter learns to function mere competently on his own. The narrator operates much more independently of the guide to the

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86 intellectual phase, M'Cola, than he ever did of the sensory Droopy. This independence — a realization on the narrator's part of the widening separation between his emerging "self" and the major "other" in his life at this point, M' Colais brought home in several ways. The narrator differs more distinctly from M'Cola, in age and physique, for example, whereas he was likened more to Droopy. And he is much more able to criticize the elder native. Unlike Droopy, M'Cola possesses foibles as well as wisdom. He commits major errors out on the hunt, the gravest when he fails to prevent P.O.M. from venturing into high grasses that might shield a wounded buffalo (p. 116) But even this error in the field pales against the repercussions that stem from one particular oversight the guide makes in camp. The narrator s hunting party wake from the night in the tent to the morning of the third, penultimate, day of their enterprise. They return to camp and attempt another stalk through the moist environs, but meet with no success: Finally it was dark and we went back to camp. The Springfield was very wet when we got out of the car and I told M'Cola to clean it carefully and oil it well. He said he would. (pp. 189-90) Chapter Eleven, the concluding chapter of Part III, then chronicles the fourth and last planned day of the safari, each of its precious minutes ticked off by the encroaching rains. The hunting party make their first effort from a

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87 blind, where the narrator has occasion to glance at his gun: Putting the Springfield across my knees I noticed that there was rust on the barrel. Slowly I pulled it along and looked at the muzzle. It was freshly brown with rust. "The bastard never cleaned it last night after that rain," I thought. M'Cola had seen the rusty bore. His face had not changed and I had said nothing but I was full of contempt and there had been indictment, evidence, and condemnation without a word being spoken. So we sat there, he with his head bent so only the bald top showed, me leaning back andlooking out through the slit, and we were no longer partners, no longer good friends; and nothing came to the salt. (pp. 203-4) That a safari and a friendship should, for all purposes, end upon the ignominious sight of M'Cola bowing his head against the narrator's anger rises from the significant circumstances that comprise M'Cola' s neglect of the gun. Such neglect constitutes the most serious breach in the guide's duties on the safari, for M' Cola's chief function has been gunbearer to the narrator. After the buffalo hunt in Droopy' s country (p. 120-1), it was M'Cola' s familiarity with this twentieth century artifact, juxtaposed against Droopy' s unfamiliarity, that indicated the ascendency of the older guide over the younger one. The repetition of a pivotal situation involving skill with a weapon again signals a shift in the narrative, but this time away from M'Cola. The

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88 schism that divides narrator and guide gains added import when one realizes that its apparent cause, the rust along the muzzle of the rifle, in fact results from the identical phenomenon that brought the two men together. The rain that enfolds the narrator and his guide in the union of the tent also corrodes, not only the metal of the gun, but the matter of their friendship as well. A lapse in duty, then, discloses the limits of M' Cola's sufficiency. The nature of the guide's error emanates not from commission, but omission This pattern of lack at certain crucial points in the safari has characterized the succession of guides: Droopy senses, but does not know; M'Cola knows, but does not act The night of rain which promotes the rust marks a true union as the narrator incorporates the vision of his master. But the union occurs in circumstances not conducive to further advancement of the narrator's growth. The story of that growth has always been visualized in terms of movement, in the imagery of the road. Yet the closest moment between M'Cola and the narrator transpires in stasis, with the truck forced to a standstill and its passengers imprisoned by the rain. The topographical imagery of Part III makes clear the bankruptcy of M'Cola' s vision: Chapter Ten begins in medlas res with the narrator in movement upon the road; but Chapter Eleven, chronicling the last day of the safari and the uncovering

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89 of the guide's mistake, finds the entire enterprise stalled upon the road. M' Cola's vision has brought the expedition to this impasse, with the narrator, like the guide, just looking at the world, not acting in it. Just as the native's strengths of acceptance and appreciation lie in his world view, so do his faults. M'Cola remains essentially an onlooker— not an actor— in the comedy of the world. The artifact instrumental in his downfall illuminates the workings of this guide. In Droopy 's country the gun served to validate M Cola's competence as guide; in the country of rain it invalidates his competency for the next phase of the narrator's journey. In addition, M'Cola is only the bearer of the gun, not the discharger of its explosive power. The bearer may look with delight upon the spectacle of 3'wana and the birds, but he himself makes neither life nor death happen. M'Cola never kills during the safari; neither does he provide food. In the end, M'Cola laughs at, not with, the world. The values of this guide are those of a superb contemplator and he generously passes on to a willing recipient the values of a mind wide-ranging in its considerations, none more receptive in its outlook. But his limits lie in those same values of the power of contemplation itself. As experienced by the narrator of Green Hills of Africa in the journey this man makes intellect alone will suffice only so far. By the end of three parts and eleven chapters of Green Kil ls,

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90 the westward wanderer/wonderer has integrated Droopy' s grasp of the sensory with M' Cola's model of the mind. Equipped now with body and mind, the narrator/artist leaves behind the road of M'Cola for the third and most challenging phase of his personal journey— the virgin land, the country of the imagination.

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PART IV IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION The Form in the Landscape The advent of the rainy season entails a time of great transition for the land of Africa, from the smallest guinea to the largest elephant. The present of the narrative is lived on the crest of a mounting wave of change, which breaks over the landscape in the onslaught of rain. As depicted in these pivotal four days between the dry and rainy seasons, the world the narrator lives in is characterized above all by flux. The physical reaction of the earth to the inundating waters indicates the nature of such change. One immediate consequence is, of course, the rust that eats at the metal of the narrator's gun; another is the flooded saltlick. Both chemical decomposition and structural damage bear witness to the destructive facet of the process of change. But while the rain causes decay in the present, it simultaneously prepares the continent for future renewal. These seasonal rains supply the forward-looking factor in the landscape of Green Hills of Africa ; their waters insure for the coming year the very greenness of the hills. As evidenced in these multiple, co-existent perspectives, rain as the agent of change brings both corrosion and generation to the continent of Africa. 91

