How Does Hemingway Create Tension In Hills Like White Elephant

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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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