Hills Like White Elephants Feminist Analysis

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In the short stories, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and The Hand” by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the authors have depicted women and their society. Readers can fully grasp the idea of a patriarchal system with how the men in the stories overpower the women. Although both were written and published in the same decade, with "The Hand" wrote in 1924 and "Hills Like White Elephants" published in 1927, there are distinct differences in the way the authors have portrayed women and their strength. One has taken the stereotypical woman route, a submissive individual under restraint while the other took a step forward and showed empowerment of his character over a controversial topic. It is through these stories that the readers could explore women and their society.
Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” revolves around a couple in a train station that is seemingly in a discussion over sensitive topics – pregnancy and abortion. The story starts with a description of the setting, the girl and the American man sitting on a table outside the bar of a train station looking over the hills. It is in this first paragraph of description that we can visualize the difference between the male and the female character. The male character was stated as “the American”
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As the girl stated earlier that the hills look like white elephants, something that is considered to be precious yet unbeneficial – symbolizing the unborn child (Weeks, 77). The hill with its two sides depicts the opposing positions over the issue. One of its side is “brown and dry” and having no trees (Hemingway, 475) making it barren and lacking life. This is where the couple is situated at first, representing the decision of the man for pro – abortion. The other side has “fields of grain and trees along the banks of Ebro” (Hemingway, 477) reflecting life and not undergoing an
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