Tension Between American And Jig In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants we are introduced to two characters on their way to Madrid, an American and a girl named Jig. The pair sits and drinks beer for a while, until the man brings up a procedure that Jig would have to endure. Jig is immediately closed off, clearly not wanting to talk about it. This becomes the main conflict of the story, as the readers are left to their imaginations, and context clues to figure out what is really going on. The tension between the American and Jig is very clear, especially on the topic of Jigs operation. The American says “They just let the air in and then it's all perfectly natural.” Which suggests what kind of procedure Jig would be getting. Jig was most likely on her way to Madrid to undergo an abortion. She seemed conflicted based on how she acted when the topic was brought up, “the girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.” (Hemingway 476). Jig does not want to talk about the procedure, but the American keeps…show more content…
Because I don’t care about me.” She’s saying she will do the procedure, just like the man asked her to (Hemingway 477). This decision feels one sided, because Jig did not get to think for herself, and said that so the man would be happy and the tension would go away. Jig is tired of talking about this, as she asks the man “would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” Indicating that she is tired of talking about the abortion (Hemingway 478). When the American tells Jig they can “have everything” she keeps shooting down his statements, and seems more level-headed and in control of herself than she was when the conversation began. This could suggest that when she says “I feel fine” at the end of the story, she really means it. While the American was moving the bags, Jig may have been able to make a decision on the matter, but it seems highly unlikely that she would have done so in such a short

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