This short story by Ernest Hemmingway, is about a man and woman’s difference in opinion with one another. The couple is waiting on a train to arrive at the junction station to take them to Madrid, Spain so that the woman can have an operation. In this story, Hemmingway utilizes symbolism and clues to explain the plot of the story and the conflict the two characters are having. Some of the symbolism in the story is difficult to decipher and this analysis will help understand the story by explaining the symbolism.
Mallard, and the girlfriend want to communicate how they feel and do not want to be constrained. Chopin was a feminist which encouraged her to write The Story of an Hour. Women do not want to feel possessed and want to be self-asserted (Chopin, 2004). Women are told to respect their marriages and must abide to society. Mrs. Mallard feels free of duties when she understands that her husband has deceased. Chopin may suggest that Mrs. Mallard feels restricted to live her life with a partner in her life. Hemmingway does not reveal the thoughts of the characters leaving readers at suspense. Readers must interpret what is going on between the girlfriend and her boyfriend in Hills Like White Elephants (Hemmingway). The white elephants in his story represent fertility. Both the woman and her boyfriend struggle to speak of abortion. It is a sensitive topic and may even not be accepted in society. The woman is apprehensive and does not know what will happen next if she does decide to get an abortion (Norton). The relationship between the characters shows that the woman depends on the man’s approval but also seeks acceptance and
The short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway, is about a young couple and the polemic (controversial) issue of abortion. Though the word “abortion” is nowhere in the story, it is doubtlessly understood through Hemingway’s powerful use of two literary elements: setting and symbolism.
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. In the beginning of the story they sit drinking at a table outside a bar, and after a while the woman goes to the end of the station but she soon returns and participates in the dialogue. The man then carries their bags to the other side of the rails before he returns to and goes inside the bar for a drink. As the story ends, the man goes back outside and finishes his dialogue with the woman.
When first reading “Hills Like White Elephants,” the miscommunication and unintentional manipulation between characters, (an American man and a young woman who we can assume to be in a brief relationship with each other), may not be initially clear to the reader. The reader may first find the American man in the story to be harsh, controlling, and manipulative. However, after a closer second read one comes to realize that these assumptions about his character have come from simple miscommunication between characters. Hemingway refers to the female in the story specifically as a girl, not a woman, so we can infer that there is an age difference between the two characters which is also a contributing factor. As well, it becomes clear that the
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.
Relationships are the core of everything we do in life. We love someone, so we do something for them; we value someone 's opinion, so we respect them; we dislike someone, so we avoid them. Relationships cause people to act on their emotions which impact how and why they do the things they do. Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is about a couple trying to come to a conclusion on a delicate matter. While the man strongly promotes his opinion the girl is hesitant but wants to do whatever will make him happy. The struggles presented between these two characters bring to light issues in human relationships that weigh into everyday life. Hemingway’s short story reveals to readers how relationships affect communication, decision
In his story “Hills Like White Elephants”, Ernest Hemingway points out the couple's inability to make the decision: whether to abort the unborn child or not. The reader finds that the story deals with couple's miscommunication through the conversation and the emotions that they express. One can observe that no descriptions are given to the characters, thus, Hemingway creates universal dilemma to focus on the crucial issue. In this way, Hemingway leads the reader to identify with his female character that undergoes a struggle.
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.
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.
We all enjoy to dream and hope for the best. We have high expectations for the people around us and the situations we face. But, sometimes these idealistic expectations get us in trouble. We find ourselves stuck waiting for some miracle so that our ideals come true. This is Cleofilas from Sandra Cisneros’s short story “A Woman Hollering Creek”. Cleofilas grows up watching telenovelas and reading romance novels. These make her wish to find the passion that can only be found in true love, according to the telenovelas and romance novels. But Cleofilas ends up in a marriage where she is physically and emotionally abused. But, although, she ends up in these situations, Cleofilas reflects on whether the love she saw and read about is all there is.
The character in the story Drown is about a young Dominican immigrant who is in high school and has a sexual experience twice with a male counterpart while watching an adult film. Moreover, he becomes a round character because of what took place with his best friend and does not know what to do or how to confront the situation between them. The narrator faces many conflicts of men being masculine, women being inferior, and not having any positive influences in his life. On the contrary would argue with his mother and asking her why she still talks to him? Even though the mother continues to talk to the father, the narrator still does what he has to do to take care of the only person who has never doubted him or unfortunately his dad was a weak
A white elephant signifies something that has a high value but is not quite beneficial. When this proverb is placed in context, it would be possible to assume that Jig’s pregnancy might be a ‘white elephant’, considering a human life is very valuable but the couple is not ready to have a child at the moment. According to Joseph M. Flora, a white elephant in nature is rare (44) and this can signify that maybe it would be the only chance for the girl to get a baby, for the reason that a woman can get possibly infertile after an abortion. The question arises what the hills might have to do with white elephants. The hills can be seen as a boundary between the couple. It is obvious from what the American says to Jig, that perhaps the hills could stand for the unborn baby. Further in the story, the girl suddenly calls these hills ‘mountains’. (252) In my interpretation, it seems that she also might have realised that the baby would be a barrier between them. Well, in this case she has to ‘move mountains’ and make that difficult decision. If we observe their relationship, it seems like it is not going too well either. With attention to Jig’s view and the man’s view we can say that they both have a different attitude towards the abortion and their relationship. Remarkably, the girl’s thoughts change through their conversation. Renner divides the stages of the decision-making process into four – what he calls – ‘movements’. (28) Along with these movements Jig also changes her mind about her relationship with the American. In the first stage Hemingway creates the impression that the girl still has to make the decision about the surgery. This idea is created by the description of the scenery in which the station is amidst the two lines of rails and what the girl sees on the other side. (251) The dryness and the brown colour of the country refer to a lack
The result of Juan leaving was major, but it was not what was to be expected. Usually a person falls apart when their spouse leaves them, but Maria becomes extremely cold. When her child dies from complications of birth, Maria,”becomes stolid, refusing even to cry when her child is born and dies”(DeMouy). She still battles on and continues her daily life. When the women and girls offer their sympathies and prayers to Maria, she simplys replies, “Keep your prayers to yourself, Lupe, or offer them for others who need them. I will ask God for what I want in this world” (Porter). The absence of her husband is not destroying her, but rather is pushing her to become even more strong in her life. While Maria was able to stand on her two feet before Juan’s departure, she is even more independent now that he is gone. Her line of work is booming, but her craving for a family is not satisfied. All Maria wants in her life is a family, and nothing was going to stop Maria from getting her