Hills Like White Elephants Essays

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    “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.

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    One of the most notable facets of “Hills Like White Elephants” is the use of repetition within the dialogue. With the story running at barely two thousand words, the repetition of these key phrases stands out among the dialogue. The phrase from which the title comes from, “like white elephants”, reoccurs five times within the text. In cultural context, an elephant in the room is an idiom for a burden or an issue at hand that no one wants to discuss.

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    One of the most notable facets of “Hills Like White Elephants” is the repetition of sentences throughout the short story. With the story running at barely two thousand words, the repetition of these key phrases stands out among the dialogue. The phrase from which the title comes from, “like white elephants”, reoccurs five times within the text. In cultural context, an elephant in the room is an idiom for a burden or an issue at hand that no one wants to discuss.

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    According to the woman the hills, “‘Look like white elephants,’ she said. ‘I’ve never seen one’, the man drank his beer.” (p 1) This remark the woman gives, which seems rather random at first, acts like a pivot to talk about an issue. However, the man's response to her remark is an indication that the comparison of the hills and the white elephants are only the tip of the iceberg to the predicaments in the relationship.

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    Selfish Acts Ernest Hemingway’s story “Hills like White Elephants” and T. Coraghessan Boyle’s story “The Love of My Life” both tell their story differently but both has something in common; abortion. “Hills like White Elephants” is about how the American wants an abortion, however the girl is unsure whether she should abort the baby or not. “The Love of My Life” is about a young couple who claims they were so in love but fell apart when they made a mistake. “Hills like White Elephants” and “The Love of My Life” both talks about abortion but both had an different approach throughout the story. “Hills like White Elephant” is a simile and the title means that the couple had an unwanted pregnancy.

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    “They look like white elephants” (Hemingway 75) is one of the first lines in Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants”. The story is about a man and a woman sitting waiting for a train, and they are discussing if the woman should get an abortion or not. They had differing opinions on this topic. The reason for the discussion was never said during the story, so the reader had to rely on symbols to determine what was happening. This story is important because he symbol of the white elephant, and the theme of fighting between what someone wants and what they love, as well as the feeling never being able to go back drove the story.

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    “Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story written by the American author Ernest Hemingway. The story was first published in 1927 in the experimental literary journal transition and later on during the same year in the second collection of short stories written by Hemingway called Men Without Women. Ernest Hemingway is regarded as one of the most important writers of the 20th century and most of his works are considered as classics of American literature. After a first read of the short story “Hills Like White Elephants”, the reader can clearly see that Hemingway entwined some autobiographical components into the story, especially his lifelong difficulty to engage in meaningful relationships with women in particular.

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    Using the term "White elephant" in the title of the story is what first grabs your attention to some kind of issue the two will be having. The saying "white elephant" refers to “a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of", that being a baby between Jig and the American. Thinking about their relationship, there is additionally a connection to be made that they once had an easy and outgoing relationship but is presently going to be a very costly one to keep if they so choose so. The couple is in between two different train lines, one line conveying to prepare from Barcelona to Madrid and the other racing to some mysterious area.

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    A white elephant symbolizes something unwanted. It could also have roots in “elephant in the room”, an English metaphorical idiom for an extremely obvious problem that nobody wants to discuss. As the conversation between the two begins to unfold, the girl makes a comment the surrounding hills “look like white elephants” (Mays, 2014, p. 115). It seems to be a casual and spontaneous remark, but it actually serves as the onset to their discussion about an operation, which is believed to be an abortion. It can be presumed that the girl’s comment about the hills hints to the unborn child which refers to the “something unwanted” which they do not want to discuss.

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    According to the woman the hills, “Look like white elephants,” (p 1) which seems rather random at first, but in fact, acts like a pivot to talk about an issue. However, the American responds, “‘I’ve never seen one.” (p 1), which indicates the comparison of the hills and the white elephants are only the tip of the iceberg to the predicaments in the relationship. White elephants can be understood as two things: first, it is a reference to the idiom ‘an elephant in the room’ meaning something is being purposely ignored and later on, it refers to the idiom ‘white elephant’ meaning something unwanted despite its high value. The moment the change occurs is when the woman states, “‘They’re lovely hills...

