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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 own endingand therefore take part in the story. A masterpiece of external narration, there seemsto be no focal point in the characters. One must only here what is said, not what isthought by the two main characters, the American and Jig. Hemmingway's third personnarrator takes an objective position outside of the characters, thus providing a look froman third person point of view.The story told is that of a woman and a man during their trip to a place whereshe can have an abortion. Everything in the tale is related to the idea of fertility andbarrenness. This main topic can been seen from the title, where "Hills" refer to theshape of the pregnant belly, and "White Elephants" is an idiom that refers to useless orunwanted things. In this case the unwanted thing is the unborn baby the couple isawaiting to abort.One can see that the story setting is in Spain, but one does not know the finaldestination of the train which they are awainting. It is not known exactly where they areor the time or date in which the story takes place. We do not even know if they reallytake the train.The train is symbolic of change or movement. Most people are afraid ofchange, as this couple, since movement is not always forward, but can also meanmoving backward, as in their relationship. It could in contrast mean "the train of life".The limited time in which the train will be stopping, two minutes, symbolizes the timethat Jig has to make her decision since she cannot risk her health in waiting for a longperiod of time.The first impression one will get when reading the text is that one is inthe middle of a dry, barren place under the sun, with no shade or trees. This reinforcesthe idea of lack of life, but in contrast, they are in the warm shadow of the buildingwhere life is. This emphasizes the contrast...

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