Hills Like White Elephants. Essay

817 words - 4 pages

Hills like white Elephants
"Hills like white elephants", by Ernest Hemingway, is a story that takes place at a train station where a couple is discussing a life decision. The story doesn't clearly state what the couple is arguing about, but one can guess through the author's symbolism that it is about whether to have an abortion or not. The author shows how men and women relate through life's choices and consequences as well as through doubt and uncertainty. The story relates to both the 1900's as well as modern times. There is a lot of symbolism the author portrays using scenery to interpret most of the story in relation to the characters. One of the main characters, Jig, attempts to make ...view middle of the document...

The woman is not sure if abortion is possibly the right decision. "Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe" (Roberts 345). The girl views the child as a blessing and a great gift, while the American sees it as an expense and a burden. The hills themselves also offer some hints of symbolism in the story. The hills are shaped of a pregnant woman's belly. Jig could be seeing the hills as a child bearing woman lying on her back with her belly and breasts swollen because of the pregnancy. Clearly the couple sees different things. The final theme of the story is the relation between the couple, and their lack of communication. The American seems to be the one who wears the pants in the relationship since the woman seems to make every decision through him, and the fact that she keeps everything mostly bottled up inside from him. "Then what will we do afterward?" (Roberts 345). The woman clearly lets the man make future decisions without saying what she prefers. The man is shown as being selfish and irresponsible by starting this relationship and not giving the support Jig needs. The American sees life as being very straightforward and rational, while Jig considers it to be romantic and...

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