Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer often known for what he leaves out of stories and not for what the story tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Webster's dictionary defines symbolism as the art or practice of using symbols. Hemingway was a master at investing the things that he wrote about with a symbolic meaning. He expresses invisible or intangible ideas in a way that makes you feel like you can reach out and touch them. He uses this technique to emphasize the importance of ideas. Hemingway leaves out the important details of this short story by symbolizing their meaning.
This short story is filled with symbolism. I had to read the story multiple times, and I'm sure that there are many that I will never find. Even the title can be analyzed a lot deeper to see the symbolism that is used in it. The "hills" can be associated with the shape of the female body during pregnancy and the "white elephants" symbolizes something that requires a lot of care and can be very expensive. Maybe, Hemingway is referring to a newborn baby. The story is about a man and a woman taking a train to get an abortion. The train is supposed to show change and movement, something this couple appears to need because their life is very routine.
In the story, he describes a curtain made of strings of bamboo beads that are hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The bamboo beads not only keep them from their problems, but it also seems like it keeps them separated from all of the other people in the bar. Hemingway then tells us that the train will stop at this junction for two minutes and then go to Madrid. The train only stopping for two minutes is to show the importance of the girl's decision to have the abortion. It is a huge life changing decision that must be made immediately. There is no time for her to sit around and think about it.
Next, the guy and the girl are sitting at the bar deciding what they...
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