Analysis Of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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In the story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway, there is an apparent power imbalance between the two main characters. The man in the story is either referred to as the American or the man, while the woman is referred to as the girl. When referring to someone as “the man” Hemingway is implying that he is an adult. While the word “girl” implies that she is a child. This is evidence that the girl is younger than the man or is seen as more immature which results in the man having a significant role of responsibility over the girl. The man has more experience; therefore, he controls the girl in many ways and he treats her unfairly because he does not want a child. The Man thinks his opinion is the only opinion that matters.…show more content…
The man states, "It's really an awfully simple operation, Jig" (Hemingway 230). The operation would not have been simple; instead it would have been awfully difficult and risky procedure. During the 1920s, abortion was a very taboo subject and was not readily available in all locations. Many of the clinics available had questionable conditions which could result in many things going wrong during the abortion procedure. Some of the possible negative consequences of abortions at this time were heavy bleeding, an increased risk of infections, or possibly death. He says it is simple because he wants her to agree to the operation not because he thinks that it is simple. The girl says, “everything tastes of licorice,” meaning that everything going on is bitter-sweet. She is implying that the sex was great; however, they should have waited to have a baby (Hemingway 230). The guy…show more content…
The girl is not paying for this trip. This is inferred because the guy in the story is referred to as “the man” and the female is called “the girl” (Hemingway 229). This suggests that the man is older, therefore, better-off than the girl because she is younger, suggesting that she is weak. The girl wants to keep the baby, this is shown by the way she does not want to talk about the abortion. However, the man does not want the baby because he turns to get her to have the abortion. The man answers, “I think it's the best thing to do. But I don't want you to do it if you don't really want to” (Hemingway 231). The man thinks she should have the abortion just because, he wants her to. He just does not want to think about any other plan because he does not want the baby he has made. The girl replies, “And if I do it you'll be happy and things will be like they were and you'll love me” (Hemingway 231)? The girl does not want to have the abortion; however, she wants to make her man happy because she has no other person she can rely on. The man wants their life to go back to normal, which is having sex and trying new drinks, however, the girl wants to settle down and start a family. The man does not want to lose his girlfriend because she is his source of fun; however, he does not want the baby and will do anything to try and talk her into having the
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