Comparison of Hills Like White Elephants and Babylon Revisited

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At first glance it seems that the two short stories “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald have absolutely nothing in common other than being written by two famous American authors in the 1920s. Although there is much contrast between the two works, when examined more closely, similarities seem to be extremely easy to pick out. Similarities are evident in the existence of superficiality and carelessness in the lives and past lives of the main characters in both stories. The two stories are most alike, though, when considering the central conflicts within them. In “Hills Like White Elephants” the central conflict has to do with a couple feeling that the idea of having a baby threatens the very existence and happiness of that relationship, so they contemplate having an abortion. In “Babylon Revisited” the conflict involves a man’s struggle to be reunited forever with his daughter, who he has been separated from due to mistakes he has made in the past. The relationship between the two conflicts is the how the male characters’ become powerless when attempting to regain hjappiness in life and how challenging it is for the female characters’ to make a drastic life-changing decision. Arguably the most striking similarity comes The couple in “Hills Life White Elephants” is a prime example of a shallow relationship that is seemingly empty and meaningless. It is a relationship between an American man and a woman called Jig that is devoid of responsibility. This relationship is very similar to the past marriage of Charlie Wales, the protagonist in “Babylon Revisited.” Charlie used to be married to a woman named Helen during the stock market boom of the 1920s before she tragically died of a heart condition. Charlie and Helen were a very rich couple due to Charlie’s skilful playing of the stock market. The two led a lifestyle of dissipation mostly characterized by binge drinking. They were rich Americans in...
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