The story “Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story in which a man and his girlfriend have a discussion at while waiting for a train at the station. Though it is not specifically mentioned, one can conclude that discussion is about getting an abortion. It is obvious that the man wants it more than his girlfriend, which leads to the conflict of the story. They end up boarding the train without making the decision. It is worth noting that this short story has a degree of vagueness to it that most stories do not have. The author gives people just barely enough details and dialogue for readers put together what’s going on. The author uses dialogue, characterization, and symbolism to display the theme of “choices” throughout the story. The way …show more content…
There is the symbolism of elephants, which could refer to the saying “the elephant in the room”. That saying means there is an obvious situation that no one wants to discuss. This could be further supported by the girl’s reluctance to discuss the topic or make a choice. She tries the end the conversation multiple times by saying things like “Can’t we maybe stop talking?” and “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” (Hemingway 185). That would explain the vagueness of the story and, why no choices are made. The one that stands out the most is the train station. It symbolizes the idiom “at a crossroads”. That means that one is in a situation where a choice has to be made. Since most of the story revolves around the idea of making a choice, it is a big indicator of the theme. There are many different themes in “Hills Like White Elephants”. However, the way Hemingway manipulated dialogue, characters, and symbols within the story helps define the main one of choice. Despite the lack of important choices being made by the man and woman, the idea of choices still resonates. Mainly because whole story revolves around a choice being made. Though it is not specified, it’s obvious that they have to come to a decision soon. There is a lot left out in this story. Nevertheless, even when Hemingway says so little, he means so
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Essentially, getting on the train to Madrid would lead to the abortion, and the train to Barcelona could lead to life, the birth of a baby, and the start of a family. Hills Like White Elephants is a short-story with a much deeper meaning than first perceived. What can appear to be a casual conversation is actually the turning point in a couple’s relationship, and could either lead to the formation of a family and the birth of love or the backtracking in their relationship. Rereading stories and looking for deeper meaning in symbolism is vital, and can lead to a better understanding of life and it's
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.
Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” takes place at a train station between two cities, accentuating the indecisiveness of the girl. While the station represents a physical crossroad, the girl is at a decisional crossroad. Fields of grain and trees sharply contrast the depiction of a dry, barren valley, both settings correlate with her decision. The story “Young Goodman Brown” symbolizes the journey away from faith.
In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway, there is a relationship unfolding, a complex relationship difficult to understand. The relationship is revealed by a conversation between a man and a woman, a topic of conversation that people rarely discussed in the period that the story was set. After researching interpretations, it is consistently said “She is pregnant, and he wants her to have an abortion” (Weeks 76), to which I agree that this conversation is about abortion. With the man seemingly pushing the topic and the girl hesitant and questionable, it is unsure as to the result of their conversation. However, it is my belief that she chose to follow her heart and not get the abortion.
Throughout the dialog, the girl is telling him she does not want to have the abortion, but to please him she agrees. She depends on him so much, and she is willing to do anything to keep the relationship going; however, she realizes that nothing can save their affair. The girl looks at the hills and compares them to white elephants. The term white elephants are associated with possessions
So many times, one reads a story, and only sees what is right in front of them, but other times, they notice much more depth to what they are reading. This is most often used in short stories, and every single small detail is crucial. In Ernest Hemingway’s, Hills Like White Elephants, there are many secrets and deep details hidden into this story that all point to the very sensitive subject of abortion: this subject is disguised in the elephants, the characters’ drinking habits, and the landscape. The whole story in itself represents abortion.
In the story Hemingway uses the two sides of the railroad to represent how life would be if the couple choses abortion or if they didn’t. He also uses the railroad to show the two different sides of the couple. The “trees, fields, river, and grain” on one side of the tracks represents the choice of life, keeping the baby. This side shows a sign of life and what it would be like if they chose to keep the baby.
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
Fertility is contrasted with the barrenness of the operation they are discussing. Hemingway uses little detail it his works, although clear understanding is present through symbolism, dialogue, and use of metaphors. His style forces readers to understand the meaning as a whole with only the surface level art that he creates. Hemingway's uses his own theory of omission to talk about man’s dominance without directly stating it.
(Baccellia, 2007) The second story is about a woman named Jig and a nameless American man waiting in Barcelona for a train trip to Madrid. Assuming that the man involved in this story is Jig 's boyfriend or husband due to their interactions with one another, the two discussed the possibility of abortion, which leads to Jig describing the two hills she sees while waiting for the train as white elephants. The meaning of the hills looking like white elephants is that Jig is debating if the abortion procedure is the best decision. Almost like she has something precious that she has to get rid of.
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.
Literary Analysis: Hills Like White Elephants The “Hills Like White Elephants”, written by Ernest Hemingway, is a story about a couple who have a decision to make. Though it is never said anywhere throughout the story, the couple is faced with an unwanted pregnancy. The characters have a tough decision to make nd they have different opinions on what the right choice is.
If analyzed in a more generic view, the short story can be used to show how a male and female stereotypically understand a subject. The American speaks more literal and materialistic as Jig is seen to speak in a more figurative and abstract manner. Ernest Hemingway’s use of symbolism gives the reader a more visual effect to the conflict between the man and the girl as well as the idea of their inner thoughts. The white rounded hills, the beads on the curtain hanging from the bar’s doorframe, and the cool shade and blazing light all represent different aspects of the two choices that the American and the girl have to decide on, just like the railroad tracks on either side of the
The characters of Hills Like White Elephants Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants short story takes place in a train station in Spain around the 1920s. The two main characters of his story are that of a man and girl waiting for train while drinking and the story is almost entirely told through a conversational dialogue of the characters with a few small descriptive paragraphs of the surrounding scenery of the train station in between. Additionally, Hemingway doesn’t give any characterisation of the mood or theme of the conversation, it is written in a completely neutral manner as if he were only reporting the conversation. He also doesn’t give any context to this conversation leaving the reader for the most part in the dark in regards to the subject matter of the dialogue of the main characters. This can lead many readers to view the story and characters essentially without any actual character or plot making the story pointless.