“Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway, is a short story published in 1927 that takes place in a train station in Spain with a man and a woman discussing an operation. Most of the story is simply dialogue between the two characters, the American and Jig. This couple is at a critical point in their lives when they must decide whether or not to have an abortion. Certain themes arise from this story such as choices and consequences, doubt and ambiguity, and how men and women relate. Hemingway also uses many examples of symbolism in “Hills Like White Elephants”, including descriptions of the surrounding scenery, the hills themselves, and the station where the action takes place.
Hills Like White Elephants, written by Ernest Hemingway, is an extremely creative short story. Hemingway uses many figurative elements within the story to paint a picture in our mind of what is occurring. He challenges the reader to solve the riddle about the “white elephant”. Hemingway uses diction,dialogue, and symbolism to allow the reader to experience the hidden figurative language within the short story
“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.”
In the story, “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway tells a dialogue story of a woman named Jig and the American man who is waiting at the train station for their ride to Madrid. Jig and the American man are having a casual conversation about the scenery that the nearby hills look like white elephants. Then, there conversation turns serious as they talk about their relationship and their future unborn child. In Ernest Hemingway’s story the character’s conversation is important because it represents the lifestyle of a carefree life of an adult, the decisions of their actions, and their unplan future.
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.
“Hills Like White Elephants” tells a story of a man and woman sitting at station waiting on a train to take them to Madrid. The story is told from the narrator’s point of view. There are two main characters. The man is referred to as the American and the woman is called Jig. The man is the antagonist and the protagonist is Jig. The story is more about Jig and her current situation. There is very little information given about the characters but the reader is told that Jig is going to Madrid to have an operation but only hints about the type of operation. The reader is led to believe Jig is going to have an abortion. In the short story “Hills like White Elephants”, the author Ernest Hemingway portrays “Jig”, the protagonist as a mixture
Close interpretation of the story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway leads the reader to an issue that has plagued society for decades. Understanding of the human condition is unveiled in the story line, the main setting, and through the character representation. The main characters in the story are an American man and a female named Jig. The conflict about abortions is an issue that still faces society today. Architectural and atmospheric symbolisms are used to set the mood and outline the human condition. The love bond between the man and Jig is strong; however, the more powerful bond between Jig and her unborn child is sacred.
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
Thus, this simple structure offers an intriguing and vague conversation between two that collaborates the reader in the character's behavior, thinking, and feelings. Although Hemingway uses short phrases, implicit sentences presented by the girl, and symbolism. According to Smiley, “The dialogue contains the essence of the story's power; for to read Jig's and the American conversation is to recognize the powerless frustration of parallel interchanges” (2). And Shaw uses complex sentences and long descriptions presented by Michael. Both stories share the crux of male-female miscommunication, and the conversation is tense, blended with irony. In “Hills Like White Elephants” in the beginning of the story, the girl takes the initiative to speak, which leads to the discussion: “'What should we drink?'” the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” The reader perceives the hat as a symbol of exposing her readiness to discuss something. Besides, she opens the crucial issue in an implicit way when she describes the “hills like white elephants”. This metaphorical phrase presents two different approaches to the pregnancy. In addition, it suggests her imaginative way of thinking: she relates to the hills, as the physical shape of her pregnancy. The American man, seems manipulative and averts responsibility. In addition, his speech is scientific and unimaginative.
In “Hills like White Elephant” Hemingway never clearly states anything about the characters, their relationship or their dilemma. Symbolism is key in this story and Hemingway uses it to give just the right amount of information to the reader. “Hills like White Elephant” keeps the reader engaged because to truly understand the story we have to interpret the symbols and draw our own conclusions. The story is about a couple, an American man and his partner Jig, who are waiting for their train at a small railway station in Spain. They are at a bar, drinking beer and arguing about an operation. They never say what the operation is, but through symbols and their conversation the reader can deduce that they are debating about an
In “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, the author utilizes various fictional elements to provide his readers with the information necessary to further explore and discover the depth of the short story’s significance. The story is set up as a dialogue between two characters, the American and Jig. The American has gotten Jig pregnant and the two are debating on whether or not to keep the baby, and inevitably become parents, or have an abortion and try to rehabilitate their relationship. Having to make a decision will have an impact on each of the characters and their lives, but most importantly Jig. Through setting, symbols, and characterization, Hemingway provides his readers with the essentials needed to effectively analyze how Jig’s character transforms from an accommodating young girl into an independent woman with maternal instincts as a result of the couple’s unplanned predicament.
A more significant literary element that the author uses is symbolism, which plays a big role in Hemingway’s story. As mentioned previously, one of them are the sides of the hills which represent life and death. Another form of symbolism found in the story is written in the title, “Hills like white elephants.” The man and girl’s conversation basically starts when the girl mentions that the hills look like white elephants. This could represent the idea of abortion. It’s referenced as an elephant like in the common saying “ the elephant in the room” which makes the topic of abortion a big, obvious topic that the couple has to talk about, but tries to avoid by drinking beer (5). As the girl observes the hills more, she realizes that they don’t really look like white elephants, so not everything is what you perceive it to be at first glance. Thereafter, she sees the two sides of the hills and realizes that having the baby wouldn’t be so bad, as she admires the fertile fields of grains and trees on one side. Naturally, the man who wants her to have the abortion says “It really an awfully simple operation,” but the girl realizes that it is not that simple (6). In addition, the man says that they could have everything if she has the abortion, however the girl argues that they cannot, because she can never take back the baby that she will lose if she undergoes the operation. To specify, she
In “Hills Like White Elephants” Hemingway exceeds the boundaries of literature. He provides no clear resolution or climax. The reader becomes unaware of the narrator, only knowing what is said or described within the bare minimum of context. The short story seemingly only makes sense after multiple reads and in conversation with other readers. Each time leads to further interpretation. Its illusion is a simplistic dialogue that Hemingway exhibits. But, the subject upon closer observation is far more complex than just physical appearances. The individual is capable of inner turmoil under the scrutiny of simple actions.
In the short story by Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants," a couple is delayed at a train station en route to Madrid and is observed in conflict over the girl's impending abortion. In his writing, Hemingway does not offer any commentary through a specific character's point of view, nor, in the storytelling, does he offer his explicit opinions on how to feel or think about the issues that emerge. The narrative seems to be purely objective, somewhat like a newspaper or journal article, and in true Hemingway form the story ends abruptly, without the couple's conflict clearly being resolved. The ambiguity of the ending has been a subject of much debate; however, the impact of what is not said in words can be gleaned through the
In “Hills Like White Elephants”, Hemingway describes characters little. This short story basically consists of a dialogue between a man and a woman. In the short story, Hemingway barely provides the information of characters so that this short story can be generalized in one sentence: a man and a woman are waiting for the train to Madrid on the roadside. Because of the hot weather, they keep drinking beer, while discussing an operation. Actually, in this novel, characters are always talking about this vital operation. This operation exists as