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92 Nowhere is the pervasiveness of this change reflected more concisely than in the first scene in Part IV. On the last afternoon of the safari, natives have come to the narrator's camp bearing electrifying news: "'He says,' Pop began, 'They have found a country where there are kudu and sable. 1 At this sudden release from what had been thought a doomed enterprise, the narrator catapults out of the doldrums of Chapter Eleven ("'I've hunted them hard, Pop. I've enjoyed it and I haven't worried up until today"') into the motion of Chapter Twelve as he heads out to the new, unhunted country with the natives. But the archetypal landscape so central to Part I has been washed by the rains of Part III. Now as the narrator moves through that landscape in the first scene of Part IV, three of its major components betray the effect of that change; the guide, the road, and the blind have been either destroyed or transformed, Highly significant is the change effected in the human component, the guide M'Cola. The figure of the African guide looms less large as the safari nears its end, declining from the heroic Droopy to the more fallible M'Cola. By the time of Part IV, when the narrator abandons the road and the blind, M'Cola has become only one among a handful of less commanding figures. The current status of his participation in the narrator's growth shows itself in the guide's reaction to the moment for which they've all waited, when the

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93 narrator and his party strike out for the kudu and the virgin land in the first scene of Chapter Twelve. From the front seat the narrator "looked around at the back of the car. M'Cola was asleep." The sleeping guide has fulfilled the potential resident within him from his first appearance in the narrative. From the moment M'Cola raises his "bald black skull" and displays the "thin Chinese hairs at the corners of his mouth," his exterior is always cast in Oriental terms. The ethnic imagery, reinforced by his geographical duties as guide, serves as a constant visual reminder that above all this guide helps to orient the narrator within the world. When in Part III the American pupil internalizes the accepting, appreciative viewpoint held toward the world by his African mentor, he is then provided with the means to relate to that world. The vision of the Oriental African furnishes an internal gyroscope for his pupil, permitting sure movement in a world increasingly fluid. The need for such ability becomes paramount when the hunting party separates from the rest of the safari and deserts the road, directing their car toward parts unknown. As the party ventures out, M'Cola takes a backseat and closes his eyes in sleep. In the blind and along the road, the black countenance has always acknowledged and valued the world passing before it, but now it closes itself to the world, its faculties in suspension. The new land M'Cola travels generates demands

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94 beyond the elder guide's capabilities. Therefore, having equipped his pupil with a working legacy, M'Cola releases him to the vision of the Wanderobo seated in the front seat and lapses into sleep. The narrator, a more capable agent of life, must answer the demands of the virgin land. The placement of the hunting company in the car reveals the shifting emphasis in the narrator as he begins to track the kudu. M'Cola has previously commanded the strategic position by the narrator's side, first in the roadside blind and then in the makeshift tent. But now one of the natives who has brought news of the kudu and sable occupies that place. The native, a Wanderobo tribesman, flanks the narrator in the front seat. It is important to the development of the narrator, however, that one authority figure not merely replace another. Consequently, because neither his personal name nor a nickname is ever given in Part IV, the Wanderobo functions less as a personality and more as the qualities the name of his tribe suggests; when the narrator ventures into the virgin country, into the unknown, the qualities of the wanderer/wonderer come to the fore. This transposition of a Wanderobo for M'Cola indicates the active realignment going on in the narrator. An intellectual observer, M'Cola lives apart from the life observed. As the narrator grows into his full potential as an artist — incorporating Droopy 's sensory health and M' Cola's mental

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95 tolerance— he must reach beyond the latter 's innate passivity to become an imaginative participant in the creation before him. This emphasis on participation finds its representative in the Wanderobo. Unlike M'Cola, whose unblinking vision comprehends an eternal present of counter-balancing beginnings and endings, the new native— like the rains in Part III— turns to the future. He has seen the kudu and sable, the magnetic quarries that draw the narrator on. His forward-directed vision leads the hunters into Part IV. The thrust of this vision becomes evident upon examination of the role of the Wanderobo as a group throughout the safari. From the very sentence that initiates the narrative— "We were sitting in the blind that Wanderobo hunters had built of twigs and branches'"— the Wanderobo functions as the narrator's predecessor in the journey of the road, the builder of forms the narrator still inhabits. He is the first artificer mentioned in the book and comes to represent all the people on the road, the westward travellers who carry arrows and spears, pots and pans, in their hands. These implements mark the moment when the circumstances of their wanderings set these people to wondering; the artifacts are the answers of their invention to the challenge of the environment. The same urge to manipulate one's world that moved the travellers to shape weapons and containers, the anonymous Wanderobo hunters to construct the blind, now moves the narrator. He exhibits those values of mobility

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96 and curiosity that provoked another wanderer/wonderer to realize in twigs and branches the form in the landscape. Just as M'Cola, the human component in the landscape, undergoes change, so do the manmade forms. Green Hills begins with the narrator crouching by a structure that winds its way through the geography of eleven chapters — the road. But the downpour of Part III renders that road impassable, and in the first scene of Part IV this trace of man's presence quickly dissipates. The narrator's car launches out on a "road that was only a track," "only a. cattle track." The hunters then pursue "a faint trail the Wanderobo pointed out" until "there was no track, only the general direction to follow." Soon, having broken free of the road and all outside points of reference, the party rely instead on inner references, "driving with intelligence and a sound feeling for the country." As a form the road is a product of the past, its very existence the evidence of others who have gone before. But before the establishment of roadways, pioneers must walk the virgin lands. If the routes they ferret out are advantageous, others will follow and the subsequent communal effort create the road. But first must come the individual who dares to veer away from the past of the road into the future of the unknown. The road disappears from the landscape of Chapter Twelve when the narrator enters the virgin land, when the road's

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97 fixed, known direction renders it an instrument inadequate to the scope of his wanderings. Rather than disintegrating like the road, the second manmade form in the landscape— the blind—undergoes a metamorphosis. Images of matrices mark the narrator's trek across Africa: the Rift Valley, the Wanderobo blind, the makeshift tent. The several permutations signify the narrator's intensifying involvement with the world: their construction shews man's advances in shaping his earth. A primordial matrix commands the vista at the outset of the safari, the awesome chasm of the Rift Valley, within whose rock walls the waters of Lake Manyara quench the dust of the plain. This first hollow is an entirely natural phenomenon, singular and ponderous in its domination of the countryside. The narrator and his companions feast on its abundant supplies of water and game. The next womb image, the blind built by the Wanderobos, exhibits in its making an advance beyond the geological formation; it requires the quantitative rearrangement of nature by man. Wanderobo hands dug the hollow beside the road and placed the twigs and branches above its sides in an effort to facilitate the exploitation of another natural resource, the saltlick. In the rift the range of the hunters is circumscribed to the fertile shore of Lake Manyara; but with blinds that can be built in any number and any place, the matrical form multiplies to answer the needs of the human hunter. The

