Abortion In Hills Like White Elephants, By Ernest Hemingway

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During the course of the story “Hills Like White Elephants” the author Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism to describe the the main idea of the girl having the “operation.” Hemingway uses the landscape, the white elephant, and the term “elephant in the room” to represent different aspects of the pregnancy and abortion. The landscape in the story represents choosing the abortion or choosing to keep the baby. The setting of the story is at a train station. On one side of the train track the landscape is “brown and dry” (Hemingway 123) and the other side is green and has rivers and mountains. The discussion that the man and girl are having is whether or not she wants to and will have an abortion. When the girl mentions the landscape she expresses that by going through with the abortion and trying to “drift through life they are choosing emotional and spiritual desiccation” (Holladay) meaning life will not be the same after it, therefore the dull and dead side of the track represents the abortion while the other side represents keeping the baby because it is obvious that the girl does not want to have an abortion as much as the man does. In the same way that the baby will be alive if she chooses not to abort it the green side of the track is lively and if she aborts the baby the baby will be dead just like the dead side of the track. The concept of the white elephant, in this story, represents the baby or for the girl the decision of what to do with the baby. The term “white

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