STORY SAMPLES #1
The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. […] The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid. The couple is in the middle of making a drastic decision.The openness and loneliness around the railroad station imply that there is no way to back out of the problem at hand and that the man and the girl must address it now. The heat turns the scene into a stressed environment. The landscape that involves the station plays an essential role in the conflict of the story through its broad representation.
When the girl sees the long and white hills she says that “they look like white elephants.” As she discerns the white hills she anticipates proudly the birth of her baby – something unique like the uncommon white elephant. The color white represents the purity of her unborn. SAMPLE #2
He did not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights.
The story ends with the couple waiting for their train to arrive in five minutes. There is no resolution and there is no decision stated regarding the abortion. Hemingway’s interweaving of setting and symbolism helps him juice each sentence to provide maximum detail. The writer left an open conclusion so that readers could have a much bigger spectrum. He wanted individuals to fill the blanks, to put their own name and the story. That’s the purpose why he didn’t end the story just there.