Character Motivations In Hills Like White Elephants

856 words - 3 pages

In the story, "Hills like White Elephants" written by Ernest Hemingway, the main character Jig faces a life changing event, abortion. The struggles with the complications of abortion concern and desire Jig to want to keep the baby. Bringing a new life into the world is a long time commitment and it is something Jig feels she can treasure forever. However, her companion attempted to persuade her in another direction, to proceed with the abortion. As naïve as he is, he feels his persuasion can overcome Jig's desires. Jig is a sarcastic yet reserved woman, who desires to bring a new life into the world, even if her companion does not approve; she knows what is best.

Jig can be perceived as sarcastic, which does not express how she is feeling inside about the idea of abortion. "Yes", said the girl. "Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe"(188). The conversation with her companion conveys Jig as being uninterested with her life. Jig wants to start a new life. "That's all we do, isn't it--look at things and try new drinks?"(189). Jigs traits reveal everything she is feeling, especially her desires. "The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on"(191). Jig wants to be grounded in life and her characteristics and emotions express her mood.

A baby is precious and life changing, which makes Jig desire to keep the baby and progress with her companion. Jig does not want to travel and repeat her everyday adventures for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, her companion will try anything to convince Jig to have an abortion. "We'll be fine afterward. Just like we were before." "What makes you think so?" "That's the only thing that bothers us. It's the only thing that's made us unhappy"(189). As upsetting as Jig is about the idea of abortion, she wants to be happy and make her companion happy.

In the beginning of the story Jig is not motivated to tell her companion how she feels about the abortion. The only motivation she has is to make him happy and not argue about the situation. "I realize," the girl said. "Can't we maybe stop talking?"(191). The idea of being happier in life is all that Jig wants. Her motivation becomes limited because her companion does not agree with the...

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