Hemingway and Chekhov

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Choose two stories by Hemingway or Chekhov, [ 668 ] [ 668 ] and compare the use the author makes of setting in these stories. Ernest Hemingway’s use of setting is apparent in two short stories, “Hills Like White Elephants” and “A Clean Well-Lighted Place”. Setting is used in these stories to illustrate the theme. In “Hills” we look at the importance of reason when faced with a world where the desires of two characters are in direct opposition. In “Clean” we look at life and the meaning one bestows upon it, in this case nothingness. Setting is the key to the development of the theme in both stories. In “Hills”, the theme evolves through Hemingway’s use of setting to demonstrate the contrasts between Jig and her lover. While waiting for the Madrid- bound train, Jig astutely analyzes her surroundings. On one side of the track Jig sees that the hills “…were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry.” When she stood up Jig noticed, “Across on the other side were fields of grain and trees along the banks of Ebro.” The brown and dry country is a projection of how she sees herself without child: bare and infertile. For Jig, the lush green trees represent life and growth a decision that Jig sees as the right choice for both herself and her. The use of contrast in the setting is a representation of the choice Jig and her lover must make either death or life of their unborn child. The tracks themselves underline the story’s theme a pulling in opposite directions, on one side there is a train going from Barcelona to Madrid and the other from Madrid to Barcelona. The direction Jig and her lover are currently going in, is Barcelona to Madrid; the choice made by her lover and somewhat reluctantly agreed upon by her. The use of setting represents of where the desires of characters are in direct opposition. The theme of nothingness is illustrated in “Clean” through the relationship three characters have with the setting. The story’s main characters, old and young...
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