The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

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Tragedy is a genre based on human sufferings, pain, fear, and it leads to death. It is not the only genre in which characters reveal a tragic flaw. The paper discusses this statement with references to two short stories by D.H. Lawrence and “Hills Like White Elephants” by E. Hemingway.

A tragic flaw is a mistake of the main hero which marks the further development of a situation with sufferings. The setting of events in the short fictional story “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” has not been fatal for the character Mable, but it is determined by a flaw: “What did I do?” she asked. “Walked into the pound”, he replied (Lawrence). The act of a suicidal attempt is a tragic flaw, and it involves the complexity of feelings and emotions which follow after this. Mable’s act persecutes the possibility of her happiness with a man. Her misery is explained in the story, “You cannot love me, I am horrible” (Lawrence). This illustrates the tragic flaw which is based on psychological perception of events and reaction to it.

In the text “Hills Like White Elephants”, a tragic flaw determines a peculiarity of this short story. E. Hemingway shows the frustration that is between an action and expectations. The main heroine decides to do the operation that dooms her life. In spite of understanding of this mistake she wants to believe that “…we’ll be alright and happy” (Hemingway, 1998, p. 213). The tragic flaw is realized in the predestination of the character to suffer after her deed.

The development of events in a genre of tragedy as well as in the two short stories is triggered by tragic flaws which engulf depressed main characters with inevitable calamity. The short stories expose tragic flaws that are denoted by philosophical and psychological aspects of life. This declares that tragedy is not the only genre that reveals a tragic flaw. 

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