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98 narrator, following in the footsteps of the Wander obos, is heir to their ingenuity; he too hunts from the blind. But this construction never permits capture of the greater kudu for which he searches, and in the rain of Part III, both the saltlick and the nearby blind are washed away. The thus outmoded form is altogether absent from the opening of Part IV. However, its function does not vanish from the landscape; the blind metamorphoses into the makeshift tent. Throughout the African countryside, green tents have dotted the path of the safari. For nine chapters the narrator has lived in enclosures that are both structured (houselike, with flaps for doors) and communal (such as the dining tent, the most frequently mentioned tent, and others large enough to accommodate couples) But a change transpires after the destruction of the blind by the rain. The tent that rises out of the flood in Part III differs from its predecessors. First of all, it is improvised from its very inception, beginning as a canvas ground cloth packed in the narrator's car along with other supplies (p. 32). And secondly, it is uniquely suited to the individual: when the narrator is stranded on the road, the tent provides ideal housing for this transient with its immediate response to the environment ("My ground sheet tent was slung between a tree and one side of the chicken coop"). This adaptibility qualifies it for the exigencies of the kudu hunt, which is

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99 manifestly an individual, not a communal, enterprise. Just as the blind heralds an advance beyond the Rift Valley, so the makeshift tent supercedes the blind. The blind entails a quantitative reshaping of the earth; the processing of cotton into canvas necessitates a qualitative transformation of the material universe. The end product of this process, a canvas cocoon, reaffirms in its connotation of gestation the tent's identity as a matrical form. From a chasm that dwarfs the hunter to a shelter that answers his every demand, the matrix proves a viable form for the landscape of Green Hills of Africa The plural attributes of its most refined version, the ground sheet tent, qualify the tent for the world of change. It is strong enough to withstand the country of rain, plastic enough to go into the virgin land. With the re-emergence of the tent in Part IV, the narrator comes into his own as a participant in creation, as a maker of forms. The narrator/artist carries this ability with him just as the narrator/hunter carries the tent. In both capacities this individual commands the means to create a world. The Sign of the Heart The Foreword to Green Hills of Africa issues an intriguing invitation to the narrative's readers: "Any one not finding sufficient love interest is at liberty, while reading [this book] to insert whatever love interest he or she

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100 may have at the time." That a seeming "travelogue" should introduce the subject of love in its second sentence reveals an unusual concern with that subject on the part of the narrative. In many ways, however, Green Hills of Africa is a love story. The "love interest" of the narrator is revealed straight away in Chapter One; he and his friends are sitting in the blind at the side of the road because they have seen "long, heart-shaped, fresh tracks of four greater kudu bulls that had been on the salt the night before." Beginning with this first sign and continuing throughout the narrative, the kudu is always described in terms of the heart. In fact, the story opens upon a most propitious day: when one examines the timing of the February journey, one discovers that Green Hills begins on Valentine's Day. But the employment of heart imagery ranges beyond the sentimentality of the valentine to embrace the heart and circulatory system in a subtle actualization of the processes of life itself. The narrator tracks the elusive kudu to the "last hour of the last day" of the safari, for not until then does a greater kudu bull appear before him. Thus the "love interest" first raised in the Foreward has to sustain the American hunter many, many African miles. Like the rains which promise the future fertility of the hills and the Wander obo whose vision leads the hunting party to the virgin land, the narrator's "love interest" provides a

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101 major thrust in the narrative, as is so deftly indicated in the homonymic "Foreward." The varied wildlife the narrator meets in the course of the safari serves to prepare him for his encounter with the kudu in Part IV. The first animal killed under Droopy s eye, the reedbuck, is an antelope like the kudu and functions as an antecedent for the more significant member of its species. It initiates the heart imagery: I felt for the heart behind the foreleg with my fingers and feeling it beating under the hide slipped the knife in but it was short and pushed the heart away. (p. 53) Beginning with this initial contact, the narrator's effort is to get to the heart, to grasp the living center. The reedbuck is a beginner's clumsy try; at the elemental phase in Droopy s country the American hunter has much to learn. But he senses intuitively what is most important about the task before him, and he learns. After Droopy schools him in the body, an incident in the Rift Valley gauges the effect: we came on a water buck that had heard us, but not scented us, and as we stood, perfectly quiet, M'Cola holding his hand on mine, we watched him, only a dozen feet away. M'Cola was grinning, pressing his fingers tight on my wrist. (pp. 138-9) As the pair observe the water buck, also an antelope, the native grasps the American's wrist—taking his pulse. These encounters with the two hunted animals act as indicators of the hunter's own improving health; the proliferation of

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102 heart imagery in the African bush country reflects the life quickening within the narrator. His heart beats even more strongly in the virgin land of Chapter Twelve when, having absorbed M' Cola's contribution as well as Droopy' s, he in effect hunts alone. Aborigines hand a captured rabbit to him: [I] could feel the thumping of his heart through the soft, warm, furry body, and as I stroked him the Masai patted my arm. (p. 220) The narrator cradles the one indigenous creature while the other registers his heart beat. Skin-to-skin, the rhythms of the newcomer and his welcomers beat in time. The territory which witnesses this attunement first receives its designation in Chapter Twelve: "this was a virgin country, an un-hunted pocket in the million miles of bloody Africa." (p. 218) Given the presence of Mr. Jackson Phillips, the safari's English white hunter, the narrator's use of Briticisms such as "bloody" assumes added prominence. A few common examples — "petrol" (gasoline), "tin" (can), "torch" (flashlight) —are thinly sprinkled through the text, but on the whole the American hunter foregoes their use. The two exceptions to this practice therefore serve to make their respective points more effectively. The first Briticism in the narrative, "lorry," is used specifically in Chapter One to solidly identify Kandisky's vehicle as a European creation. The second exception,

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103 "bloody," appears on practically every page of the text. Such wholehearted adoption of the word by the American narrator, in the face of normal restraint, demands attention. "Bloody," of course, operates as a profane intensive; but at one and the same time the prolific term is also a heart word. When the narrator hunts kudu through "bloody Africa," he tracks the sign of the heart across the domain of the heart. The American hunter finally meets his elusive prey in the virgin country that opens up Chapter Twelve. On the last afternoon of the safari's last day, just when he has almost resigned himself to defeat, suddenly comes news of the spotting of the kudu. It is as if a hole opens suddenly in what had been a closed universe and the narrator shoots through into the universe of change and chance in Part IV. Initially the narrator brings with him the weight of preconceptions from Part III ("my exhiliration died with the stretching out of this plain, the typical poor game country"), but the land surprises him as he moves on into the veritable explosion of green that burgeons before him: The grass was green and smooth, short as a meadow that has been mown and is newly grown, and the trees were big, high-trunked, and old with no undergrowth but only the smooth green of the turf like a deer park. ... (p. 217) "Putting-green smoothness," "this green valley" — the virgin land is hallmarked by fertility, both vegetative and animal.

