Symbolism is defined as “the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities.” So many times, one reads a story, and only sees what is right in front of them, but other times, they notice much more depth to what they are reading. This is most often used in short stories, and every single small detail is crucial. In Ernest Hemingway’s, Hills Like White Elephants, there are many secrets and deep details hidden into this story that all point to the very sensitive subject of abortion: this subject is disguised in the elephants, the characters’ drinking habits, and the landscape. The whole story in itself represents abortion. During the beginning, the American man and Jig are eating and heavily drinking, and they are having a disguised discussion about Jig’s possible abortion.
She had her entire new life planned out, and it all came crashing down within an hour. Because of how excited Mrs. Mallard is, t is easy for the reader to feel the enormous weight of disappoint fall upon her upon seeing her husband. This excellent character development by Chopin creates a great ending. The second theme that is evident through the voice of the character is irony. In one section of the story, Mrs. Mallard declares that even though she loved her husband, she will only mourn his loss in public at his funeral for the sake of her image.
(Prof. Spencer. Lecturer on Hills Like White Elephants. Department of English, Rhodes University: 1 March 2017) Sometimes a story has limited content because it requires the reader to make more out of what is given. Truly, it is when we seek for deeper meanings that we can find the profundities of life from short stories. By looking at the text
In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway, there is a relationship unfolding, a complex relationship difficult to understand. The relationship reveals itself by a conversation between a man and a woman, a topic of conversation that people rarely discussed in the period that the story takes place. After researching interpretations, most of my findings resemble “She is pregnant, and he wants her to have an abortion” (Weeks 76), to which I agree that this conversation is about abortion. With the man seemingly pushing the topic and the girl hesitant and questionable, it is unsure as to the result of their conversation. However, it is my belief that she chose to follow her heart and not get the abortion.
The short story is rather entertaining because you have to think past what the author writes, and create for yourself your own depiction of what the meaning is. One example is when Mrs. Mallard says, “free, free, free!” (Chopin). The reader would expect Mrs. Mallard to be upset at the loss of her husband, but in fact, she is actually feeling relief from it. Mrs. Mallard is happy because she is now free from living under her husband. Another example of Kate Chopin’s usage of irony is at the end when its said, “ they said she died of heart disease- of joy that kills” in a since they are right.
Literature and the arts are similar, they require us to tap into a deeper level of understand in what we read and see. The words are often an author’s experiences, thoughts, feeling, ideas or convictions. As readers we can sometimes connect with the author, having an emotional reaction to their works. In Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, the young couple is making a life decision about going through an abortion. I too was faced this decision in my own life at a young age.
Hemingway’s symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway among the best of authors of his time, uses a quite different approach to his writings. His style to of writing is often vague and unclear. Hemmingway only gives a bit of content about the story, and the rest is hidden or missing entirely. The audiences are therefore forced to read more carefully and piece together the story. The style of writing he uses is known as the iceberg theory.
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).
Chopin uses the phrase, “…of joy that kills” at the end of her short story. The meaning behind the phrase is somewhat twisted. We know that Louise Mallard is not happy at all to see her husband’s face after thinking he was dead. The joy of Mrs. Mallards independence was ripped away from her so fast which caused the overwhelming feeling which caused her to die. Throughout the story Mrs. Mallard has experienced many obstacles in just the time of an hour.
She is basically referring to her being pregnant. This is another reason why she asked for permission to have a drink (Hemingway 274). The irony is the girls always wanted to have a baby, but the man wants her to have an abortion. She is trying to find ways to say that she is pregnant and discuss the fact of having a baby. Symbolism shown in this short story is when the girl said “But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”(Hemingway 275).