Hills Like White Elephants Analysis

Decent Essays

A Life or Death Decision How difficult is it to make a decision that could potentially ruin one’s life? Ernest Hemingway’s explores this question in his short story, “Hills Like White Elephants.” The story is a concise conversation between an “American man” and a girl. The names of the characters as well as their relationship status remain unknown. For the entirety of the short story, the characters sit in a train station perturbed about making a decision on a potential operation of the girl. The man and the girl go back and forth contesting what they should do about the operation. The story ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the reader unaware of the girl’s final resolution. In Hemingway’s short story, “Hills Like White Elephants,” his use of symbols, innuendos, and dialogue create a high level of tension for the man and the girl which ultimately conveys the difficulty of the decision that the couple must make together. Throughout the story, the man and the girl drink alcohol to deivert them from dealing with their problems. Every time the couple gets closer to deciding what to do about the operation, one of them suggests that they get another beer. In the story, the man says, “I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do.” The girl answers with “Nor that isn’t good for me” and the man replies “Could we have another beer?” (Hemingway 125). The alcohol is their escape from reality. It calms them and helps them avoid the situation at hand. The alcohol may have

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