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104 In his first impression of this land, the narrator dubs it "a deer park." Indeed, he points in the text to his choice of words, pondering "how to describe this deer park country and whether deer park was enough to call it." (p. 281) On a simple level, the narrator's choice of words is appropriate, since the antelope of the virgin country is related to the deer family. But on a more complex level, "deer" conjures up "dear," a heart word. m the case of the kudu, the pun on "dear" operates in both senses of the word, as something beloved and as something valued. The most penetrating encounter of the narrator with the beloved and valued creatures of the deer park is, of course, his long-awaited rendezvous with the kudu. In the "last hour best hour" of the safari, the hunting party suddenly spots across a stream a large, gray animal, white stripes showing on his flanks and huge horns curling back from his head as he stood, broadside, to us, head up, seeming to be listening. (p. 229) The narrator gets off two shots at the bolting game; then none of us [were] breathing as we saw him standing in a clearing a hundred yards ahead, looking back, wide ears spread, big, gray, white-striped, his horns a marvel, as he looked straight toward us over his shoulder (pp. 230-31) After firing once again, the narrator stumbles over a carcass he discovers to be the first bull seen at the stream. Then several yards ahead he finds the second bull who had

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105 looked back. How prolific this green deer park! Not only does the narrator finally see a kudu after nearly exhausting his allotted time, but it is a prize specimen and there is not one, but two! it is as if in addition to the unexpected new space of the unhunted land, the animal life too begins to replicate. The most extraordinary moment of the hunt occurs when the second kudu looks straight back over his shoulder at the hunting party; as M'Cola explains, the second bull, having run with the wounded first bull, turns to discover why that one no longer follows (p. 223). The image the animal presents as he turns etches itself into the narrator's vision: framed in a clearing, set off from the furor of the chase, the kudu stands pristinely alone in its uniqueness. This is the encounter to which the other antelope were prologue, and it is neither clumsy as with the reedbuck or surreptitious as with the water buck. The bull halts briefly i n its forward plunge and for a moment two living creatures behold each other in a direct and vital exchange. The moment does not linger—the kudu at the stream is already dead, and soon so is its fellow. But in that one, clear moment the hunter beholds his deer, the lover his beloved The Kudu and the Sable The narrator's preference for the greater kudu as his "love interest" over trophies more traditionally associated

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106 with African safaris discloses his concern with private, not public, values. The structure of Green Hills of Africa mirrors this emphasis by relating only one of the obligatory big game kills. The relegation of the confrontation between the narrator and the lion to Chapter Two (pp. 40-41) diffuses the impact of the incident early on. The hunt practically ignores the bigger game, three lion and two leopard being the only carnivores taken. The other meateaters, for the most part, are the hyenas and the humans themselves. Rather, the expedition centers more upon herbivores, not even African exotica like elephants (of whom we see only tracks and dung) but mostly antelope — roan, reedbuck, water buck, oryx, impala, eland, bushbuck, Grant's gazelle, kudu and sable. Indeed, as Pop says of the narrator's love interest, "[kudu are] the commonest big antelope in this bush country. It's just that when you want to see them you don't." Given the availability of the quarry, the "dearness" of the deer park creatures must lie not in their scarcity, but in their fulfillment of an inner need in the narrator, in an inward response they alone evoke in him. The sign of the heart leads here, to the clearing in the wood where the kudu turns. These two factors, the place and the manner in which the narrator discovers the bull, illuminate what the narrator finds at the end of the heartshaped path. Having gotten off two shots, he spots an animal he believes to be the first bull "standing in a

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107 clearing a hundred yards ahead." it is most significant that the place of this crucial encounter is "in a clearing." A gerund, "clearing" indicates not only a place that has been cleared but also an act that clears. it is this verbal attribute of the word that carries the kudu hunt passage. The hunter's first shot, for example, depends entirely upon his expertise in "clearing:" [I] commenced to crawl forward to be clear of the bush, sick afraid the bull would jump." as the narrator/hunter successfully clears his vision, so the narrator/artist clears his. His eye catches the bull in a clearing, free of interference from the terrain, free of human intrusion from the chase. It is as if that narrative eye blinks to wash the scene of all extraneous matter and opens, virgin, upon its longawaited object of desire. In that one moment, "looking back, ... his horns a marvel, [the kudu] looked straight toward us over his shoulder." This direct, vibrant exchange between hunted and hunter, image and artist, culminates in a far-reaching vision of life. The narrator discovers the bull in motion: in the momentary turn of its flight, and in the more enduring turnings of its life as captured in its spiralling horns. such turns, caught in the spirals, reveal much. From the helix of the kudu to the arc of the sable, horns are the layered excrescences of life. Unlike antlers which are lost yearly, horns are lifetime tracings of the growth

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108 of their formative organism. They acquire their shape from constant contact with a vital center, the keratin beneficiaries of the pith that wells up from within. In addition to the origins, the multitudinous shapes of the horns also provide insight, the kudu horns in particular. The helical growths incorporate a distinctive element of thrust in their design; they grow not aimlessly, nor circle repetitively, but evolve This evolution in their physical configuration also governs the appearance of the horns in the timespan of the narrative. The sequence in which certain horns are pursued at certain times in the narrative reveals a pattern; beginning with the simple hook of the rhinoceros, through the more intricate variations of the intervening water buffalo and lesser antelope, to the complex spiral of the kudu, the narrator pursues increasingly more developed horns at the same time he is adding new dimensions to his own experience. In the clearing when he finally sees before him the spiral in its full complement, it is because he has laid a proper foundation for it and can now be suitably receptive. This correlation between the hunting trophies and the narrator's existence is strengthened when he expresses the impulse of his own life in horn-like terms: "I've had a better time every year since I can remember." The kudu horns prove particularly apt with their distinguishing thrust; the comparative degree of "a better time

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109 every year" suggests not just an annual accumulation of experience but a qualitative advance The principle of advance operative in the kudu horns finds its linguistic equivalent in the part of speech most conducive to action, the verbal, which carries the kudu passage. The phrase "in the clearing," which initiates the passage, utilizes the gerund. The narrator's subsequent perception of the horns employs the attributes of another verbal, the participle. These verbals imbue their subject with activity; the magnificent kudu at the stream sports "huge horns curling back from his head," "great, curling, sweeping horns." The participles prepare the way for the triumphant image the narrator relates when the hunting party breaks camp in the virgin land. He stands alone before. the prizes of his journey and takes in their full beauty: From the white, cleanly picked skulls the horns rose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn, another turn, and then curved delicately in to those smooth, ivory-like points. (p. 276} In the narrator's observation, the participles give way to the even mors commanding vigor of active verbs. The horns shape themselves right before the narrator's eyes: "the horns r ose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn, another turn, and then curved delicately in." The spirals embody the upward-struggling, ever-aspiring impulse forward that has informed the story of Green Hills of Africa from its first word to the end of the heart-shaped path and beyond.

