Analysis of Hills like white elephants
The story, Hills Like White Elephants, opens with the scene of a couple waiting for the train that will take them from Barcelona to Madrid. During the time the American and the girl spent in the bar in order to pass the 40 minutes of waiting for the train, they had a conversation which is mainly about what they call “the operation”, it is seemingly the abortion of their child. When we read the text we realize that the dialogue form (the conversation) dominates the text, which is a rich site for seeking unconscious meaning. In Hills like White Elephants, The unconscious of the text appears in the imagery expressed both in the title and the dialogue. We can see that the girl thinks that the hills “look like white elephants”. The use of white elephants can be considered a metaphor for an expensive possession that is a financial burden to maintain. It seems that, as their conversation went on, we were able to interpret "white elephants" in ways that the girl did not consciously intend when she gave her opinion of the hills. In the dialogue she involved the skin of the hills saying, “I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees”, which might be imagined as a pregnant woman lying on her back making an image of white hills. This contributes to the unconscious of the text expressed in imagery. According to Freud, the process by which the brain censors dreams, converts manifest content to latent content. He believed that there are three methods to convert the content; one of these methods expressed in the text is the symbolism, where symbols are used to disguise similar sounding or looking concepts or objects. When the girl states her own view of the hill saying, “they look like white elephants”, The hills, of course, can be read as symbolic of fertility and the Jig’s unborn baby can be regarded as a white elephant—a valuable but too costly possession that is hard to dispose of. Also the whiteness of the elephants...
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