Hills Like White Elephants

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In “Hills like White Elephants”, the setting of the story is symbolic to the main character’s dilemma in which influence her decision. Ernest Hemingway gives enough detail by using symbols in the story so the reader can draw a deeper meaning to what is being detailed. He relies on symbolism to convey the idea of an abortion. The narrative of the two unlike landscapes of the railroad tracks embodies Jig’s difficult decision. Either should keeping her baby or continue a ruthless lifestyle with the American. Hemingway uses the title “Hills like White Elephants” to symbolize Jig’s pregnancy. A “white elephant” can be defined as something that is of a great burden or a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of. The hills can also be understood as swollen breasts and the belly of a pregnant woman. “On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun” (Hemingway 294). Though the term “abortion” is never found in the story, the American man and Jig are threatened by this complicated decision. There are only two choices, or two directions, comparable to how there are only two track lines that pass through the station. Unfortunately, both characters have dissimilar viewpoints on the circumstance. “Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies”(Hemingway 294). The bamboo curtain is a symbol of boundaries, and separations of their unlike feelings, views, and values towards the pregnancy, which is a dilemma the couple is facing. The problem is that Jig is in favor of keeping the baby, and the American disagrees, the pregnancy itself is a curtain between them. The railroad station symbolizes as a halfway point between the vital decision that has to be made. It is a ticking timetable since the train would come in forty minutes and it stopped at the station for two...
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