Analysis Of ' Hills Like White Elephants '

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C2C Eric J Holm
10 Dec 2015
Dr. Van Nort
Final Essay: “Hills Like White Elephants”
Jig’s Abortion through the Historical and Textual Lens “I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in” (Hemingway 213). In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” an abortion is debated through subtleties, similes, and symbols. The abortion is never explicitly mentioned, but instead Hemingway leaves the reader to conclude what this “simple operation” really is (213). With no decisive decision on the termination of the pregnancy revealed at the conclusion of the story, the reader is left to conjecture what decision, if any, Jig settled upon. Many critics are resolute in their reasoning that Jig would have the abortion performed, but a smaller population believes Jig decided to forgo the procedure. Through examination of the history of abortion as well as Hemingway’s personal history, his sympathy and respect towards women in “Hills Like White Elephants” and other writings, and textual analysis of symbols and word choice, it is evident that Jig resolves not to have the abortion. Abortion has been long been a subject of legal and moral controversy. Today, abortion is legal in 75% on the world and no less controversial (“Abortion Laws Worldwide”). In 1927, however, when “Hills Like White Elephants” was published, abortion was much more restricted. In the United States “nearly every state had antiabortion laws” by 1910 (Doan 51). Overseas,

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