Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway and Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood

639 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
“Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “Happy Endings” by Margaret Atwood share a gender-oriented theme. They both show women struggling to attain equality against their male partners. This theme is depicted through the use of symbolism, point of view and plot conflict. Symbolically, “Hills like White Elephants” represents a choice. It is a life choice that can’t be undone once it is made. This choice is about whether or not Jig, the female character of the story, should get an abortion. It supports the theme because if Jig chooses to keep the baby she is defying the wishes of her male partner, who is simply referred to as “the man,” and taking a stand for women by doing so. However it is not entirely clear what choice she makes at the end of the story. Her only words being, “I feel fine…There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine” (216). The interpretation some people take for this is that she decided to keep the baby and chose to defy male domination. In “Happy Endings” the main symbols are how the relationships end –be it cheating, age, or health complications. Cheating is symbolic of the relationship being dominated by only one person involved in it. Age is symbolic of both partners sharing or being equal in the relationship. Lastly health complications are a way of saying that fate, be it good or bad, can be involved, or that not everything works out according to plan. These are all related to the idea that by placing a dominant person in the relationship

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