Literary Analysis About “Hills Like White Elephants”

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Carolina Lopez
English 1301
Professor McLemore
May 2012

The prose dialogue narrative in Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway is an impressive feat. This story reveals the emptiness of the modern world. The girl and the American have been traveling in Europe and they stop at the train station waiting for the next train. While they are drinking liqueur sitting at the bar, they are talking about an "operation" in which the woman is not in agreement to do, and the American man is trying to force her to do it. She apparently wants to have the baby and settle down to a normal life, but he wants her to abort their baby so that they can continue their adventures for the world. The girl and the American desperation revels the necessity of taking responsibility for the one’s own life. The theme, character and symbols of the role of the woman in "Hills like White Elephants," are helpful to discuss the story because many sides of being a woman are shown, even though there hourglass are only two female characters. The theme in this story is talking versus communication. Hills like White Elephants are a short story about a conversation between the American man and his girlfriend. Neither of the speakers can communicate with the other. The story is mostly about how they discuss the issue, what choices they explore, what choices they do not explore, and how they go to get a clear resolution about the issue. Both persons are talking, but neither wants to understand the other’s point of view of the issue. The American man is trying to convince the girl to have an operation, which is understood to be an abortion that never mentioned by this name in the story. He tells her he loves her, and that everything between them will go back to the way it used to be. Meanwhile, she wants the child, she knows that have a child will destroy their relationship, and if she goes through with the abortion their relationship...
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