The Elephant in The Room Lack of communication can often be detrimental to a relationship, especially when a major life change is introduced. In Hemingway’s short story, “Hills Like White Elephants”, he portrays the issue through the two characters, the man and the girl’s, dialog and how he formats his writing. “Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story that takes place in Spain where a man and a girl wait at a train station. During their wait, the man and the girl partake of drinks, beer, and discuss an operation, presumably an abortion, that the man wants the girl to have. While abortion and having a child are two very serious topics, the man does not appear to be taking the situation sincerely, whereas the girl is more concerned. The man clearly does not want the girl to carry through the pregnancy, “we’ll be fine afterward, just like we were before” (Hemingway 361). The girl is silent at first and does …show more content…
After Hemingway sets up the scene for the short story in the beginning paragraph, he proceeds with statements from the characters that end with “the girl asked, the man said,” (Hemingway 359) and so on. After Hemingway’s initial introduction of the few characters, indication of who is speaking is very sparse throughout the rest of the story. This is because Hemingway wanted to transfer the couples lack of communication onto the reader. Also, Hemingway developed a short and simplistic dialog for the man and the girl. Most responses between the couple were only a few words to a sentence long, for instance, the girl made statements such as “all right” and “I guess so” (Hemingway 360), but would not elaborate much further on the matter. The format of “Hills Like White Elephants’ is choppy and lacking in detail, which serves a good purpose as far as getting Hemingway’s point
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in the essay " hills like White Elephant " the author uses a hesitant and confused tone to express and reaveal the complexities of loss. Earnest Hemingway show the primarily conversation between the American man and his girlfriend, neither of the speakers truly communicates with the other in agreement avoiding responsibility or blame . Both talk, but neither listens or understands the other’s point of view. Hemingway also used figurative languages and context clues that we can infer from the stories that jig the female has a very low self esteem when she said in page 477 "and if i do it you'll be happy and things will go back to like they were before " this show she is very insecure about her self she is less assertive and persuasive.
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.
Rocco Commisso Professor B. Shaw English 102 MWF 06 February 2023 Difficult Decisions Abortion is a highly controversial and polarizing issue that can have significant psychological effects on a woman's mental state. The decision to have an abortion can be a complex and emotional one, and the aftermath can vary from person to person. Some women may experience feelings of guilt, shame, or sadness, while others may feel a sense of relief or empowerment. Additionally, the societal stigma surrounding abortion can contribute to negative mental health outcomes for women who choose to have an abortion. It is important to understand that every woman's experience with abortion is unique and to offer support and resources to those who may be struggling with the psychological effects of this procedure.
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.
When reading any work of fiction, whether it be a short story or a poem, there is an expectation for something to happen or for some deeper meaning or understanding of a problem to become clear by the end of the work. However, in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, there is not a clear picture of anything that actually takes place within the text nor any deeper meaning to be understood from it upon the first reading. Without a clear story line, it becomes necessary to examine how Hemingway creates points of emphasis and importance through his patterns in dialogue. By analyzing the general form in which Hemingway wrote “Hills Like White Elephants” and focusing on the use of communication and dialogue present in the short story,
Christian Carasa English Composition 28 April 2016 Research Paper In the short story, “The Hills Like White Elephants,” an assortment of symbolic and scenic settings are integrated into the story by Hemingway. Hemingway uses symbols to teach the reader situations people could come across throughout life. The use of symbols in “Hills Like White Elephants” is very important to the plot line and to the fundamental meaning of the story. Through this use of symbolism, the reader can begin to reveal the concealed themes in this short story.
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
Nevertheless, Ernest Hemingway soon shows that this relationship contains a rift. This becomes apparent once they try conversing to one another. The girl attempts to spark a conversation by mentioning that the hills look like white elephants, but this topic soon turns hostile with the American’s replies. How this conversation is handled already shows that the couple “are trapped in a state of imbalance and disagreement” from the beginning (Link). The problem with the conversation is that the American’s personality of being simple and serious.
In the short story, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway from the start makes us draw out our own conclusions and does not give us a great deal of information. For example, we are only told about two characters, an American man and a girl who are waiting for their train to arrive. Other than this, we are not told what relationship the characters share together or where their final destination is. The protagonist who is referred to as “the girl” is in the middle of a tragic situation which can take a turn for the best or the worst and her partner, the “American man” is not helping but making the situation more heated.
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.
Through symbolism, Ernest Hemingway presents a couple with a shaky relationship who seem to be in a petty squabble that ultimately transforms
Conflict, be it within oneself or with another person is oftentimes difficult to overcome in the best of circumstances, and it is arguably never more difficult than when the outcome is a matter of life and death. This theme of a power struggle is central to Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, in which the characters known only as Jig and the American struggle to find a compromise which makes them both content while discussing Jig’s pregnancy and possible subsequent abortion. Hemingway uses several examples of symbolism including hills resembling white elephants, a bamboo bead curtain, and a railroad track to emphasize the separation which is driven between individuals in a relationship who fail to find a solution due to miscommunication. Indeed, remaining consistent with Hemingway’s iceberg style of writing, these seemingly simple examples of common elements of a Spanish railway station are representative of a much more complicated paradigm of human relationships.
According to Smiley, “The dialogue contains the essence of the story's power; for to read Jig's and the American conversation is to recognize the powerless frustration of parallel interchanges” (2). The girl's character passes changes throughout the story. It appears that “Hemingway works out the story's conflict, which revolves around the development of his female character” (Renner 28). The girl gains power and frees herself from the following the American man. In the beginning of the story, the girl take the initiative to speak which leads to the discussion: “'what should we drink?'
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.