Elephants, specifically white elephants, the Bible, and the beautiful red bud of a blooming rose, all have a similar meaning. The answer to the meaning of these material objects would be curtains, tall and wide mountains like the Appalachians, and trains. These may just be material objects, but the allegory, or symbolism, is alive and useful in both history and present day. "Hills Like White Elephants", "A Rose For Emily", and "Where Are You Going, Where have you been?" are all fictional short stories, with numerous amounts of allegory, or symbolism, to be analyzed by the use of quotes from each story, and all with both a short term symbolic meaning and a long term overall theme.
I was intrigued by all of the symbolism in “Hills Like White Elephants”. At first, I did not realize the symbolic meaning of these material objects, but did further research to find out. The beaded curtain doesn’t have the best meaning today, but along with the train track and the hills they all mean the same thing. Jig (a dance, and also a black person), the beaded curtain, the tracks, the hills, could all mean BOUNDARIES. Ernest Hemingway writes, “Well, let’s try and have a fine time. All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright? That was bright” (312). The girl and the woman were discussing if the girl wanted water in her alcoholic drink. She did not know what she wanted so she tried. She goes on to say how nasty the drink tasted, which is replied
Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" relies on symbolism to carry the theme of either choosing to live selfishly and dealing with the results, or choosing a more difficult and selfless path and reveling in the rewards. The symbolic materials and the symbolic characters aid the reader's understanding of the subtle theme of this story. The hills symbolize two different decisions that the pregnant girl in our story is faced with. Both hills are completely opposite of each other, and each "hill" or decision has a consequence that is just as different as the appearance of the hills.
Ernest Miller Hemingway is known for his unique style and theories of writing, especially the iceberg theory. In the Death of the Afternoon, Hemingway says that “The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.” (92) Simple words, vivid images, rich emotions and deep thoughts are the four basic elements of the iceberg theory. Talk about how these stories illustrate four elements of theory. In both short stories, Hemingway describes scenery and characters with simple words directly to give readers a vivid image. Under this sketch, readers can know characters’ emotion and get the theme through their imagination and analysis.
What is the purpose of the trip the two travelers are taking? (The narrator never tells us, but the careful reader can deduce this with relative certainty.)
Ernest Hemmingway uses time, place, and symbolism in "Hills like White Elephants" to intensify the central dilemma in a story about a man and a woman deciding on whether to go through with an abortion. Although a literal reading of the title may not seem to have any relation to the story, the title is rich in implications. Critics suggest that "Hills" refers to the shape of a woman's stomach when pregnant, and Webster's 21st Century Dictionary defines white elephant as: "[An] awkward, useless possession." The term is also defined in Webster's as an item that is worthless to some but priceless to others. According to Victor Lindsey, the child in the story is a white elephant in the view of the man, who is trying to convince the girl to
“Hills Like White Elephants” displays the differences in how a man and a woman may view pregnancy and abortion. Jig, a woman, sees pregnancy as a beautiful aspect in life. Hemingway uses symbolism in the couple’s conversation to imply the woman’s pregnancy. The woman refers to the nearby hills on the train platform as elephants; “They look like white elephants”. She compares the hills to her own situation, pregnancy; “They’re lovely hills. They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.”
