Hills Like White Elephants

Topics: Short story, Anise, Anís Pages: 4 (1385 words) Published: May 5, 2013
Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is about a young couple discussing the decision of getting an abortion. Hemingway does not exactly state in the story that that is what they are talking about, but his use of figurative language helps you connect the dots. The story takes place outside a bar at a train station in Barcelona. The couple is there waiting for the train to take them to Madrid. There are many opinions about the story and how the scenery plays a huge role in giving the reader clues as to what is going on. Here is where they will be compared. In the beginning of the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” the characters explain that “it is very hot” (Hemingway 295) where they are. “The hot weather, the relief sought in beer and cold alcoholic drinks mirror a disagreement between the two people, the nature of which gradually becomes clear although without explicit statement”(Wood 1). At first it is not easy to connect that they are a couple. According to Wood it is because “there is a distance and failure of communication between them” then she goes on to compare their relationship to the railroad “like the railroad tracks that are parallel and will never make contact” (Wood 1). As the couple sits waiting for the train the man does not address the situation until after their disagreement. He is “consciously skirting use of negatively charged language (Wood 1). “It's really an awfully simple operation, Jig, the man said. It’s not really an operation at all” (Hemingway 295). The options of whether or not to get the abortion are “symbolized by the landscape” (Wood 1). One direction represents barrenness, infertility “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white… in the sun and the country was brown and dry.” (Hemingway 295). On the other side it represents fruitfulness and fertility. “Across on the other side, were fields of grain and trees.” (Hemingway 295). As the woman says the hills are “like white elephants”...
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