Hills Like White Elephant Literary Analysis

746 Words3 Pages

By definition a “White Elephant” in literature is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost is out of proportion to its usefulness. In the following short story, the situation that the couple is in can be described as a “White Elephant”. Throughout the story a couple, a Spanish woman and an American man, are sitting at a train station waiting for their train. While there, they decide to talk about the issue at hand, a pregnancy. Jig, the Spanish woman, is eager to keep the unborn child as the American man who is the father is not. They each bring up different points as to why throughout the story. In Earnest Hemingway’s short story Hills like White Elephants written in 1927 he uses the hills themselves, the scenery that the couple is surrounded by, and the beaded curtain as symbols to describe the situation that the couple faces. In this short story, the hills that the train station overlook are compared to white elephants. This is because the conversation Jig is wanting to have with the American consists of whether or not to keep the …show more content…

Outside of the train station there was a beaded curtain, “Close against the side of the station was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep the flies out” (Hemingway line 3-5). The beaded curtain is used as a symbol to show the separation between them and the rest of humanity. The beaded curtain is supposed to represent boundaries. The couple faces many boundaries throughout the short story, these boundaries act as a curtain in the couple’s relationship that limit their options and conversation on the topic of whether to abort their child or not. Bamboo stem was once said to have been what humanity was created from; the couple sat just outside the beaded curtain never passing through

Show More
Open Document