Communication Is Key Essay

1209 words - 5 pages

Communication is Key
Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway is a short story about a couple contemplating on whether or not to have an abortion. The two are at a train station drinking beer and waiting for their train to come. In the story, the man wants the girl to get an abortion saying it will be an easy and quick procedure. However, the readers can tell that the girl is not too fond of the idea of getting an abortion. Throughout the story the couple tries to talk about the problem but their conversation seems to go nowhere. They go back and forth saying that they just want the other one to be happy. There is an irony in the story of these two characters as their ...view middle of the document...

A personal conversation should not take place in a public setting. In this story the couple had this serious conversation in a public train station. They were obviously not comfortable expressing themselves at the bar. They get up and walk around but overall they keep avoiding the conversation. The woman changes the subject multiple times by describing the scenery. The irony in this is that she describes all these features that symbolize unity, but in reality their relationship is going in the opposite direction of unity. They would have been better off having this conversation in private. The bar tender keeps coming out and giving them more beer and reminding them how much time they have until the train will arrive. This interrupts their conversation multiple times. The conversation they have is very vague due to the fact that they cannot come right out and say that they are talking about an abortion. They cannot have the public hearing that they are thinking about an abortion, so that particular word is never mentioned. Hemingway expresses the importance of how location and setting is important in conversations. For an effective conversation to take place, a private location is important.
In order to have an effective conversation the individuals must allow themselves with the appropriate amount of time to do so. If an issue is at hand, then the conversation is not over unless the issue is resolved. In this story, the couple was waiting for their train to come. The readers had the feeling that the conversation was rushed due to this fact. They should have addressed the issue much earlier. There was a “sense of urgency” due to the fact that the train was “five minutes away” and the couple still had not come up with their decision (Nagal). Eventually the train comes and the couple board the train and go on their separate ways. They never actually came up with a decision on whether or not to get an abortion but it is clear to the readers that each of the characters had made up their minds. They could not communicate with each other and come up with an appropriate solution so the relationship was terminated. Even though this story took place in a very short amount of time there is a lot of information given to the readers. The importance of communication is overlooked by these two characters through the lack of taking the time to address the issue. Hemingway used this sense of urgency to express that a conversation is delicate and requires the appropriate amount of time to be discussed. ...

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