Three’s a Crowd:
A Summary of an Analysis on “Hills Like White Elephants”
The article “Moving to the girl’s side of “Hills Like White Elephants.” by Stanley Renner, appears in The Hemingway Review. Renner leads a solid argument that the girl may have not aborted the child. The following is a summary of his analysis.
At first, the girl is sitting with “the American” on the side of the station that is out in the sun where the land is described as having “no shade and no trees” and is “brown and dry”. “The American” is seen as the dominant character. Since he is in charge of the luggage, knows the local language and is knowledgeable on the drinks they order. It is presumed that the girl will go along with his wishes due to her immaturity. The girl is viewed as weak and having no pronounced view on the subject of her getting an abortion. However, the girl is written as having a conflict within. During the conversation she walks to the opposing side where there is a lake and trees. Renner feels this depicts the girl’s thought process. The desolate side with “the American” depicts abortion and the supple side represents having the child. The girl voices that she will be fine and that her welfare does not matter as long as “the American” is happy. But, her sarcasm and silence represents her views on not having the abortion. She starts to understand the consequences of her actions and how that makes her feel. “The American” pushes his views on her but she realizes that he judges quickly since he has never been and will never be pregnant. Once the girl realizes this, Renner feels the tables turn. The girl matures and takes charge. She is given a more formal name, “Jig”, and is no longer referred to as “the girl”. In the end, the movement of the luggage from one side of the tracks to the other, the girl’s frequent bright smiles and “the American’s” lack of argument conclude that the girl would not be getting the abortion. Stanley Renner...
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