To begin with, Hemingway utilizes the symbolism of the “white elephants” and the “railroad station” to illustrate the difficulties of decision making in a relationship. The couple was at a train station waiting, while talking about the “operation” that the American wants the girl to have. In the first paragraph it quotes, “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun.” Within this sentence, Hemingway creates the comparison of the “hills” to the “long and white” traits of a
The hidden meaning and context behind the white elephant symbol increases as the conflict and discussion over the pregnancy develops, and, historically, the gift of white elephants are rare, sacred, and pure, just like pregnancy and children. It is also a very prominent and abrasive story for modern day society. We are at a time in history where immoral sexual behavior and the regularness of abortion have become a normal day to day occurrence; which are all perfectly wrapped up and described in this
In this story, the white elephant is the pregnancy that the girl dealing with. Thinking as a psychologist one may as if Hemingway experienced a similar problem like this in his own life? Hilary K. Justice says, “These open questions seem rather disparate at first glance, but Hilary K. Justice has taken a significant step toward unifying, them by following what she calls the "signpost `To Biography'" (30)--the story's dedicatory inscription--and pointing out that Hemingway used abortion as a metaphor for threats to his relationship with his second wife.”(Wyche) He never compares the hill to an elephant specifically by saying that “the hills look like white elephants,” however he says “hills like white elephants.”(Link) In the short story Hills like White Elephants, repetition, the train station, landscape and the white elephant are more than symbols it helps define the scenery and importance consequences that come with decision
Ernest Hemingway penned a short story titled, “Hills Like White Elephants.” The story takes place at a train station in Spain and depicts a troublesome dilemma for the two main characters. The story begins with the characters casually discussing what kind of beer to partake in; the tone quickly shifts when the man mentions a surgery to his female friend, Jig. The reader is left to infer that the two characters are discussing an abortion. Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism throughout the story so the reader can delve into a deeper meaning without the ensnarement of excessive emotion. Throughout the story, Hemingway uses several examples of symbolism to depict Jig’s inner struggle with the decision she is faced to make.
Throughout the story, Hemingway incorporates various themes for the reader to take away from the reading. The relationship between the man and the girl exemplifies the theme of man and woman, as well as the theme of decision and indecision. Hemingway depicts this relationship and life together as the train that the couple is waiting for. According to the University of Michigan website, “Train symbolism is related to social life, destiny, journey, and fatalism (“Train”). In “Hills Like White Elephants,” the train represents the journey of life, with or without the unborn child. Together, the decisions of either choosing life for the child or
The use of symbolism in Hemingway’s, Hills like white elephants, provides the reader with situations a couple may face at least once in their life. There are many symbols within this short story, some more complex than others. Knowing the different symbols, can ultimately lead up to the discovery of the real meaning in the story. Hemingway never gives us an easy explanation in this story, forcing the reader to make wild assumptions. Since this story requires readers to read between the lines and think more complex, Hemingway gives us symbols so readers can understand the overall meaning of the story. Hemingway points out many of the symbols used by mainly repetition, which make them very important. Some symbolism shown in this story is: the white elephants, the train station, and scenery.
“The Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story that is about an American man and a girl called Jig. They are sitting at a table outside a train station, waiting for a train to Madrid. While they wait they order drinks and have a heated ongoing conversation over whether or not Jig will have an operation that would be of great significance to their relationship. “The Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway has two important symbols in the story, the hills and the drinks both of which help to give us a better understanding of what is going on between the American and his girl.
In “Hills Like White Elephants”, symbolism is extremely essential to the theme and impact the story has. Symbolism in literature is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. This story in particular drips with rich symbols that relate fully to the many problems this issue the American man and his girlfriend are discussing. Using context clues, one can infer that topic the couple are discussing in the hot, Spanish train junction is abortion, as the man states, “‘It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig’” (192). This couple has been leading a reckless and adventurous life, traveling across Europe together without a care in the world and certainly not taking caution in anything they do. That’s why they are facing this issue. At the beginning of the story, when they first sit down in the cafe at the train junction, the man orders beer
Symbolically, “Hills like White Elephants” represents a choice. It is a life choice that can’t be undone once it is made. This choice is about whether or not Jig, the female character of the story, should get an abortion. It supports the theme because if Jig chooses to keep the baby she is defying the wishes of her male partner, who is simply referred to as “the man,” and taking a stand for women by doing so. However it is not entirely clear what choice she makes at the end of the story. Her only words being, “I feel fine…There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine” (216). The interpretation some people take for this is that she decided to keep the baby and chose to defy male domination.