Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway

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The difference in genders and how each one views the other has always been a controversial subject. Men are stereotyped as being irresponsible and scared of commitment. Women are seen as manipulative and bossy. It has become a kind of accepted fact that most, if not all, people measure up to these understood behaviors. Ernest Hemingway weaves both of these stereotypes into his short story “Hills Like White Elephants.” The story’s plot revolves around a couple arguing about whether or not to have an abortion. In Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” a theme of male domination can be found, but by examining the dialogue closely, a theme of females asserting their will and manipulating emerges as well. Male domination is the primary and most obvious theme in “Hills Like White Elephants.” During the first reading of the short story the reader’s focus is on deciding what the couple is arguing about: abortion. In “Hills Like White Elephants”, found in the book Introduction to Literature, the man says to Jig, “I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in” (62). It is through this comment that the reader infers that it is an abortion the couple is discussing. The dialogue found in the short story revolves around the American man trying to convince Jig that the operation is easy and many people have gotten it done. He argues that those who have had the operation done are now happy. Male domination can be seen through this when the man
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