Hills Like White Elephants Literary Analysis

Decent Essays
Ernest Hemingway’s stories are known for their ever interpreting meanings behind them, and “Hills Like White Elephants” does not trail from the rest due to the never mentioned word ‘abortion’. “Hills Like White Elephants,” written by Ernest Hemingway, takes place around World War 1 in Spain, at a train station ("Hills Like White Elephants." 4). An American man and a girl have been discussing the girl’s unspecific operation. It is apparent that the girl feels uneasy about this operation while the man continually pushes the topic. Despite the fact that Hemingway never spells out what the type of operation they are discussing, critics and readers believe the operation has something to do with an abortion. These perceptions occur because of the heavily present symbolism. Within “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway uses short and concise sentences filled with symbolism which allows the readers to interpret his writing. The common interpretations involved with this specific piece are if the girl had an abortion or if she decided to keep the baby. Although, Hemingway does not forthcomingly say if she had an abortion, the symbols, such as the white elephants, the recurring number two, and the setting, help form the idea that she did not end up having the abortion. As to the lack of detail in “Hills Like White Elephants,” critics and readers disagree on if the couple had the abortions; however with close examination of the short story and research, it remains clear that the
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