A Challenging Short Story, Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemmingway

980 words - 4 pages

Ernest Hemingway wrote a challenging short story about a couple that faces an awful issue. He sets his story, “Hills Like White Elephants” on a hot day at a train station, which is actually a stopping point between Barcelona and Madrid for the two main characters. They have to then decide where to go, whether or not to go with each other and/or to continue their relationship. The difference between the white hills and barren valley emphasizes the division between life and death, which comes to the choice Jig faces between having the baby and going through with the abortion. She seems very caught up between the two issues she has because she is very indecisive on what she wants to do.
As Hemingway wrote the story, he put it in a conversation like way, even though the couple barley talks, which shows tension between them. When the American and Jig actually do talk to each other, it seems as if they are trying to avoid each other, and the topic of the abortion. The American is really frustrated and will try and say almost anything to convince his girlfriend to have the operation. With in the story, he tells Jig that he loves her and that everything between them will go back to the way it use to be if she goes through with the abortion. Eventually, she cries “please, please, please, please, please, please” stop talking and says that she will have the abortion just to shut him up. When Jig then fails to speak Spanish with the bartender shows that she depends on the American but how she also has trouble expressing herself to other people.
The American and Jig drink beers throughout the story to avoid each other and the problems they have with their relationship. As soon as they get to their stopping point at the train station, they start drinking and hope that neither one starts up the conversation about the abortion. The topic of how the hills look like white elephants pops up and Jig then decides to order more beers for them so they do not have to talk about the operation anymore. A key figure in this story is that they are drinking to avoid the topic of the abortion, but, they both fail to realize that there is much bigger problems that are in their relationship: the baby is just one. Jig implies this when she says that they never really do anything together except try new drinks, like they are intentionally trying to look for new ways to avoid each other. The American then goes with the conclusion that if she does not feel comfortable with the operation, then she does not have to go through with it if she does not want to, and he just wants her to be happy. By the end of their conversation, both of them...

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