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Gender Devices In Hills Like White Elephants

Decent Essays
After reading both “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, and “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses” by Irwin Shaw, at first glance both stories appear to be quite different but, these two stories share the same theme: the male-female miscommunication issues. In addition, the reader becomes aware of the similarities between the two stories which are implied in the setting, conversation, and characters. The setting of the two stories, is similar in that it presents the gradual sequences of the plot, and the deterioration of the couple's relationship. In “Hills Like White Elephants”, the setting represents a junction in the relationship between the couple: “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this…show more content…
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.…show more content…
Both stories are pictures of significant moments in a relationship. In addition, it is notable that both stories share the idea of open communication and honesty in order to have a healthy relationship. Each story unfolds male and female attitudes towards different issues, as in “Hills Like White Elephants” towards the unborn child, and in “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses” towards looking on other women. Although Jig and Frances, are two different women facing a conflict, but subsequently they reject their male partner at the end. In addition, the American and Michael who play the role of inconsiderate side in the relationship have portrayed masculine control over women. On the one hand, the reader encounters different relationships, but on the other hand, both stories lack commitment. Hemingway and Shaw illustrate that both partnerships based on mutual relationships, sharing and caring for each other can establish strong and successful
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