Symbols In The Story 'Hills Like White Elephants'

Decent Essays

The author of the story, ‘Hills Like White Elephants’, presents us with such a situation that is difficult to be identified. As we figure out that the couple is discussing abortion, we are given many symbols as hints. The symbols in the story represent the life changing situation that the girl and the man are going through. The two heavy bags represent the decision that the girl and the man have to make, the bead curtain represents moving on from the situation, and the hills that look like white elephants represent the girl's perception. The two luggages in the story are symbols of decision making. The man was ready to make the decision on the abortion, while the girl was still unsure. While the girl was sitting, “he picked up the two …show more content…

The girl’s imagination tells her that the hills look like white elephants, although to someone else, they look like hills. There is an assumption that the man is one of the people that think that the hills just look like hills. He seems to ignore the fact that they look like white elephants to the girl when he says “let's have another drink.” The man seems uninterested in what the girl has to say and her overall opinion. Being that the girl sees the hills as white elephants shows that she is looking at the bigger picture. Being that the man only sees the hills as hills shows that he isn’t looking at the bigger picture. The hills being portrayed as white elephants also suits the aspect of having an ‘elephant in the room’. The topic of abortion seems to be something that both the man and the girl cannot openly speak about. The girl thinks that the hills look like white elephants. The color white portrays that there is purity, cleanliness, and an overall positive outlook. Putting the two together, therefore means that there is something obvious, abortion, and they can not talk about it openly because abortion is not something that is pure or positive. The girl sees the hills as white elephants but both the girl and the man know that they are really just hills. The author uses imagery to symbolize how the man is looking at reality and how the girl is following her heart and an positive side. The man has his reasons for not wanting the baby and the girl has her reasons for wanting the

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