“Hills like White Elephants”
Earnest Hemingway wrote the short story “Hills like White Elephants”, the story, and falls true to the author’s typical way of writing. He hinds his dialogue and expects his readers to understand what he is writing about. This short story for example is about a couple at a bar, and they are talking that only they know. It is only through symbolism are we able to conclude that the conversation is about abortion. With symbolism it is easy to see that the hills and the bamboo in the story have a deeper meaning. The story describes the hills as long and white (Schlib524), these could be taken as female breast. Jig states that she thinks the hills look like white elephants. The definition of white elephant is a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose. This could be taken as the unmentioned baby, as it is the only topic that is on Jig’s mind. The hills are also stable and unmoving. Jig looks at the mountains with admiration; man doesn’t want stability and wants to be able to be wild and free. However they both know they cannot be wild with a child in tow. The other symbol that plays a much bigger role in interpreting the story, even though it is a minor detail, is the bamboo. (524) “A curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies.” Bamboo has many different meanings. One of the meanings is folk tales use to say human life was born from a bamboo stem. That could connect to Jig’s pregnancy. The bamboo curtain is meant to keep the flies out of the bar; ironically the couple also stays out. Additionally bamboo is a Chinese symbol for longevity because of its durability, strength, and flexibility (Venfica). This could represent the declining relationship between the couple. However it could be argued that the couple was not in a declining relationship, and that they were happy with the possible abortion. Also it is well known that Hemingway like to...
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