Symbols In Hemingway's 'Hills Like White Elephants'

758 Words4 Pages
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. Jig has found herself at a cross road that will directly affect her life and also her relationship but would mean terminating her baby. She is unable to decide whether to choose life for the baby, or to get
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The relationship between the man and the girl exemplifies the theme of man and woman, as well as the theme of decision and indecision. Together, the decisions of either choosing life for the child or abortion present additional conflicts. The decision to be made and the conflicts to come are what Hemingway is revealing to the reader through the symbol of the train. As their discussion over the operation and life together comes to an end, the man says, “The train is coming in five minutes” (Hemingway). The man informs the girl that their trip back to reality is on the brim of arrival and their journey together is about to begin. By symbolizing the train, the author is able to provide the reader with a glance into the lives of an indecisive couple and the journey that may or may not be taken together. The station where Jig and the man are waiting to begin this journey is additionally a symbol. The station pertains to the theme of decision and indecision because it signifies a stopping point in their journey. The station is described by saying, “On this side there was no shade and the station was between two lives of rails in the sun” (Hemingway).This statement counterparts the couple’s indecision about the unborn child. The couple seems to have no
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