Hills Like White Elephants

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Hills like white elephants

Hills Like White Elephants, written by Ernest Hemingway, is a story that takes place in Spain while a man and woman wait for a train. The man referred to as the American and the girl “Jig”. The story is set up as a dialogue between the two, in which the man is trying to convince the woman to do something she is hesitant in doing. Throughout the story, Hemingway uses metaphors to express the characters opinions and feelings.

Hills Like White Elephants displays the differences in the way a man and a woman view pregnancy and abortion. The woman looks at pregnancy as a beautiful aspect of life. In the story the woman’s pregnancy is implied through their conversation. The landscape surrounding the station is described as the valley of the Ebor River, with long white hills on each side and brown dusty ground in between. She refers to the near by hills as elephants “they look like white elephants”. She is comparing the hills to her own situation, pregnancy. “They’re lovely hills. They really don’t look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees”. Just as the hills have their distinct beauty to her, she views pregnancy in the same fashion making the reference to the hills having skin, an enlarged mound forming off, of what was once flat. The man views pregnancy just the opposite. When the girl is talking about the white elephants and agrees that the man has never seen one, his response is, “I might have, just because you say I haven’t doesn’t prove anything”. This shows the defensive nature of the man, and when the woman implies that he is unable to differentiate between what is beautiful and what is not.

Another issue that is discussed in this story is abortion and two opposing views. When the conversation turns from the hills to the operation one is able to comprehend the mentality of the woman. “Then what will we do afterwards?” shows the woman is concerned about what will occur after the...
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