Literary Analysis Paper from a Feminist Perspective Hills Like White Elephants

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In the story “Hills Like White Elephants” there are two main characters the American and Jig. The story takes place at a train station in 1927 in Spain. Jig is a young girl dealing with a woman’s choice. Although the word abortion is never used in the story, the reader is lead to that conclusion through the use of symbolism. There are many different ways in the story that are symbolically used to describe the abortion. For example, while drinking beer, Jig looks off at the line of hills and says. “They look like white elephants,” she said. “I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer. “No, you wouldn’t have.” “I might have,” the man said. (Hemingway, 2011, p 445) She is saying the hills look like a pregnant women. When the man says he has never seen one the women replies “No, you wouldn’t have.” I believe because he has not paid attention to a woman that are expecting and that’s why he replies he might have. From the lack of depth of their conversation both characters appear very superficial. Her lack of confidence is hinted at here. She merely accepts his comment, never bothering to expand on what she was saying. She is not led to expand more on what she was saying or why she was saying it. She just let it go as though she realized what she was thinking was not important to the American. Hemingway uses the setting to further show a contrast between the man and girls perspective. The hills are symbolic for of the way woman’s stomach look while she is pregnant. They also symbolized fertility one hill was beautiful and full of life. Jig says, “And we could have all this,” she said. “And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.” “What did you say?” “I said we could have everything.” “We can have everything.” (Hemingway, 2011, p 445) The other hill is barren as she would be without this child. Jig views having the child as a blessing and a great gift, while the American sees it as an expense and burden obligation. Jig could be seeing...
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