In the story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, Margot’s unfaithful behavior helps Francis to find his courage. Margot couldn’t stand Francis not paying attention to her, even though they don’t love each other. When Francis talks about lion hunting with Wilson, Margot finds that she can’t participate in that conversation. The fact that she can’t participate makes Margot feel insecure, and she wants to change the subject to something else that she can join in. In addition, it seems that Margot also is disappointed by Francis, because he was timid during the actual lion hunting. Well, those emotions about Francis makes Margot cheats on him by having an affair with Robert Wilson, mainly to bring his attention back. However, the result doesn’t come out as she expected.
In fact, Margot’s affair with Wilson doesn’t make Francis pay attention to her. Instead, it made Francis get mad, and that anger finally comes out as finding courage which he didn’t have, and he wants to get. At least, Margot’s affair succeeds because Francis intimidates and gets jealous about it. However, Margot’s choice for partner, which is Wilson, seems not effective to get Francis’ attention back.
Compare to Francis, Wilson is more masculine and brave, and in the field of hunting, those are only characteristics needed. So to say, Wilson is better in Africa, although he is hired by Francis and under Francis. Therefore, Margot’s affair with Wilson actually makes Francis feel being robbed something he owns by someone better than him. And, seeing his wife having an affair with the man better than him is enough to make Francis to be furious. Especially, their isolated situation, which accompanies simple relationships, may make Francis relatively feel more betrayed.
However, the anger isn’t expressed towards Margot, which should be happened. Instead, the affair between Margot and Wilson causes Francis’ hatred towards Wilson, not Margot. In fact, it is quite natural, because there is no feeling left between Margot and Francis. They are a couple who are just afraid of the possibility that either one of them could leave another. However, Wilson, who is better than Francis in the situation they are in, can be hated by Francis, since he takes away one thing he doesn’t have and Francis has, and it makes him even better. Even though Francis expresses his disturbance towards Margot, it seems more reasonable to interpret those expressions as the jealousy caused by Wilson, and said to Margot. However, consequently, Francis’ anger and hatred helps him to forget his fear.
By the time they find buffalos, Francis “had no fear, only hatred of Wilson”. Francis doesn’t hesitate to shoot, and succeeds to hunt buffalos down almost without Wilson’s help. Through this experience, Francis felt “a definite elation” of achievement, which he never felt before. And this feeling not just comes from hunting, but also finding courage he didn’t have before and Wilson had. At this point, Francis stops to care about Margot’s unfaithful behavior, since he isn’t inferior to Wilson anymore, and it doesn’t matter Wilson take away something he doesn’t have any feelings.