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"Hills Like White Elephants" By Ernest Hemmimgway

1034 words - 5 pages

In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" written by Ernest Hemingway, the two main characters find themselves in a moral dilemma in Catholic Spain. The girl is pregnant by her significant other the American. The American, who is nameless in this story, prefers the girl to have an abortion but she is not entirely convinced that an abortion would be the correct decision to make concerning the "future" of her child. The story simply illustrates the predicaments that can arise in a relationship.The story is being told through the conversations between the two main characters, the American and the girl. Conflict is created as the dialogue progresses and as these characters face what most ...view middle of the document...

His egocentricity is demonstrated in the following quotation: "You've got to realize...that I don't want you to do it if you don't want to. I'm perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you." (275) The man tries to sugarcoat his true feelings by making it sound as if his only aspiration for her is to do what she pleases. Although, when she asks him if it means anything to him, his immediate response is shown in this quote, "Of course it does. But I don't want anybody but you. I don't want anyone else. And I know it's perfectly simple" (277).He's obviously not the sole contributor to the communication breakdown in this relationship. The girl's persona only establishes that her weakness, inability to express her emotions, was evident very early on in the story. When the man takes the initiative and tries to direct the conversation to the abortion, her actions is portrayed in this quote, "The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on [and]...did not say anything" (275). Failure to assert her self-confidence is illustrated in this example, and it is further indicated by the frail hints of her desire to keep the baby "Once they take it away, you never get it back" (276). It is evident that she wanted to carry this child to term but she never expressed her desires to have the baby. She gives into his will over hers, contemplating the advantage of going back to the way things were, "Then I'll do it [have an abortion] because I don't care about me" (275). After a few failed attempts to convince the man to consider having the baby, she impatiently pleads him to refrain himself from talking any longer. The author utilizes her avoidance of the confrontation and denial of self-expression to put the reader under the impression that the girl's weak and dependent...

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