Critical Analysis Of Hills Like White Elephants

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Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” portrays a young couple on a standstill about a major decision at a rest stop. The American man and young girl are embarking on a journey to complete an operation that will result in a life-altering outcome for the couple. Hemingway conveys the turbulent nature of any relationship and how poor communication could push partners on opposite spectrums through the initial hesitance the girl possesses, the American man’s unwavering determination, her response to his feelings on the situation and the open-ended conclusion to the story. Hemingway was a brilliant writer for his time that published many pieces that are still relevant to this day. He struggled with depression and ultimately took his own life in 1961. His story “Hills Like White Elephants” opens to a couple at a rest stop where it is revealed that they were planning to have an abortion when the young girl begins to voice her doubts. The story follows the transgression of the discussion that takes on a sour note when neither are able to come to a decision. The initial hesitance from the girl was a clear sign that there were issues that she wanted to address, but was reluctant to voice it - resulting in some conflict within the relationship. Since the two are already on their way to complete the operation, it’s not that much of a reach to assume that she was okay with undergoing the procedure at first. In turn, this may indicate that the issue was already spoken of briefly and they settled on the decision and mid-way through she began to have second thoughts. The girl gives an insight on her psyche as she begins, “They don’t really look like white elephants. I meant the coloring of their skin through the trees” (445). Her initial reaction to the white hills indicated that she didn’t want the pregnancy because in a literary context, a white elephant symbolizes a possession that the owner has that is unwanted. But after a drink, her view on the hill changes much like her view on the pregnancy. This allows the readers to deduce her hesitance to follow through with the procedure. As she begins to reevaluate her options, her lover has a contrasting opinion towards the topic altogether. The American
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