You Must Have an Abortion in Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Decent Essays
The short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, is about a man trying to convince his girlfriend to have an abortion. The couple sits in a train station waiting for their trip to Barcelona, and are staring outside at the scenery—the line of hills “like white elephants”, as the girl, Jig, remarks. They sit and drink and they try to keep conversation light and to enjoy themselves. As the story progresses, however, cause for their underlying tenseness boils to the surface. From the beginning of the story, the female protagonist, Jig, seems to be the type of woman to allow a man to make her decisions for her. The first line of conversation in the story is the girl asking “What should we drink?” and the man orders…show more content…
The ending of the story is rather ambiguous as it is not completely obvious what decision the two end up making. The man could have talked the girl into undergoing the procedure, or not. At one point toward the end, Jig tells him to “please please please please please please please stop talking”, and when he doesn’t she threatens to scream. This probably means that she had made up her mind, but it could be in either direction. In the end, she smiles at him, and he asks her if she feels better; she says that she feels fine. That could mean that she had made peace with the decision to abort their child or that she was proud of herself for finally standing up to him and making her choice not to abort final. Either way, making this choice is harder on her as she would be the one to undergo the operation, and she very well knows that he most likely will not stay with her if she decides to keep the child. No matter what she chooses, however, their relationship will never be the same. The author writes the story in a very interesting way. The way that there are only a few descriptions scattered about and that it focuses on dialogue is what allows us to figure out what the characters are speaking about and to find the intentions behind their words. The subject of this short narrative stands out boldly. Though it was written in
Get Access