Sand Slides Like Lambs
Have you ever looked at the West Elk mountains and seen the lamb in the side of Mt. Lamborn? The reason it is called that is because of the sandy slide that resembles a sheep much like the Cantabrian mountains of Spain resemble white elephants. “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927), written by Ernest Hemingway, is about a young, unmarried couple, the American and Jig, who are sitting at a train station in Spain, apprehensively discussing an abortion for Jig. The story starts with Jig looking at the surrounding hills and talking about different types of alcohol. There is a following conversation between the two where they talk about their relationship post-abortion. There is not a definite conclusion to their discussion, and it is left up to the reader to infer. In “Hills Like White Elephants” Hemingway utilizes symbolization, characterization, and conflict to create a tense story between a young man and lady and give a clue as to whether or not the couple proceeds to get the abortion or not. Hemingway uses dialogue to develop conflict to show that even without a lot of clues, the couple is still arguing about something. The first example is when the woman suggests that the hills look like white elephants but the man says he’s never seen one. In response she remarks, “No, you wouldn’t have,” in a way that makes it sound as if she didn’t intend for her comment to be nice. Then, further into the story, the conversation dies down and the woman says, “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the colouring of their skin through the trees.” By saying this the woman is almost scared of being wrong in the eyes of the man, so she submissively changes her own opinion to conform with his. The woman creates a lot of the conflict but an example of the man doing this is when he keeps insisting on things until the girl is finally fed up and asks him, “Will you please ... stop talking?” This line is important because it shows the...
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