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110 These curling, sweeping, spreading growths that rise, turn, and curve present a dynamic model of life — not of what life is but of how it works When the narrator and his party finally enter the virgin land and set up camp in the on-coming darkness, they manage to sight the kudu in record time; "we had not been gone ten minutes" when the first bull appears. Soon after, the darkness that circumscribed their hunting to the last hour of the last day falls, yet brings with it a full night of feasting: It was getting cold and the night was clear and there was the smell of the roasting meat, the smell of the smoke of the fire. Each man had his own meat or collection of pieces of meat on sticks stuck around the fire, they turned them and tended them, and there was much talking. (p. 23 9) It is fitting that this hunt, more than any other, should climax in a festival of food. Like the reedbuck before it, the body of the kudu provides nourishment for the hunters who have brought down their prey. The kudu is the gift of the green hills. From the rains that fall yearly the grass grows and turns the land to green; on that bounty the kudu feed, and they in turn nourish man. This transformation of energies, from the plant life of the green hills, to the grasseating antelope, to the meateating man enacts more and more complex stages in the mighty chain of earth's

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Ill regeneration of life with life. But the festival of the kudu does not end with sated senses. At the same time kidney and liver broiled over the open fire satisfy the narrator/ hunter's hunger, the horns of the kudu furnish aesthetic nourishment for the narrator/artist. This revitalizing property of the horns is stressed by their depiction as a visual feast; their colors are cast in terms of food imagery, "brown as walnut meats" and "the color of black walnut meats." Rather than satiation, the festival of the kudu invigorates the narrator. His eyes do not close at all in sleep that night. The narrator's quest for kudu ends with darkness, as the hunters feed upon the takings of the day. The festival of the kudu brings to a close the fourth day of the present time of the narrative, the day designated in the first few pages of Green Hills of Africa as the end of the safari. But this original time limit of four days suddenly gives way in Part IV. The bounds of the narrator's world have already expanded to include the new space of the virgin land; now they yield for an additional day, a new animal, and a bonus chapter. It is highly significant that the capture of the long-sought kudu does not climax the narrator's hunt. Such an unexpected turn in the timing of the story demands attention. The words that herald the discovery of the kudu's home provide a clue to this aberration;

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112 as Pop translates for the Wander obo, "They have found a country where there are kudu and sable." Thus from the first the virgin land is identified as the home of the sable as well as the kudu. Implicit in the Wanderobo s founding vision, and borne out in the subsequent realization of that vision, is this coupling of the helix-bearing kudu with the other antelope. Neither species is even glimpsed by the narrator outside the virgin land, while within its grounds both flourish. The equal emphasis upon each one of the antelope determines the structure of the narrative as well: of the two chapters comprising Part IV, Chapter Twelve deals with the kudu on the afternoon of the fourth day, and Chapter Thirteen covers the sable on the fifth. Chapter Twelve has established the first antelope, the grey-and-white kudu, as a carrier of life. In Chapter Thirteen its dark twin, the sable, becomes the champion of death. The narrator's first glimpse of the sable parallels his initial meeting with the kudu: "I saw the dark, heavy-built antelope with scimitar-like horns swung back staring at us." In the directness of the moment two features stand out that are unique to the dark antelope — its color and its horns. The striking blackness of the sable, the only antelope in Green Hills with this hue, immediately calls up connotations of death. The animal's very name is synonymous with black, and phrases such as "dead black" and "black as hell" in the narrator's description reinforce funereal associations. In

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113 addition to the color of the sable, its horns also confirm its identification with death. The "two great curves nearly touching the middle of [the sable's] back" duplicate the dark coloring of the coat. More profoundly, the function of the horns in the survival of the animal is recalled when the adjective "scimitar-like" compares their arc to a weapon. Dyed in the signature of mourning and armed with a death-dealing crest, the sable radiates the energy of death. The thematic and structural ascendancy of the dark antelope brings into prominence a concern central to the narrative, the phenomenon of death. One of the safari guides provides a key insight along these lines in Chapter Five at the shooting of the water buffalo: "'Kufal' M'Cola said, making the word for dead almost explosive in its force," This remarkable pronouncement carries implications crucial to the narrator's story. Death in Green Hills of Africa is, as indicated by the verbal expression M'Cola gives it, an explosive phenomenon. The informing vision of the narrative conceives destruction to be as dynamic, necessary, and valid a part of experience as preservation or generation. The means with which this concern with death is most completely worked out is in the image of the modern day scimitar, the gun, the artifact which delivers this explosive force into the hands of the hunter. The access to the power that the gun offers faces each hunter with a demanding question: how does one exercise this power?

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114 The attitude of each hunter toward the gun reveals his viewpoint toward the larger phenomenon of death in the world. Kandisky, the representative of European organization, does not fire a shot in Green Hills As evidenced by his participation in the German war effort, he prefers the group exertion of this power and the concomitant organizational decisions that buffer him from facing death as an individual. When Kandisky meets the narrator on the road in Chapter One, the European chides the American hunter's willingness to deal directly in death — while dining on Grant gazelle at the narrator's table and sporting conspicuous leather shorts. Kandisky' s solution to the dilemma of death is to refuse to confront the question; the parasitic and obtuse image he presents in the narrator s camp refutes this solution outright. In contrast to the Austrian expatriate, the native Africans exhibit a much more empirical approach. For Droopy and M'Cola, the gun has functioned as the supreme test of their fitness to guide the narrator through the land of Africa. Their proficiency determines their span of influence: the former's failure to master the shotgun at the border of his country ends Droopy 's domination of Part II; the latter' s laxity in safeguarding the rifle from the rain marks M'Cola' s decline in Part III. But both Droopy and M'Cola are limited to the role of gunbearer; they do not activate the arms they carry. The role

