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Hills Like White Elephants, By Ernest Hemingway

3034 words - 12 pages

Kenneth G. Johnston once wrote, "His stories came back in the mail, slipped through the slit in the saw-mill door where he lived, 'with notes of rejection that would never call them stories, but always anecdotes, sketches, contes, etc,'" (Johnston). This statement that may suggest that Hemingway's stories were not very well liked, but in the end they were a big hit. Literature is a very interesting topic and is a very helpful tool to the future. The best kind of literature are short stories. One very interesting short story is called “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway shows the themes in his writing by being very obvious about some of them and not so obvious about others. Some of the themes in “Hills Like White Elephants” include relationships, men and woman, and many others as well. Hemingway’s use of literary elements lets the readers analyze the many themes in the short story. Hemingway uses various literary elements in his short stories to help the readers analyze the themes deeply.

The protagonist in the short story, "Hills Like White Elephants" is named "Jig" by her boyfriend, however, Hemingway refers to her as "the girl" through out the short story. Jig is portrayed as a young women stuggling with the decision of whether to get an abortion or not. "She is the man’s superior in imagination, sensitivity, and capacity for love" stated critic Kenneth G. Johnston (Hills Like White Elephants). Alcohol is Jig's on going motivation. Ironically enough, the story started with the characters drinking in a train station. As shown in her statement, "I wanted to try this new drink. That's all we do isn't it? Look at things and try new drinks"(Hemingway) which suggests that their life consists of drinking and she wants more without saying it directly. Also, Jig states, "What should we drink...lets drink beer" (Hemingway) showing that she would much rather drink than discuss what she knows will come up. Through out the story, she is characterized to be a very flat character with one type of attidude towards the situation that she is in. Jig and her boyfriend also known as "the American" are discussing her getting an abortion with out ever mentioning it directly, and it is quite obvious it is not a topic she really wants to talk about. She starts to get a bit aggravated as he tries persuading her towards getting an abortion. Due to his repetitve suggestions, Jig states, "...can't we maybe stop talking?"(Hemingway) Simply trying to be nice and gesture to him that she is not comfortable talking about this particular subject. Unconciously, her boyfriend continues to talk about the situation. Jig then gets furiated and roared with emphasis, "Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?"(Hemingway) showing much more intensity. Her boyfriend did nothing but stare at their luggage bags.As well as being a flat character, Jig stayed the same throughout the story as a static character....

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1656 words - 7 pages feel fine…There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine,’” (278). As a result of her personal growth and transcendence of the conventions of gender roles, which is reflected in her interactions with her environment, as well as her dialogue, Jig decides to keep the baby, because it is not a problem that needs to be operated on. She won’t be fine after she has an abortion. She already is fine. Works Cited Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." 1953. The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, n.d. 273-78. Print.