Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemmingway

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Ernest Hemmingway tells the story "Hills like White Elephants" nearly through pure dialog about two lovers conflicted over a serious decision. As the story progresses and through their tight conversation he reveals to us a great deal about their personalities, but leaves the details of the relationship between the two hidden.

He gives his audience just enough information to find out the details of his story through detective work instead of coming outright by writing "Their relationship has suffered a great deal because of this decision…" etc. He leaves it up to his readers to basically solve the mysteries of his literature, which in return grasps our interest to his work even more. Perhaps this intentional way of writing is the reason for his name being so well known in the literate world.

The first thing I thought of while reading the title of this short story was the symbolism of the White Elephant. As many would know, they do not exist unless they were born with an albino deformity. This of course is something unwanted because they burn easily from the sun's UV rays, thus helping make the white elephant symbolize something unwanted. The same goes as well for humans. And according to www.wikipedia.com, "A white elephant is a supposedly valuable possession whose upkeep exceeds its usefulness, and it is therefore a liability." This unwanted issue of our couple is hinted to us through the story as the burden of a possible child.

The lack of communication throughout the story creates tension between the American and the girl, whose name is later on revealed to us as Jig. This is seen through many areas of our story such as when Jig talks about how everything tastes the same, and "Everything tastes of licorice." (pg 351). She does not come out and say what is exactly on her mind, but rather hints her frustration immaturely by throwing little fits or being short with her American lover. By being referred to as the girl and by her communicative actions we...
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