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.
Hills Like White Elephants #1 Describe the setting and discuss its importance to the story. •Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is set in a train station to highlight the fact that the relationship between the American and the girl is at a crossroads. Planted in the middle of a valley, the station isn’t the final destination, but merely a stopping point between Barcelona and Madrid. Night
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.
If taken literally, Hemingway’s story is one in which very little happens. The story takes place in a train station in Spain where a couple argue about a vague event over drinks. From the very start of the short story, there is an overbearing uneasiness felt in the text as the unnamed male and the girl, Jig, hold what seems to be—on the surface—an innocent conversation. By using a limiting third person point of view that consists mostly of dialogue, Hemingway creates an obstacle in the way of understanding as there is no clear insight to what is going on inside of either party’s head. The conflict that the pair seem to be discussing is never named and it becomes the metaphorical elephant in the room much like the white elephants that Jig sees in the mountains.
After doing so and being gone for some time, the daughter realizes that she misses and loves her mother very much. However, when they meet up again, the same sort of physical fight happens. The daughter is then sent to stay with her grandmother. After more time spent apart, both parties realize their love for one another. Lola also realizes, after talking to her grandmother, that she is so much alike her mother.
In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway the central idea is people sometimes don't appreciate something special when it's in front them. This story can put in the category of Drama because at the end the reader is left with a open ending unlike other dramas that have a closing. The story is about a couple who is waiting for a train at a railroad junction in Spain they decide to have a beer then have a conversation of whether to go through the abortion of their child. Next, the bartender tells the couple that the train arrives in 5 minutes so the American moves their bags onto the other side of the train station and gets a drink at the bar while Jig sits by herself. The theme of the story is people sometimes don't appreciate what's in front of them and is shown through characterization, point of view and symbolism.
“Hills Like White Elephants” may be a short story about two people just talking in a bar of a station, but behind every word Hemingway uses lies a deeper meaning. It is necessary to point out that omitting further information is something that is typical to Hemingway’s writing style. The reader has to contemplate what the author wants to portray in his story in the first place. Although the author probably had one meaning in mind, the metaphors can be interpreted in many ways. While reading the story, what came up to my mind was whether the author’s personal life had to do something with it or not.
One main theme in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is the idea of disconnection. In this story, we eavesdrop on a conversation held between both characters. In their dialogue, conflict is created as the characters face what most readers believe to be the obstacle of unexpected pregnancy. This is assumed through symbolism and the titles meaning. The term “white elephant” was used for an unwanted gift.
By definition a “White Elephant” in literature is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost is out of proportion to its usefulness. In the following short story, the situation that the couple is in can be described as a “White Elephant”. Throughout the story a couple, a Spanish woman and an American man, are sitting at a train station waiting for their train. While there, they decide to talk about the issue at hand, a pregnancy. Jig, the Spanish woman, is eager to keep the unborn child as the American man who is the father is not.
Everyone has arguments, but in this story, the couple were in an extremely rough spot. He arrives home from work and immediately starts packing a bag. He barely says anything at first which is a major problem. In a relationship, communication is extremely important. He is not communicating his concerns, and in return, she is not able to address or fix the issue.
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.
Symbolism plays a fundamental role in Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”. The different symbols used throughout the story are capable of subtly conveying intricate concepts to the readers of this recognized literary work. It then becomes essential for them to detect all these symbols, and discern the deep meanings which they hold in order to truly grasp the story’s message which the author intended to transmit. Without this insight, many first-time readers may view the story as a simple and casual dialog between two people, a man and a woman, waiting for a train from Barcelona to Madrid. Thus, they become unaware of the intense conflict the two main characters are actually facing, haunted by the difficult decision of terminating a pregnancy
“Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. Set in Spain in the year 1927, and narrated in the third person limited, this is the story of the internal conflict of an unmarried expectant couple in route to have an abortion. Hemingway cleverly uses several literary elements to describe underlying conflicts between the couple as they discuss the procedure. The central idea is an identity crisis regarding self-identity, and how conflict, setting, diction, and symbolism are used to tell the story. The central idea is an identity crisis, Jig experiences an identity crisis as she realizes her feelings about the pregnancy are in direct contradiction to the feelings expressed by the man concerning her pregnancy.
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.