Theme Of Uncertainty In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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Uncertainty

Uncertainty, the unknown-not knowing what comes next- can be very stressful, even frightening for some. To others, uncertainty is curiosity, the willingness to learn, to explore the unknown. Ernest Hemingway illustrates his view on doubt and uncertainty through his writing. The theme of uncertainty is exemplified throughout several of Ernest Hemingway’s works.

I.
Topic Sentence - Uncertainty runs throughout Hemingway’s short story “Hills like White Elephants”. 1. In “Hills like White Elephants” the couple is indecisive on the subject of having the child. The American wants the girl to get an abortion but “ ‘ wouldn’t have [her] do it if [she] didn’t want to’ ” (55-56).
The girl “[will] do it if because [she doesn’t] care about [herself]” (64).
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The American tries to convince himself that they will “ ‘be fine afterward. Just like [they] were before’’,but the girl shows her uncertainty asking him “‘What makes you think so’”(48-49)?
The girl expresses her concern if “‘[they will] be happy and [if] things will be like they were’” (57-58).
The girl suggests that ‘“Once they take it away, you never get it back’” but the American quickly refutes the idea (81).
II.
Topic Sentence- In Hemingway’s “In Another Country” and “A Day’s Wait” uncertainty is a prominent theme.

1. In the short story “In Another Country” the patients experience tremendous doubt relating to the effectiveness of the machines, their own honor, and experience, first hand, the uncertainty of life.
They doubted if the machines would be successful because “ The machines were new and it was [they] who were to prove them” (208).
Nick liked the boy who was wounded the first day on the front “because perhaps he would not have turned out to be a hawk either” which made Nick feel better about the uncertainty of his own bravery (208).
The uncertainty of life was shown to the major when his wife dies even though “no one expected her to die”
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