Symbolism in "Hills Like White Elephants"
What is symbolism and what is the use of it? Is it simply created to confuse the reader or is it dedicated to make the reader think about the meaning of the story? What is the symbol? Is it a person, object, or event? Those are the questions we should ask ourselves before we start reading a short story "Hills Like White Elephants," written by Ernest Hemingway. "Hills Like White Elephants" is a perfect example of a wide use of literary symbols demanding all readers to read in between the lines and figure out the true meaning of them. This short story is filled with symbolism, some of which the reader may not even discover. In the beginning of the story the reader is lunge into the lives of two people, American and Jig, who wait in a small bar at the train station for their train to come. The symbolism is obvious as the picture of the scenery when the introduction says, "The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees…” (106).This introductory statement describes the authentic background, and on the other hand demonstrates the miserable and dark situation two characters face. The reader is probably curious about what the other side of the hill looks like. It is evident of the conflict between the man and the girl. The problem is an abortion. It is made clear all through the story, that the man wants the abortion and the girl is not certain about it. While concentrating on Jig’s choice, she looks at her life says, "That's all we do, isn't it-look at things and try new drinks"(107). In this reflection, she is stating how uninteresting her and her boyfriend's lives are, with no change and no obligation. Apparently American adores this way of life pushing her towards his way of thinking. This difference in feelings creates some tension between the two. White elephants symbolize something no one wants - the girl’s unborn child. The girl’s remark in the opening of the...
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