Analysis Of Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway

2013 Words9 Pages
Ernest Hemingway was a towering figure in 20th century American literature, known mostly for his larger-than-life persona and for his simple, declarative style of writing. The latter arguably won him a Nobel Prize, and also influenced possibly an entire generation of aspiring writers who came after him. Hemingway’s short and economical style is perhaps best displayed in his earlier work, most notably in his short stories, and one of his earliest, and most famous, short stories is “Hills Like White Elephants.” The story is about two people who are simply referred to as ‘the American’ and ‘the girl,’ at a train station, waiting to catch the next express to Barcelona; they have drinks as they wait and they talk about the seemingly mundane,…show more content…
Once this is established, things become a little clearer as to why the girl is conflicted and in discomfort. Though her age, along with the American’s or any other character, is not specifically known, given that she is simply referred to as ‘the girl’--sometimes ‘Jig’ as well, but this seems to be more of a pet-name or nickname than an actual name--one can assume that she is relatively young, possibly naive, and may be entering into the pinnacle of her womanhood. Although there is no description or extensive detail in the story to solidify this interpretation of the girl, generic names like ‘woman’ and ‘girl’ have great connotation, and should be taken into earnest consideration while reading “Hills Like White Elephants.” Very little is said in Hemingway’s story, but one is still able to assume that the girl’s discomfort comes the serious situation she is in, namely having to face the prospect of pregnancy and abortion, which is something far more complex than simply letting “the air in.” Due to any and all the factors that come into play when one is placed in such a situation, age being a notable one here, the girl may not feel ready to have or even want a child, but what is more clearly known in the story is that these thoughts are never fully able to surface and be discussed, largely because of the American’s abundant
Open Document