The Theme Of Abortion In Hills Like White Elephants

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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.
The conflict between the two characters is the issue of abortion and whether or not the girl will go through it. Hemingway does not tell us that the girl is pregnant but hints it throughout the story referring to “the operation” as having an abortion. From the start, you can take
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She is being easily swayed by the man who is making her think that the baby is “the only thing that is bothering [them and] it’s the only thing that’s made [them] unhappy” (212). The “love” she has for him seems real to her at first but soon she realizes it is not even true because she does not really mean anything to him and the baby she is carrying does not make him happy at all since he is going through so much just to get rid of it. She is presented with this realization when she says, “but if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it” and to that he replies, “I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry” (213). The unborn child is a burden on him but he does not admit it. He shows it by telling the girl he loves her and afterwards, they could be like they were before and how he does not want anybody but
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