Ernest Hemingway 's Hills Like White Elephant

1237 WordsOct 3, 20175 Pages
Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephant is about a couple, the American and a female named Jig debating about an operation Jig should have. Throughout the story, Jig is distant, the American is rational. Although the story never explicitly states what it is that the couple is arguing, if you really think about it, you’d realize that the tough situation where they are trying to make a decision, keeping their unborn child or having an abortion based on several different suggestions described. The reader must interpret their dialogue and body language to infer their backgrounds and their attitudes with respect to the situation at hand, and their attitudes toward one another. What the American thinks is best solution to their pregnancy,…show more content…
There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights". Their relationship is just that: nights, sexual, passionate yet meaningless. The writes uses symbolism to hint that the American is pro-abortion while Jig is anti. Even the title, "Hills Like White Elephants" is a symbol that Jig does not want to have the baby. The "Hills" can refer to the shape of a pregnant women 's belly. A white elephant is an unwanted gift, which is now the modern day meaning of a white elephant. She relates the hills to her own situation, pregnancy. "They 're lovely hills. They really don 't look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.” She wanted to believe that pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, and she doesn’t see the need to get rid of it. The American thinks they should go through the abortion because it would affect their relationship. He wants the relationship to remain the same, and that having a baby could ruin the relationship. Jig sees her baby or pregnancy as hills like white elephants because she sees the baby as something valuable but undesired. The conflict of responsibility is the theme of “Hills like White Elephants.” The characters in the short story have to make the decision whether or not Jig should have an abortion. Jig feels as though she needs to be responsible and not let her emotions get in the way of making the decision. Jig
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