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Abortion In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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Dictionary.com defines "white elephant" as “a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of”. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, a couple grapples with a white elephant of their own – a pregnancy. The man, who has no name, is trying to convince his spouse, Jig, to have an abortion. It is very easy for the reader to think that the man does not care about the girl because of this, but if the reader digs deeper into his tone, one will find that he does care. The man cares about the girl in the short story and wants to have a happy life with her. The man shows he just wants to be happy with her by telling her everything will be fine after the operation. Before the pregnancy issue came up, they were just a regular couple with nothing to lose. This is evident when the girl says, “if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me” (116). The reader can also see that the girl does not want to break up with him. The reader can tell that before this incident, they were an easy-going, fun-loving couple. Their habit of drinking shows their laid-back nature. The very first piece of dialogue starts out with the question, “what should we drink” (115), showing that them being drunk and having fun is the foundation of their bond, and this pregnancy is a hindrance to the dynamic of their relationship. The dynamic of their relationship is what the man is desperately trying to preserve. It is easy to
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