Hills Like White Elephants Essay

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  • Topic: 1920s, Woman
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“Hills Like White Elephants” Essay
Relationships During the 1920's
       “Hills Like White Elephants”, a short story by Ernest Hemingway, presents many interesting insights into relationships between men and women from the era when it was written.  During the 1920’s, an era referred to as the Roarin’ Twenties, women were slowly progressing out from their stereotypical household roles to lives of entertainment and partying. In this short story, Hemingway's characters reveal the lingering differences in stature between men and women in this period.  Hemingway, in this story, provides detailed descriptions and well thought out dialogue between his two main characters, an American man and a girl called Jig.  The dialogue in the “Hills Like White Elephants”, allows the reader to understand the interactions between men and women who were in relationship during the 1920's; the characters' speech gives insight into their inability to communicate with one another, their differences in status, and a woman's reliance on a man.        Throughout the story, both the man and the woman are unable to adequately communicate with one another.  Although they face a major issue that can dramatically affect both their lives, both seem to evade the "elephant in the room,” her unintentional pregnancy.  When they first sit down at the table in the train station, the couple simply engages in meaningless small talk in order to avoid the important matter of the woman’s pregnancy.  Their initial dialogue shows how neither one wants to bring up such an uncomfortable topic, revealing their unease with each other.  Rather than simply communicate what he wants the girl to do, the man takes a passive-aggressive approach to the matter.  He says, "If you don't want to you don't have to.  I wouldn't have you do it if you didn't want to.  But I know it's perfectly simple."  By saying this, the man appears to care for the girl, when really he is attempting to coerce her into having the...
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