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115 of discharger of the gun's explosive power is reserved to the narrator. The American has shot well throughout the safari, beginning with the reedbuck and rhino and culminating with the kudu. Within the deerpark so green that it verges on the idyllic, it seems there is nothing the narrator can't do. Yet on the fifth day of the safari when the narrator and his party take up the trail of the dark game, this success evaporates. The kudu has appeared before the narrator in the clearing within ten minutes of his making camp in the virgin land. But the sable must be tracked for hours, forcing the hunting party to scramble through nearby hills. Worst of all is the shooting. The first female animal in the entire safari is mistakenly killed, and the much-prized sable bull is not killed but terribly wounded. The resultant chase after the bull culminates in a peak of physical punishment and mental frustration for the narrator; once lost, neither he nor any of his guides can regain the trail of the wounded sable. The unattainable sable bull, resplendent in dusky coat and horn, teaches the man who follows its tortuous path a central lesson of Green Hills When one accepts mortality, one eschews any promise of an afterlife; one cannot kill death The narrator rejects such an escape in favor of being a part of the present creation — and participation in that creation entails mortality, limits, faults. After the

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116 rapturous encounter with the kudu, the sable hunt provides just such an exercise in limits; at its conclusion the American hunter is momentarily overwhelmed with thoughts of escape, musing morosely about the "decline" of America and his planned return to "unspoiled" Africa (pp. 281-35) But by the time the hunting party has driven the fifty-five miles from the deerpark to where Pop and P.O.M. are camped, the narrator has emptied himself of this nostalgic selfindulgence. Those illusions are abandoned, along with any desire to transcend the world, in the country of the dark antelope. Instead, the narrator finds his own answer to the question of death in the final moments before the party abandons the deerpark camp. His inner resolution of this problem finds expression in the image that climaxes his stay in the virgin land and that he carries with him as he leaves its uncharted spaces for the givens of the road: From the white, cleanly picked skulls the horns rose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn, another turn, and then curved delicately into those smooth, ivorylike points. One pair was narrower and taller against the side of the hut. The other was almost as tall but wider in spread and heavier in beam. They were the color of black walnut meats and they were beautiful to see. I went over and stood the Springfield against the hut between them and the tips reached past the muzzle of the rifle. (p. 267) The horns are, of course, the precious helices from his two

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117 kudu, gifts of the virgin land, their reaching and curving "beautiful to see." But to this element of the image the narrator adds another, placing between the two kudu racks the artifact that made possible their capture. In this juxtaposition of horns and gun lies the narrator's solution. In one sense the weapon, the death-dealing rifle, stands in place of the other, unattainable trophy and weapon, the sable's scimitar horn. But in a more subtle and thoroughgoing sense those sable horns are vividly present in the hutside composition after all. Their distinctive dark color makes up the base of the spiralling kudu columns, and their geometric configuration of the arc comprises half a helical evolution. Thus by color and by shape the kudu hern incorporates the sable into itself. The same act of integration occurs with the Springfield rifle. Save for a ceremonial burst upon arrival at Pop's camp, the study the gun forms with the kudu horns marks its last appearance in Green Kills Placed side by side with the pairs of horns, the line of the muzzle parallels the reach of the horns; in similar manner the explosive power potential in the gun complements the thrusting of the helix. As set out in this final image, the narrator comes to see that life does not reject death or separate itself from it; rather, just as the longer kudu horns encompass the shorter gun in their upward progress, so life incorporates death and goes on. Nowhere is this integration more complete

PAGE 124

118 than in the particular rifle that the narrator inserts between the horns. Named for the season of rebirth, the "Springfield" captures the vital interplay between death and renewal. ****** As the narrator stands before the kudu horns and the gun, his eye ascends the length of horn, moving from the darker blacks and browns to the "ivory-like points." The allusion to ivory furnishes, of course, a direct assessment of the value of the horn. From the very first night of the safari a major source of ivory, the African elephant, has crossed the expedition's trail, dotting the landscape with its leavings (pp. 10, 249-50). But the elusive mammoth never shows itself, a rather unusual feat. This welldefined absence of elephants from the safari sheds light upon the values operative in Green Hills In the beginning of the narrative when the American hunter tells Kandisky that he is in Africa "shooting," the European admonishes, "Not ivcry, I hope." "No. For kudu," the narrator replies. But later in the same conversation he tells Kandisky that he would "kill a big enough [elephant] .... A seventy pounder. Maybe smaller." This spell of braggadocio proves prophetic, for in the end the narrator does indeed shoot for ivory — but not for that of the elephant. The acclaim of the big game trophy and the monetary worth of the tusks may well lure other hunters on other safaris, but on the narrator's

PAGE 125

119 private quest through the hills of Africa those public considerations are deemed as insubstantial as the phantom elephant. Instead he ventures after, and wins, the real ivory of Green Hills The narrator /hunter takes home the ivory pointed helix, although his pairs are bested by the horns — "the biggest, widest, darkest, longest-curling, heaviest, most unbelievable pair of kudu horns" — Karl has brought in the interim to Pop's camp. The superlative degree of Karl's success underscores once again that for the narrator/artist the value of his horns lies not in their signification of public success, but rather in their function as images in rendering his story of individual growth. And it is as an image in the service of the creative imagination that the kudu horns climax the African adventure; beyond the text a line drawing of a triumphant kudu bull emblazons "The End" across the last page of the narrative. This flourish of the kudu at the end of the narrator's imaginative quest validates the achievement of that quest: the resultant work of art is the narrator's true trophy, Green Hills of Africa his ivory.

PAGE 126

120 Notes to Part IV 1 Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York: Charles Scribner s Sons, 193 5) p~! 11: "We had only three days more because the rains were moving north each day from Rhodesia and unless we were prepared to stay where we were through the rains we must be out as far as Handeni before they came. We had set the seventeenth of February as the last safe dav to leave."

