Hills Like White Elephants Abortion Analysis

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The ‘White Elephant’ When Facing an Abortion A white elephant can be defined as an interesting christmas surprise or an albino white elephant, a prized possession in Asia. Authors and readers from all over the nation have struggled with the true meaning behind Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, and are concerned with the fate of the girl’s pregnancy and the couples’ relationship. According to Stanley Renner, author at Illinois State University, Jig’s smile showed a “decisive change in mood that simply does not square with how she would feel if she were really facing an abortion” (Renner pg. 35). In a rather contradicting aspect, author Timothy O’Brien of the United States Naval Academy proposes that perhaps the girl decides to…show more content…
Wyche begins with the notion that the girl is not jovial in her relationship with the American. The tone emitted from her argument with the emotionally underdeveloped American showed a side from her that rebukes his ideas the abortion, and perhaps the underlying struggle she is having with the relationship. To Jig, the baby is essential in her life, but the American it is just another distracting and expensive problem. He claims that he “knows” everything and that her operation would be “awfully simple” (42) because they “just let the air in”, yet his arguments are faulty and narcissistic. O’Brien analyzes their conversation and notes that Jig’s smiles at the end of the story proves that she has nothing else to say about her situation, letting him “overpower her” (O’Brien pg. 22). He voices that this is an act of compliance from the girl, and that the American has succeeded in his egotistical plan. According to O’Brien, the American “dominates” her language so that she will feel estranged in her own thoughts, having to count on his guidance because of her helpless mental state. It seems that his demeanor is an indicator of some future dismissal of their relationship. After close reading of “Hills Like White Elephants”, further proof to the outcome of the story arises. Beginning with the abortion, it is implied…show more content…
Between the lines 106 and 110, the American drank another beer at the bar and the girl remained sitting at the table. This part of the story implies that they will end their relationship and go their separate ways. Jig has realized that she does not need the American anymore, and that she is capable enough to handle life on her own. When asked, “Do you feel better?” (109) by the American, she responds with a confidently stated, “I feel fine… There is nothing wrong with me. I feel fine” (110). Unpacking this further exhibits the emotion the girl now feels in her circumstance. She feels “fine” or genuinely okay with the dilemma at hand and she is aware of how to handle it. Jig is now ready to move on and is over the American’s constant pressure to give into his desires.
Though Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” has received a plethora of examination and analysis, the story has been left open for a reader’s interpretation. However, through the information and dialogue given, it is complicated to ignore the result that Hemingway was trying to achieve. He illustrates that a white elephant can be more than just an unwanted Christmas gift or a prized possession from Asia. A white elephant can sometimes be something unwanted, or a big topic that is felt between two people but is not wanted to discuss. Yet, without much discussion, Jig determines
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