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Two Women Confined Essay

679 words - 3 pages

Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” are about two women who find themselves confined in different ways in their lives. One feels a strong sense of commitment to a man who appears to have her best interest at heart and the other feels bonded within a loveless marriage.

The Short Story “Hills Like White Elephants”, possibly set in the 1960’s, depicts a couple, waiting for a train, while traveling through Spain, having a discussion about, what the American describes as ‘an awfully simple operation’ for the girl who he refers to as Jig. Although it is never confirmed, the ‘awfully simple operation’ best describes an abortion. It appears as though the American feels that their carefree way of life will be greatly impeded with the addition of a baby. Yet, more than once, he makes the statement that he ‘doesn’t want her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.” However, he also says that he doesn’t want anybody but her. He doesn’t want anyone else. His contradictions causes Jig to remain unsure of her decision. She continues to glance at the scenery surrounding the train station as she contemplates her decision. There’s a certain amount of freedom that comes with having an abortion. There’s the freedom from being entirely responsible for another life and the ability to continue the nomad lifestyle with her lover and traveling companion. If she chooses to keep the baby she may jeopardize losing her lover and her life will be drastically altered forever. Neither choice will give her total freedom. If she chooses to have the operation she will continue to be influenced by the man in future decisions. If she chooses to keep the baby she will lose the man and be sole caretaker of a baby.

Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is set in the 1800’s. The main character, Louise Mallard, is ‘afflicted with a heart...

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