Literary Analysis Paper from Feminist Perspective
Ernest Hemingway” Hills Like White Elephants”
Professor B. Campbell
South University Online
August 13, 2011
Hills Like White Elephants
This assignment is to be based on a feminist point of view regarding the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. This was written during an era of 1920’s perhaps when women didn’t have much say so. The role the woman or perhaps young girl played in this story is in fact inexperienced and traveling with an American man whom makes all the decisions for her, emotionally, sexually, and financially. This character Jig is dependent on this man for everything, and has no real identity of her own; she needs his approval for his ...view middle of the document...
He manipulated her by saying “I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to”.
The American has the power because she willingly does what she thinks will make him happy, and no disregard for her own feelings or for her unborn child’s life. Hemingway used this older man to give this young girl guidance and protection in a father figure way, her age is unknown but she was easily persuaded to do what was best for him and not them as a couple or even a family. He proclaimed to love her and yet she still questioned that because she asked him “And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me? Deep down inside she was scared and had no idea what to do and the American knew this.
The representation of the couple reflect the 1920’s during a place and time when a woman did as requested by the dominant male in the relationship and no questions were asked. Hemingway wrote from a non-feminist point of view. And this work also reflects his multiple marriages and possibility of not wanting any more children himself.
In this story being a woman meant you were there for sexual pleasure and your opinion really doesn’t matter but; multiple statements are made to make it seem like you have a choice when in fact, you are afraid to lose the man you love, and give up the baby conceived while enjoying your most intimate moments with someone. The mere essence of this is she loses in both aspects she will still have the man, but when the abortion is done, will she really feel the same way about him and the decision she made; will it ultimately be enough for her to continue to love him?
Baker, Carlos. Hemingway, Oxford University Press 1952
A Feminist Approach To “Hills Like White Elephants” 2004 May 11