Hemingway's Use Of Foreshadowing, Pathos, Imagery, And Personification

2438 words - 10 pages

Hemingway presents takes the several literary styles to present this short story. Hemingway’s use of Foreshadowing, Pathos, Imagery and Personification allows the reader to enter the true context of the frustration and struggle that the couples face. Although written in the 1920’s it the presents a modern day conflict of communication that millions of couples face. At first glance the beautiful landscape of the Barcelonian hillside in which Jig refers to frequently throughout the text appears to have taken the form of White Elephants. The Americans’ response to Jigs’ observation was less than enthusiastic as he provides a brief comment and continues on with his cerveza. This was but the first of the many verbal jousts to come between Jig and the American. The metaphorical inferences in those verbal confrontations slowly uncover the couple’s dilemma and why they may be on the waiting for the train to Madrid.

There are a few characters within this short story. Jig is the protagonist and the antagonist is the American. The waitress is supporting the story with quick cameos as she delivers cervezas to the couple. Although these characters were not described in great detail they leave a strong image of a struggling young couple in your mind. Hemingway describing the couple as the American and Jig was purposeful in that it allows for the readers mind to place anyone into that scenario. However, the landscape was described in greater detail to acclimate the reader to the metaphorical inferences and similes that would be exchanged between the American and Jig. The first inference “they look like white elephants” was made by Jig as she describes the hillside past the valley as White Elephants. White could symbolize purity and the totality of the comment could point the rare the animal’s existence and Jigs current condition. The Americans response of ‘I’ve never seen one” was disinterested a as he continued to drink his beer. The couple seems to be drinking around a lingering question through a series of short responses from the American and metaphorical and repetitious avowals from Jig. One such comment from involved the selection of a drink Anis del Toro and the drinks taste “Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.” This is obviously not about the drink or its taste, but Jigs continued attempts articulate what she is so frustrated about finally seems to have broken through to the American. The Americans response of “Oh, cut it out” gives the reader a since that there was an understanding of Jigs efforts, but to engage them would prove to be uncomfortable conversation.

After a few colloquial exchanges about the lovely hills and few more drinks the American relents and presents the denouement of the day “it’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,’ the man said. ‘It’s not really an operation at all”. The Americans response gives the readers the long awaited...

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