PAGE 127

LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story New York: Bantam Books, 1969. Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. Princeton; Princeton University Press, 1952, (ed.) Hemingway and His Critics. New York: Hill and Wang, 1961. Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935. Kouwenhoven, John A. The Arts in Modern American Civiliza tion New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., .1948. The Beer Can by the Roadway: Essays on What is American About America Garden City: Doubleday, 1961. Nahal, Chaman. The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971. Robbe-Grillet Alain. For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction Translated by Richard Howard. New York: Grove Press, Inc. 196 5. Robinson, W.R. "Frederic Henry's Individualist Art: The Form of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms unpublished MS. University of Florida, 1975. Scholes, Robert and Kellogg, Robert. The Nature of Narrative London: Oxford University Press, 1966. Stevens, Wallace. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination New York: Vintage Books, 1942. Wa 1 1 Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richard son and Fielding Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957. 121

PAGE 128

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Susan Lynn Drake was born March 20, 1951. She attended elementary and secondary schools in De Funiak Springs, Florida, and graduated from Walton County High School in 1969. She received the Associate of Arts degree from Pensacola Junior College, Pensacola, Florida, in 1971 and the Bachelor of Arts from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1973. She continued graduate studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she received the Master of Arts in 1976 and the Doctor of Philosophy in 1930. 12;

PAGE 129

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. W.R. Robinson, Chairman Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. *--' /ajl/L*sL^ Carl Br^dahl Associate Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. -y^f *•?£ £r~ Ira Clark Associate Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Cvh j^S^jj John Perlette v Associate Professor of English

PAGE 130

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. \31-chard H. /^irs "Professor of ..Religion This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. June 1980 Dean, Graduate School


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Susan Lynn Drake was born March 20, 1951. She attend
ed elementary and secondary schools in De Funiak Springs,
Florida, and graduated from Walton County High School in
1969. She received the Associate of Arts degree from
Pensacola Junior College, Pensacola, Florida, in 1971 and
the Bachelor of Arts from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg,
Florida, in 1973. She continued graduate studies at the
University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she
received the Master of Arts in 1976 and the Doctor of
Philosophy in 1930.
122


TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ABSTRACT iv
PART I LIVING IN THE WORLD: BEYOND THE CROSS i
The Form in the Landscape i
The View from the Cross: Kandisky the European.. 11
The View from the Blind: The Narrator 18
Notes to Part I 26
PART II LIVING IN THE FLESH 27
The Narrator's Rhinoceros 27
Karl' s Rhinoceros. 34
The Time of Droopy 45
Droopy's Country 55
Notes to Part II 68
PART III THE MIND IN THE WORLD 70
The Guide M'Cola... 7 0
M'Cola's Country 7 6
Beyond M'Cola 83
PART IV IN THE EYE OF THE IMAGINATION . 91
The Form in the Landscape .... 91
The Sign of the Heart 99
The Kudu and the Sable 105
Notes to Part IV 120
LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 121
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH... 122
1X1


PART II
LIVING IN THE FLESH
The Narrator's Rhinoceros
The imagery of the African safari provides the mecha
nism for tracing the journey the narrator takes toward inner
and outer health. One component of that mechanism, the
native guides, enter and pass from the ranks of the hunting
party. However, another component, the companions of the
safari, are constants in a world of change, there at the
beginning of the African adventure and there at the end.
Consequently, they perform a different service in chronicling
the narrator's story. The guides preside over long-range
periods of growth and then step aside as the narrator reaches
and then exceeds the limits of their expertise. However, the
companions act as alter egos for the narrator. The values
that cluster about each one are always present in the
narrator's psyche; the companions come to the fore in the
story when those values are being emphasized in him and
diminish when those values are de-emphasized. By such
delicate and ever-changing interplay, the companions
provide an indicator of the narrator's progress. Two
Americans accompany the narrator into the continent,
P.O.M., his wife, and Karl Kabor, his friend and fellow
27


76
world view as an alternative to Karl's dour pessimism.
First, the broad humor of low comedy is no respecter of
persons; the genre does not lend itself as a vehicle for
the preservation of a public ego. Karl, rigid with anxiety,
hardly exhibits the resilience necessary to a clown. Sec
ondly, the physicality of the form insures contact with the
earth. Instead of the self-cannibalism of a mind revolving,
here the mind is turned outward, constantly attuned to its
surroundings. In order to comprehend the fullness of
M'Cola's vision, one may simply broaden the definition of
comedy from its more specialized classification as a thea
trical genre to its larger definition as the optimistic
element of life in general. In the end, this sweeping
earthly vista is the spectacle that enthralls M'Cola the
observer. Forsaking tears, the black head beholds the
world . with blankness at the things of ego, or with that
shake of approval at the wonder of things as they are.
M'Cola's Country
From the very start of its travels in Africa, the even
tual and inevitable onslaught of the continent's rainy
season has threatened the safari: "You could feel the rains
coming, as they moved steadily north, as surely as though
you watched them on a chart." The advance of the rains
spells a countdown for the travelers who must conclude their
hunting and leave before the storms render the roads to the


60
hunters, as opposed to the more advanced family units with
which his cohort M'Cola is associated. In addition to
cultural advances signified by the societal groupings, the
guide's relationship to time is disclosed also by his deploy
ment of artifacts. Droopy wears the cruder knotted tunic,
in contrast to M'Cola's buttoned jacket. The inexperience
also plagues his knowledge of weapons. The African hunter
may wield handily the ever-present spear, but in the pivotal
confrontation with M'Cola after the buffalo kill, the
intricacies of a double-barrelled shotgun elude him.
I told Droopy he could keep my big gun.
He said he knew how to shoot so I took
the shells and put on the safety and
handing it to him told him to shoot.
He put it to his shoulder, shut the
wrong eye, and pulled hard on the
trigger, and again, and again. Then I
showed him about the safety and had
him put it on and off and snap the gun
a couple of times. M'Cola became very
superior during Droopy's struggle to
fire with the safety on and Droopy
seemed to get much smaller. (pp. 120-21}
This reversal in Droopy's role from a leader "in command
of the show" to one in need of instruction marks a major
shift in the narrative. For all his gifts, Droopy cannot
take the narrator into the twentieth century, into the present
time of the novel (the Part recounting his story, "Pursuit
Remembered," is a flashback). The boundaries of his talents
are presented in terms of vision; unable to coordinate his
eyes, he cannot fire the gun. And the narrator perceives


115
of discharger of the gun's explosive power is reserved to
the narrator.
The American has shot well throughout the safari, be
ginning with the reedbuck and rhino and culminating with
the kudu. Within the deerpark so green that it verges on
the idyllic, it seems there is nothing the narrator can't
do. Yet on the fifth day of the safari when the narrator
and his party take up the trail of the dark game, this
success evaporates. The kudu has appeared before the narra
tor in the clearing within ten minutes of his making camp
in the virgin land. But the sable must be tracked for hours,
forcing the hunting party to scramble through nearby hills.
Worst of all is the shooting. The first female animal in
the entire safari is mistakenly killed, and the much-prized
sable bull is not killed but terribly wounded. The resultant
chase after the bull culminates in a peak of physical punish
ment and mental frustration for the narrator; once lost,
neither he nor any of his guides can regain the trail of
the wounded sable.
The unattainable sable bull, resplendent in dusky coat
and horn, teaches the man who follows its tortuous path a
central lesson of Green Hills. When one accepts mortality,
one eschews any promise of an afterlife; one cannot kill
death. The narrator rejects such an escape in favor of
being a part of the present creation--and participation in
that creation entails mortality, limits, faults. After the


