Hills Like White Elephants Literary Analysis

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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.
The setting (7) of the story, the train station, is a symbol for the place where Jig and the American man are at in their relationship and what lies ahead for them. This symbol also portrays the theme (8) of choice and consequences. They are at an impasse due to the pregnancy, and the train tracks are the futures that could happen based on Jig’s decision about the abortion and the baby. For instance, Jig could agree politely to the American man and go ahead
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