Complex Relationship Between The American And Jig In Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants

1551 words - 6 pages

The Complex Relationship between the American and Jig in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”

In Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, the American and Jig are like the tracks at the train station, they can never meet. While Jig represents fertility, life and continuity, the American represents sterility, dryness and death. Unfortunately, Jig depends emotionally on the American – as many women depended on their male counterparts in the 1940s – and lacks the autonomy and willpower required to openly affirm herself in their relationship. As they struggle to find common ground, the very discussion that can bring them together only tears them apart. The differences in each character – in their personality, means of communication and desires – truly emphasize the constant opposition that burns between them, this very opposition leads to the couple’s inevitable separation, as Jig discovers herself and her independence through the dilemma at hand.

The ubiquitous conflict between the American and Jig is underlined by the tremendous differences in their personality, communication methods and desires. In the beginning, the environment seems relaxed, neither, the American nor Jig, is speaking. Jig is looking out at the scenery that is “brown and dry” (paragraph 8) – like their relationship – as the American orders drinks. Unlike the American who is disconnected, Jig seems to be imaginative, intuitive and connected with her world, while she gazes out the window, she remarks that the hills “look like white elephants” (paragraph 9). At this point, she seems to have something on her mind: white elephants are believed to be rare and precious, although they require much upkeep, commitment and sacrifice, even though they are habitually valued, they often can be seen as a burden. When the American replies that he has never seen a white elephant, Jig answers “No, you wouldn’t have” (paragraph 11), this sparks an argument between the pair: “Just because you say I wouldn’t have, doesn’t prove anything” (paragraph 13), the American retorts defensively. Tension appears although this conversation suggests that they have been fighting prior to their arrival at the train station. Jig implies that she believes the American is stuck in his own perception and is unable to see beyond it . Since Jig is still dependent on her mate at this point when making choices, if only about drinks, she remains calm and changes the subject.
The American and Jig use very different ways of speaking to one another, they often use manipulation – differently– and subtle hints to convey their desires. For instance, as they order more drinks, Jig observes that her new beverage tastes of licorice. The American, perhaps annoyed by her analogy, replies that everything tastes of licorice. Jig agrees that his statement is true, and continues to say: “especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe” (paragraph 27). Here, Jig...

Find Another Essay On Complex Relationship between the American and Jig in Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1031 words - 4 pages that from my perspective, the story 'Hills Like White Elephants' is a story about crisis. I think this because in the end, Jig and the American man have a decision to make, an important decision which could possibly change their lives. Bear in mind that making no decision at all is as well, a decision, and that is why we can relate to this sort of situation.

hills like white elephants Essay

789 words - 3 pages Hemmingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"Ernest Hemmingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" is not a story in the clasicalsense with an introduction, a development of the story, and an end. We only get sometime in the life of two people, as if it were just a piece of a film where we have a lot dodeduce. This story does not give everything done for the reader, we only see thesurface of what is going on. It leaves an open end, readers can have their

Hills Like White Elephants

678 words - 3 pages in the reading. Hills Like White Elephants takes place at a train station in Spain and is a middle stop between the starting point and the final destination. The couple is an American man and a girl nicknamed “Jig”, who is sitting at a bar in the train station. While at the bar, the girl looked over at the hills and says that they look like white elephants. This is the point in the story where the couple starts to argue about that they want to

hills like white elephants

1421 words - 6 pages Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story titled, Hills Like White Elephants that expressed a feminist movement focusing around this issue. Through the character's development and ability to come to her own decision despite her boyfriend's constant pressure suggests a powerful feminist theme in a society dominated by men. (Azhar, Samina) Jig and the American's relationship in Hills Like White elephants is depicted as unstable. Hemingway characterizes

Hills Like White Elephants

1790 words - 7 pages significant to the theme as the story's setting, and in "Hills Like White Elephants," the characters are very symbolic in many ways. In the story, the two main characters' true identities are never given, the reader only recognizes them as either "the girl" or "Jig", and "the American man". Their incognito guise, along with their subtleness in conversation, shows how isolated and reserved these two are; which is one of the few traits the two seem to have

