Throughout the short story (1), “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway is speaking about a seemingly unwanted pregnancy and a woman’s uneasiness with going through an abortion. However, Hemingway never explicitly says in this work of fiction (2) that it is about abortion or that the woman, Jig, is uncomfortable with it, but uses symbolism (3) to present this to the audience. At the time “Hills like White Elephants” was published, in 1927, abortion was illegal in most places and a very taboo subject that wasn’t to be openly discussed in public. Thus, Hemingway relied greatly upon the use of symbolism to get his message across for this reason as well as the third person narrator (4) that did not give insight into the character’s thoughts within this piece of literature (5) . He uses symbols such as the train station, white hills, the baggage, and the drinks to point towards the underlying internal conflict (6) of Jig’s decision that is being heavily influenced by the American man, who wants Jig to get the abortion.
Hills Like White Elephants #1 Describe the setting and discuss its importance to the story. •Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is set in a train station to highlight the fact that the relationship between the American and the girl is at a crossroads. Planted in the middle of a valley, the station isn’t the final destination, but merely a stopping point between Barcelona and Madrid. Night
Even though it is not said directly, it is still easy for the audience to understand that what Jig and her boyfriend are talking about is a woman’s matter. In “Hills Like White Elephants,” Hemingway does not reveal the underlying meaning, but rather uses symbolism in his story through Jig’s attitude towards her boyfriend, the station in which the couple is at, and the absinthe drink she tries. Jig has an attitude about her that makes seem childish. She repeats her words as if she were a young child would when they want something they cannot have.
Symbols are often placed in the surrounding scenery of a story to give it more than just a visual effect but also an indirect reference to a deeper meaning that can be interpreted. As seen in the title, symbolism is used throughout the short story, “Hills like White Elephants”. Ernest Hemingway’s use of symbolism along with the description of the setting helps to give a visual representation of the conflict between the American and the girl as their conversation continues on the subject of abortion. In the near beginning of the story, Jig, the girl, states that the far off hills “look like white elephants” (Charters 475).
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.
The dialogue in Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” reveals a man’s and a woman’s incongruent conflict on abortion, and the author’s fundamentally feminist position is visible in the portrayal of the woman’s independent choice of whether or not to keep the baby she is carrying. The plot is very simple in the story which is less than 1500 words long. A woman and a man spend less than an hour on a hot summers day at a Spanish train station in the valley of Ebro as they are waiting for a train heading for Madrid. Their dialogue takes up most of the space and only few major actions take place.
“Hills Like White Elephants” may be a short story about two people just talking in a bar of a station, but behind every word Hemingway uses lies a deeper meaning. It is necessary to point out that omitting further information is something that is typical to Hemingway’s writing style. The reader has to contemplate what the author wants to portray in his story in the first place. Although the author probably had one meaning in mind, the metaphors can be interpreted in many ways. While reading the story, what came up to my mind was whether the author’s personal life had to do something with it or not.
The town was described with hills that looked like White Elephants. The author also describe the couple as “The Americans”. Ernest Hemingway also did a good job by describing the situation of the the couple in the 1920’s The couple was
Hills Like White Elephant is a short story by Earnest Hemingway from 1927. The story is talking about a failing relationship between an American man and his girlfriend. This couple is at a critical point on their lives. At the bar in a train station in Spain, the girl, Jig, does not want to end up her pregnancy, but she is going to sacrifice the baby to satisfied him. Because he is critical of the exploitation of his girl’s feelings concerning the continuation of unbalanced relationship. Which is making him more selfish and he does not to have any responsibilities. Also, the reader is also left with a great doubt, as there is no solution.
Symbolism plays a fundamental role in Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”. The different symbols used throughout the story are capable of subtly conveying intricate concepts to the readers of this recognized literary work. It then becomes essential for them to detect all these symbols, and discern the deep meanings which they hold in order to truly grasp the story’s message which the author intended to transmit. Without this insight, many first-time readers may view the story as a simple and casual dialog between two people, a man and a woman, waiting for a train from Barcelona to Madrid. Thus, they become unaware of the intense conflict the two main characters are actually facing, haunted by the difficult decision of terminating a pregnancy
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.
(Baccellia, 2007) The second story is about a woman named Jig and a nameless American man waiting in Barcelona for a train trip to Madrid. Assuming that the man involved in this story is Jig 's boyfriend or husband due to their interactions with one another, the two discussed the possibility of abortion, which leads to Jig describing the two hills she sees while waiting for the train as white elephants. The meaning of the hills looking like white elephants is that Jig is debating if the abortion procedure is the best decision. Almost like she has something precious that she has to get rid of.
Lane Jr. who's struggling with his faith will support and stand by Sheri and her decision concerning the pregnancy. Ernest Hemingway's" Hills Like White Elephants” allows his readers to come to the conclusion as to whether the couple in question will terminate or keep the unborn child. As Jig, and the American are
Oday Alyatim Gender Studies Prof Qualls Hills Like White Elephants In the short story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway, the characters Jig and the man are out on vacation traveling from Barcelona to Madrid through train. While at the train station, they experience began talking about an operation, how they discuss getting this operation shows the strong gender roles between Jig and the man.
In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway, there is a relationship unfolding, a complex relationship difficult to understand. The relationship is revealed by a conversation between a man and a woman, a topic of conversation that people rarely discussed in the period that the story was set. After researching interpretations, it is consistently said “She is pregnant, and he wants her to have an abortion” (Weeks 76), to which I agree that this conversation is about abortion. With the man seemingly pushing the topic and the girl hesitant and questionable, it is unsure as to the result of their conversation. However, it is my belief that she chose to follow her heart and not get the abortion.