Essay on Impending Decisions

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In Hills Like White Elephants, the short story written by Ernest Hemingway, we are taken to a train station where we eavesdrop on two individuals having drinks, engaged in an intense conversation. “Jig” and the American, the two main characters, sorrowfully discuss a difficult decision they have to make. The author uses symbolism to compare their situation to the sides of the hills that look like white elephants; one side with “no shade, and no trees” (1) and the other side with “fields of grain and trees.”(70) While the subject at hand is never directly mentioned it is plain to see that it is an unplanned burden carried by both of them. In his juxtaposition, Hemingway uses the side of the hill with no shade or trees to represent the…show more content…
Jig, like many women, has a deep desire to love and to be loved; this need is the primary factor for the decisions she makes in her life. This desire, though insatiable apart from God, is somewhat satisfied when she is around the American and she is therefore willing to do almost anything to keep him in her life. In the beginning of the story Jig refers to the hills as looking like white elephants. Jig is trying to look toward life optimistically, hopefully, and joyfully; however when their conversation is abruptly shifted from casual nonsense to the important issue at hand we quickly discover that Jig is not satisfied with the current way they have been living life and is in fact pessimistic toward their situation. She says sorrowfully “That’s all we do….look at things and try new drinks.” (33) This thought quickly raises the question that perhaps she desires to keep their child and settle down somewhere because she is tired of the current way they are living. Later, after the American mentions how they will be happy again after the abortion, Jig sarcastically replies that all her friends “were all so happy” (54) after their abortions. Through this statement and others like it, we can quickly see that Jig is against the idea of the abortion. However, toward the climax of the story the American
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