Symbolism in "Hills Like White Elephants"

954 WordsApr 9, 20134 Pages
Symbolism in "Hills Like White Elephants" What is symbolism and what is the use of it? Is it simply created to confuse the reader or is it dedicated to make the reader think about the meaning of the story? What is the symbol? Is it a person, object, or event? Those are the questions we should ask ourselves before we start reading a short story "Hills Like White Elephants," written by Ernest Hemingway. "Hills Like White Elephants" is a perfect example of a wide use of literary symbols demanding all readers to read in between the lines and figure out the true meaning of them. This short story is filled with symbolism, some of which the reader may not even discover. In the beginning of the story the reader is lunge into the lives of two…show more content…
He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the barroom, where people waiting for the train were drinking… He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him” (109). As the man takes both of their bags over to the tracks, he is hopeful that Jig will go through with the surgery. Even though he is uncertain, he lets his opinion be known by taking their luggage and setting it by the tracks to be loaded on the upcoming train. He stares up the tracks, waiting for the train that is supposed to come, but does not see it. He believes that Jig will listen to his suggestion but is still uncertain whether she will go through with it. When the American comes back into the barroom, he hopes that Jig has made a decision, preferably in favor of the abortion, but when he reaches her she has still not made up her mind. Ernest Hemingway uses many symbols in his works. In “Hills like White Elephants,” there are an excess of images and objects that display an excitement, passion or a sensation that isn’t explained in words, but left for the reader to screen through, and figure out for themselves. By looking at the setting, the train, the luggage, the curtain, and the title itself, we as readers can find a little more meaning beyond the dialogue and into the intentions and emotions of the American and his girl. Works
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