37
the body is underscored when his plan to capture a leopard
with the rhino carcass is thwarted by a protected lion.
But even more significantly, the startling whiteness
the metaphor discloses about the hide presents a creature
blanched of the vitality that so distinguished the animals
of the hill in that original vision. Far from flowing
through veins or denoting intimate contact with the earth,
red appears in this rhino only as blood spilled at the
hands of Karl ("He was shaky with excitement and I saw
he had been washing blood off his hands). By no
accident do the eyes of this rhinoceros close shut. With
eyes as blind as those of the dead game, Karl cannot par
take of the vision of life the narrator perceives in the
opening pages of Part II.
The workings of the human head that resembles this
rhino are set forth in the passage that marks Karl's
entrance into camp:
"Whatever you say," Karl said. His mind
was bitterly revolving eight blank days
of hill climbing in the heat, out before
daylight, back at dark, hunting an animal
whose Swahili name he could not then
remember, with trackers in whom he had
no confidence, coming back to eat alone,
no one to whom he could talk, his wife
nine thousand miles and three months
away, and how was his dog and how was
his job, and god-damn it where were
they and what if he missed one when he
got shot, he wouldn't, you never missed
when it was really important, he was
sura of that, that was one of the tenets
of his faith, but what if he got excited


24
prominence in Chapter Six. M'Coia presents the narrator
with an alternative to the tyrannical intellect rampant in
Kandisky. He offers a mental outlook oriented not to immu
table truths, but to empirical observation of the world's
events. And, finally, the narrator travels in Chapter
Twelve with a guide at his side known only by his tribal
name, a Wanderobo.
The brief span of the third guide's involvement (he
enters on the last scheduled day of the safari) and the
prophetic nature of that entrance (he bears the long-awaited
news of kudu and sable that sparks the narrator into action)
suggest that the Wanderobo functions less as a personality
and more as the qualities suggested by his name. The first
sentence of the narrative ("We were sitting in the blind
that Wanderobo hunters had built") places the narrator
squarely in the tradition of these hunters. The earthen
hollow constitutes part of the legacy of the Wanderobo; the
values inherent in his tribal name constitute another.
These qualities equip the American wanderer to act as
an agent of the imagination in Green Hills of Africa. The
first association of Wanderobo, "to wander," describes a
creature moving through his world. The word presumes no
destination. It focuses not on an end to which the journey
and surroundings are merely incidental, not on the eventual
cessation of movement. Rather, "wander" celebrates the
phenomenon of movement and the arena in which it takes


108
of their formative organism. They acquire their shape from
constant contact with a vital center, the keratin benefici
aries of the pith that wells up from within. In addition
to the origins, the multitudinous shapes of the horns also
provide insight, the kudu horns in particular. The helical
growths incorporate a distinctive element of thrust in
their design; they grow not aimlessly, nor circle repeti
tively, but evolve. This evolution in their physical con
figuration also governs the appearance of the horns in the
timespan of the narrative. The sequence in which certain
horns are pursued at certain times in the narrative reveals
a pattern; beginning with the simple hook of the rhinoceros,
through the more intricate variations of the intervening
water buffalo and lesser antelope, to the complex spiral
of the kudu, the narrator pursues increasingly more developed
horns at the same time he is adding new dimensions to his
own experience. In the clearing when he finally sees before
him the spiral in its full complement, it is because he has
laid a proper foundation for it and can now be suitably
receptive. This correlation between the hunting trophies
and the narrator's existence is strengthened when he
expresses the impulse of his own life in horn-like terms:
"I've had a better time every year since I can remember."
The kudu horns prove particularly apt with their distin
guishing thrust; the comparative degree of "a better
time


109
every year" suggests not just an annual accumulation of
experience but a qualitative advance.
The principle of advance operative in the kudu horns
finds its linguistic equivalent in the part of speech most
conducive to action, the verbal, which carries the kudu
passage. The phrase "in the clearing," which initiates the
passage, utilizes the gerund. The narrator's subsequent
perception of the horns employs the attributes of another
verbal, the participle. These verbals imbue their subject
with activity; the magnificent kudu at the stream sports
"huge horns curling back from his head," "great, curling,
sweeping horns." The participles prepare the way for the
triumphant image the narrator relates when the hunting
party breaks camp in the virgin land. He stands alone before
the prizes of his journey and takes in their full beauty:
From the white, cleanly picked skulls
the horns rose in slow spirals that
spreading made a turn, another turn,
and then curved delicately in to those
smooth, ivory-like points. (p. 276}
In the narrator's observation, the participles give way to
the even more commanding vigor of active verbs. The horns
shape themselves right before the narrator's eyes: "the
horns rose in slow spirals that spreading made a turn,
another turn, and then curved delicately in." The spirals
embody the upward-struggling, ever-aspiring impulse forward
that has informed the story of Green Hills of Africa from
its first word to the end of the heart-shaped path and beyond.


13
the crucified Christ stands up in order to do so, towering
over his earth-covered companions. The juxtaposition of the
guide's rising with the movement of the lorry suggests the
European driver's Christian heritage, the tradition which
determines his way of looking at life. His point of view
the view from the crossis literally and philosophically
above the earth. It is the perspective of the omniscient
Christian God who resides not in, but above, the world,
beyond the reach of change. And it is that perspective
which dies in the blind.
The View from the Blind: The Narrator
Names and titlesverbal confirmation of one's place
in an ordered universeare essential to Kandisky's world.
The same is not true for the narrator. His public identity
as "Hemingway" arises for the first and only time in conver
sation with Kandisky in Chapter One: "Hemingway is a name I
have heard. Where? Where have I heard it? Oh, yes. The
dichter." Kandisky's response to the narrator is to label
him the "poet," and from then on the European sees not the
concrete individual before him, but rather a preconceived
notion of who "Hemingway" should be: "Why should any man
shoot a kudu? You, an intelligent man, a poet, to shoot
kudu." It is no surprise that Kandisky's characteristic
use of language to explore the imagination of this artist
fails. At the end of the longest conversation in the