Summary Of A Girl By Ernest Hemingway

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First and foremost, Hemingway did not chose to call the second main character in this short story a woman, but instead he very explicitly chose to refer to her as a girl. This was a common trend amongst journalists during this period, as can be seen in the articles relating to the deaths of Anna Johnson, the servant girl, and Willie Crawford. While Hemingway’s choice to describe her as a girl not only increases her sense of innocence and helplessness throughout the story, it also reinforces her helplessness by establishing a sense of the women’s inferiority in relation to the man. The way in which the two characters are first introduced shows this immediate division of authority. When setting up the scene, Hemingway writes, “The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building” (Hemingway 273). In this passage, she is not only described as “the girl”, but she is described as being the girl with the American man. This implies that the girl cannot exist without the man; she is only there because she is with the American man. In fact, we do not even get to know her nationality like how we get to know the man’s, the only thing we really know about her is her state of being with the man which becomes her only defining characteristic. This immediate establishment of the girl’s inferiority sets her up to be continually described and reinforced as innocent, naïve, helpless, and as inferior to the man. Similar to how writers described women in
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