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The White Elephant And The Black Baby

1415 words - 6 pages

Love in relationships intertwines two souls, two minds, and two bodies. It can grow and decay. It can be utterly selfish and entirely selfless. It is a silent agreement and a disruptive debate. It is both a question and an answer. It is a translucent dance between two imperfect beings, with melded minds and synced steps, to a melody of life. The slipups disrupt the chain of steps, and they can either learn and grow, or collapse and give up, or ignore it to where it is no longer a dance for two. In order for a relationship to flourish, it requires the right balance of guidance, communication, support and respect. The stories “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “Desiree’s ...view middle of the document...

” He also has influence over his wife through his actions and emotions. “When he frowned she trembled, but loved him. When he smiled, she asked no greater blessing of God…” (Chopin). This influence of Armand’s state of mind frightens, not only the slaves, but also Desiree.
The two men in the stories lack communication with their partners because neither of them can give an honest answer. The American and Jig have difficulty communicating in “Hills like White Elephants.” Throughout the story, it does not confirm that the man is forcing Jig to have the operation. It only states that he will support her in her decision, but he returns to say that going through the operation will make them happy. The man states, “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.” (Hemingway) He is adamant that this operation will make them happy and continues to do so with alcohol and persistence. He continues to reassure her that it is “simple” and others have done it and they are happy. He does not see any opportunity without the operation and avoiding what will happen if they don’t go through with the operation. The man cannot see the problem, subject, or “elephant” that the girl tries to bring up because it will be much easier for them in the future. Armand has difficulty communicating with his wife in “Desiree’s Baby.” After the child has been born “… he spoke to her with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out. He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse.” (Chopin) Armand knew of the truth, but avoided it as much as possible. The issue was only brought up because of what his wife saw. Finally, the truth was finally revealed that their baby was that of the slave race, but there was still no explanation of how it came to be. As a result, Armand puts the blame on Desiree because it would be much easier for him and his family name to be still intact.
The difference between the two men is how they approach their situation with their significant other. In “Hills like White Elephants,” the man gives a comforting and relaxing way of approaching their conversations. He is giving Jig a choice whether to go through with the operation and he will support whatever choice she makes, even though he brings about how ‘simple’ the operation is. Their conversation starts with Jig’s insecurities:
‘And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.’
‘I know we will. Yon don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.’
‘So have I,’ said the girl. ‘And afterwards they were all so happy.’
‘Well,’ the man said, ‘if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.’ (Hemingway)
He comforts her and tries to put her mind at ease by giving her assurance that everything will be alright and that they will...

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