Poor Communication In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

Decent Essays
Communication is essential in exchanging and sharing information within any society. A world without communication is one without clarity and unity among people. This idea is shown in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway, through the protagonists, a girl and her American boyfriend, who are continuously conflicted over a decision of having their baby aborted due to the lack of communication between them. In addition, the short story “Little Things,” by Raymond Carver reveals another couple struggling to communicate with one another over who gets their child. Both Hemingway and Carver utilize characterization to demonstrate the theme that poor communication only leads to bigger problems and never resolves anything. Characterization is used in “Hill Like White Elephants” to reveal the theme of poor communication leading to more issues. When the American reassured the girl that the operation was extremely simple by stating, “‘It's really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It's not really an operation at all’ … The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on” (Hemingway). The girl’s lack of response towards the man shows a lack of communication between the two characters. She looks down at the ground as a way to avoid the topic of abortion rather than facing it and deciding what she believed was truly the best choice. As the quote shows that the man is being assertive about his opinions on the operation, the girl is quiet and uncertain about
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