Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants

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Hills Like White Elephants

Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Hills Like White Elephants,” has plenty of symbolism throughout the story. Symbolisms are physical things that are important and stands for something else. In this story, the symbols are the hills, white elephants, railroad tracks, and the felt pads. Hemingway uses these symbols to produce the theme of the story. The theme is about how change will bring happiness for Jig by having the baby while the man doesn’t see what the future holds for him if Jig has the baby and he tries to persuade her to go with an abortion In the beginning of the story, the American and the girl, Jig, are at the rail station waiting for a train to go to Madrid. While waiting for the train the two sit at a table at the bar having some drinks. “The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the felt pads and the beer glasses on the table” (294). Felt pads will be a symbol of protection from pregnancy. In the quoted source, the waiter didn’t put the glasses on top of pads indicating that there weren’t that much protection prior to coming to the train station. That’s when the two started talking about abortion. They started to have an intense conversation on what she was going to do with the baby. The man wants her to get an abortion while she doesn’t. He stated that “you don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it but 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” (295). In that quote, the American trying to persuade the girl, Jig, into having an abortion but using different words instead of just saying the real fact. Hemingway made the man more of a second guesser who tries to find the easy way out in life situations; in this case the abortion is his choice. While on other hands Jig thinks of it as an experience in life way she can feel more of a women. As the conversation went on tension grew between...
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