Hills Like White Elephants

1093 words - 4 pages Narrative Fiction Essay Hills Like White Elephants English 1B Human relationships are very important in our lives. We need someone with whom we can share our thoughts, happiness, sadness, dreams and for some of us, perhaps our whole life with. These items, our natural desires are the basis of relationships. In the short story, Hills Like White Elephants we are presented with the story of two people, a man and a girl, a situation, pregnancy, and

Hills Like White Elephants - 874 words

874 words - 3 pages Is It Black or White? Differing points of view are just an everyday fact of life. Everyone has their own way of seeing things. Some see the glass half full, while others see the glass half empty. Then there is the old cliché is it black or is it white. In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants", Ernest Hemingway contrasts the points of view of two characters of differing gender through opposing opinions about abortions and

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

Isolation in Hills Like White Elephants and Girl

807 words - 3 pages deepest emotions is a truly terrible experience and it is unfortunately shared by Jug in Hills Like White Elephants. In Hemingway’s short story the female character endures a similar type of isolation experienced by the narrator in Girl; however, in Hills Like White Elephants Jug is isolated not for lack of trying, but the companion she is traveling with does not seem to care about the issues at hand. It becomes a struggle to have that person

The Minimalist Technique of Hemingway in "Hills Like White Elephants"

1257 words - 5 pages Ernest Hemingway's impersonal objective narrative style is best exhibited in his short story, "Hills Like White Elephants", which describes a young girl and her older American boyfriend discussing whether or not she should have an abortion. Hemingway never explicitly uses the word abortion, but instead relies on the description and details of the setting to convey an idea of this weighty decision. It is his use of imagery, symbols, and dialogue

Explain the poem, Hills Like White Elephants. A Feminist Approach to "Hills Like White Elephants"

809 words - 3 pages From a feminist point of view, Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"uses a plethora of symbols to convey the idea that a young girl named Jig is a typical woman dealing with a woman's choice. Although the word abortion is never used in the story, the reader is lead to that conclusion through the use of symbolism.The story begins with Jig and her American boyfriend waiting for a train in the valley of Ebro, a symbolic use of the word

Similar Essays

Communicating And The Lack Thereof In Hemingway’s ‘Hills Like White Elephants’“

1621 words - 6 pages let the air in" and then turns around and says, "I don't want you to do it if you feel that way" (Hemingway 230-1). The inability to communicate is ultimately the downfall of their relationship, instead of the pregnancy, as they believe.In "Hills like White Elephants," Hemingway examines the relationship between an American and his girlfriend. On the surface, it appears as if they are dealing with the repercussions of becoming pregnant and the

The Hills Like White Elephants Essay

741 words - 3 pages James Warren, III. Warren 1College Writing IIDr. Hobbs09/24/20131:40-2:55 p.m.The Hills Like White Elephants" Life will throw challenges your way, only your choices can determine whether you succeed or fail". ( James Warren, III.)In this story we find that this is the case between two individuals and American man and woman. The story takes place in the valley of Ebros next to large white hills that resemble white elephants. In this field we find

Women In "Hills Like White Elephants" And "The Yellow Wallpaper"

2227 words - 9 pages could see over".(Golden 63)To preserve what was left of her sanity, Charlotte eventually disregarded Dr. Mitchell's advice, left her husband and moved to Pasadena, California."Hills like White Elephants", is told nearly in its entirety through dialogue. It is a conversation between a young woman and a man waiting for a train in Spain. As they talk, it becomes clear that the young woman is pregnant and that the man wants her to have an abortion

Relationship In "Hills Like White Elephants" By Ernest Hemingway

973 words - 4 pages her and be with her. The man is desperate for his selfish lifestyle to continue. The uncomfortable relationship begins to sting and Jig will not do a thing about it. It is easy to judge this couple and see their flaws from the outside but if it was me in Jig's place, would I be able to see clearly? After many readings it becomes, for me, a kind of cautionary tale.BibliographyHEMINGWAY, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." Men without women, Cleveland: World Publ. Co., 1946, p. 211.GIGER, Romeo. The Creative Void. Hemingway's Iceberg Theory, Bern: Francke, 1977, p. 52.