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, contributes to the readers understanding of the works theme. This story is perhaps the greatest example of Hemingway's iceberg theory. It can be confusing on first reading but ultimately examines profound truths about human interaction.On the surface, the story is a simple scene of a man and woman having a discussion while waiting for their train to arrive. Upon closer examination, however, there is much more going on. From a distance this looks like and ordinary couple having a chat over a couple of drinks, waiting for their train to leave to Madrid, but the topic seems to be explained awfully vaguely. The girl seemed to be a rather straight forward character in the beginning of the story, but as the story is read over a few times, and different sort of mystery unfolds. The two people sit at the table and order drinks, they talk in very soft voices and the man mentions an operation, saying, "It's really an awfully simple operation, Jig." And also mentions that many people have done it before. As a reader I would wonder what kind of operation is he talking about, and as the story went on, I figured that the operation was abortion. The man and woman were talking in a low tone, because this story was set in the early days where if a woman were pregnant, she would have to be married. Throughout the story, the man is trying to reassure her that the abortion is a very natural thing, and that she shouldn't worry about it, but Jig (the girl) imagines this baby, or the abortion to be a huge part of her life, and instead of talking about it, she chose to try and end the topic, and change it to something else. Despite all the persuasion that the abortion is particularly natural, the girl decided that she would not want to talk about it. The story started off where they sat and asked for drinks, this also indicates that she would want to have an abortion, as a woman should not drink any alcoholic drink during pregnancy because it may harm the baby. The girl looked out to the hills often, trying to ignore what the man said, as he would not see things through her point of view.Published in a short story collection titled Men Without Women, "Hills Like White Elephants" exhibits the difficulties that the genders have communicating with each other. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, about how Jig, talked very bluntly, and subtly and her answers were on point, displays Jig's feelings towards the...

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