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    “Avoiding the White Elephant” In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemmingway, a girl and an American man in a romantic relationship are at a crossroads, both as the setting, and in their romantic relationship. The American man and girl have been nomadic together as a romantic couple, but at the current moment the two are stagnate arguing. When the two start downing alcohol, it becomes clearer that the girl is pregnant and the man is inclined in favor of her to get an abortion, though neither ever directly speaks the issue. The two remain to argue around the obvious issue at hand, the girl remarks on the barren but beautiful white hills around them and the alcohol they are drinking, the man is persistent to reach agreement

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    The first words exchanged between the man and the woman suggests that she is upset with him. Her comment to his response of having never seen a white elephant, “No, you wouldn’t have”, is rude. There was not a reason for her to be rude like that. He ignores her snarky comment and order a new beer for them to try. This is when the tension between the couple becomes more noticeable.

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    It is a sensitive topic and may even not be accepted in society. The woman is apprehensive and does not know what will happen next if she does decide to get an abortion (Norton). The relationship between the characters shows that the woman depends on the man’s approval but also seeks acceptance and

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    Shortly after the girl mentions that the hills outside look like white elephants, 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?” This passage is about halfway through the story. At this point of the story, the woman is disregarding her observation that the hills around them look like white elephants. She is also placing emphasis on the fact that she may want to keep the child, rather than having the abortion. The boyfriend says that he will support the woman’s decision, but it is clear that he truly wants her to have the abortion.

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    1. Giving birth to a child is a girl’s happiest moment. However, sometimes things don’t go as they are expected to go. Sometimes for some reasons girl’s have to go through abortion. In the story, “Hills Like White Elephants”, the man seems to want the girl to have an abortion as he says, “They just let air in…”(205)

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    On one side of the train track the landscape is “brown and dry” (Hemingway 123) and the other side is green and has rivers and mountains. The discussion that the man and girl are having is whether or not she wants to and will have an abortion. When the girl mentions the landscape she expresses that by going through with the abortion and trying to “drift through life they are choosing emotional and spiritual desiccation” (Holladay) meaning life will not be the same after it, therefore the dull and dead side of the track represents the abortion while the other side represents keeping the baby because it is obvious that the girl does not want to have an abortion as much as the man does. In the same way that the baby will be alive if she chooses not to abort it the green side of the track is lively and if she aborts the baby the baby will be dead just like the dead side of the track.

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    The theme “coming of age”, can be described as the protagonist’s psychological and moral journey to define oneself. Through this process they become more awake to limitations, more realistic, and more mature. In the beginning of both stories, the protagonists are illustrated as sensitive and perhaps weak. It is clear in Hemingway’s,

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    Jig’s Hidden Strength Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is a controversial piece of literature, both in content and the way it is written. The piece contains lots of dialogue and symbolism; it is in no way blunt or obvious, not even the ending. It is only through careful observation that it becomes clear that the main characters, an American man and his female companion named Jig, are arguing about an abortion. The story has been interpreted many times, and a multitude of explanations for the ending have been proposed.

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    By using a limiting third person point of view that consists mostly of dialogue, Hemingway creates an obstacle as there is no 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 mountain. One of the most notable facets of “Hills Like White Elephants” is the repetition of sentences throughout the short story. With the story running at barely two thousand words, the repetition of these key phrases stands out among the dialogue. The phrase from which the title comes from, “like white elephants”, reoccurs five times within the text.

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    Hemingway's Femme Fatale

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    Furthermore in his novel "Hills Like White Elephants", Hemingway portrays young, innocent girl, unaware of the dangers of this modern society. She gets pregnant by a 'macho man ' who is ignorant of the situation, forcing her to get an abortion. Through his character, Hemingway makes us aware of the concepts of cynicism, ignorance and masculinity. Maybe this is an introspective of Hemingway 's madness? He is consumed with anger toward women, that he would even leave an innocent young girl out in a world; all alone with an innocent fetus on the

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