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

2227 words - 9 pages

Through history women have fought for equal rights and freedom. This tension is derived from men; society, in general; and within a woman herself. In the nineteenth century, women in literature were often portrayed as submissive to men. Literature of this period often characterized women as oppressed by society, as well as by the male influences in their lives. This era is especially interesting because it is a time in modern society when women were still treated as second-class citizens. Two interesting short stories, "Hills like White Elephants" and "The Yellow Wallpaper" focus on a woman's plight near the turn of the nineteenth century. Both authors, Hemmingway and Gilman, leave an open end to the stories and allow readers to create their own ending, in turn causing them to take part in the action while reading. These stories require more effort from the reader, but seem to turn out differently for every reader making them a bit more interesting.Hemingway led a difficult life full of martial affairs and misfortune. Some of these experiences have set the foundation for Hemingway's greatest works. This essay will analyze the influence that Hemingway's separation from Pauline and divorce from Hadley had on "Hills like White Elephants." Before writing "Hills like White Elephants," Hemingway had been residing in Paris with his wife Hadley and son, Bumby. During their stay in Paris, Hadley and Ernest Hemingway met a woman named Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline was more of a friend to Hadley than Hemingway was. Pauline did not think much of Hemingway at first, she thought he was lazy and a no-doer. Later Pauline and Hemingway fell in love and had an affair. Once Hadley knew of their affair, Hemingway requested a divorce. Hadley agreed under one condition, Hemingway and Pfeiffer had to separate for 100 days. After the 100 days if they were still in love, then Hadley would grant the divorce (Baker 174). This separation period left an indelible effect on Hemingway's life and works. He wrote a short story, "Hills like White Elephants." In both the story and Hemingway's life one of the family members had to go. Hemingway wrote a letter to Pauline during the 100-day separation comparing it to being like an abortion. Hemingway wrote he thought that when two people love each other terribly much and need each other in every way and then go away from each other it works almost as bad as an abortion.Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper" also is related to her life experiences. In 1884, Charlotte married Walker Stetson, an artist. She tried to submit to the traditional roles of a nineteenth century wife. When her daughter was born a year later, Charlotte suffered from what we now call severe postpartum depression, which lasted almost four years. She was treated by a famous Philadelphia nerve specialist, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, who prescribed a "rest cure" for Gilman's "nervous condition" that forced her into inactivity with no physical or mental stimulation until she...

Find Another Essay On Women in "Hills like White Elephants" and "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1790 words - 7 pages concept and nature of the story should be found under the surface and should shine through, and one of the surface elements that he used to perform this Iceberg Theory of writing was symbolism. In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants", Hemingway effectively utilizes symbolism to present the reader with many symbolic instances included in the setting, characters, and objects, which all provide a surface meaning for the story, but with

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

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

1421 words - 6 pages Gema PerezMs. LovettAP LiteratureRelationships Parallel to Gender Roles in Hills Like White ElephantsOf all the issues roiling on the ongoing culture in the 1920's abortion was both the most intimate and the most common one. Almost half of every American women terminated at least one pregnancy, in which those women have been testimony for abortion as a crime. In America abortion was illegal but possible; abortion has been legal since 1973 but

Hills Like White Elephants

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 become so insignificant that nothing the do will be able to pull themselves away from the barren abyss. More or less this is what happens for the main female characters in both Hills Like White Elephants by Earnest Hemingway, and Girl by Jamaica Kincaid. Both characters find themselves isolated as they struggle to support the social mask that acts as a double-edged sword in that it protects ones emotional well being but also isolates they wearer from

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

Communicating and the lack thereof in Hemingway’s ‘Hills like White Elephants’“

1621 words - 6 pages "Communicating and the lack thereof in Hemingway's 'Hills like White Elephants'"The short story "Hills like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway is a portrayal of a young American couple traveling in Spain. The couple, referred to as the American and the girl, is at a train station waiting for a train to Madrid. They are contemplating whether or not to have a procedure that they refer to only as "the operation" but which is assumed to be an

Importance of Setting in The Cask of Amontillado and Hills Like White Elephants

851 words - 3 pages Short stories have particular settings to supplement their themes. The eerie catacombs during a carnival in “The Cask of Amontillado” supplement the themes of revenge, and deception, which the protagonist takes responsibility in; whereas in “Hills Like White Elephants”, the atmosphere around the Spanish train station emphasizes the themes of miscommunication between characters and their evasion of responsibilities. In “The Cask of Amontillado

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

Similar Essays

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

Societal Prejudice Against Women In Hills Like White Elephants

1360 words - 5 pages In the short story Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemmingway's characters situation is greatly a product of the social standards for men and women of the time around the 1930s. Their problems which come into play other than the topic of the abortion, such as their relationship, their nationalities, and their financial situation all help to create that feeling of helpless indecision and inevitability that are apparent throughout the story

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1031 words - 4 pages Husain Abbas 2J - Mr. Vernon 14th March 2014Hills like white Elephants by Ernest HemingwayErnest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" is one of the most famous short stories published in the 20th century. Initially viewed as a simple, even dull, depiction, it is revealed upon evaluation to be a profound examination of the lack of communication between men and women. The use of the landscape specifically the hills mentioned in the title

Hills Like White Elephants Essay 678 Words

678 words - 3 pages Many literary works today require further reading and knowledge in order to better understand the readers own interpretation. In many works, there are many aspects that play a role in the whole understanding of the story. Some of these include symbols and theme that can be depicted from reading the short story. In Hills Like White Elephants, many readers will be able to tell give a summary of the story, tell the theme, and symbols that are given