Hills Like White Elephants

Topics: Short story, Ernest Hemingway, Fiction Pages: 2 (708 words) Published: September 11, 2014
The girl who goes by the name of Jig, in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway, is a very indecisive character, which delineates the constant battle between choosing to listen to your heart or mind.

Main points:
1. Jig is willing to go through with the operation at the beginning of the story.

Evidence: She has obviously discussed the “operation” with the man she is with before, and seems to believe it will fix things between them. An excerpt from the story reads:

“And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.”
“I know we will. Yon don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.” “So have I,” said the girl. “And afterwards they were all so happy.”

How I will use this evidence: I will (in depth) discuss the meaning of her comment in the last line that I provided. I will describe the significance of her words, “And afterwards they were all so happy,” and how her opinion on the matter at hand seems to shift near the end of the piece. 2. Jig’s opinion switches upon her thinking it over, and she attempts to communicate this to the American.

Evidence: She makes a subtle remark that depicts her true feelings, although the American chooses to ignore it. “They’re lovely hills,” she said. “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.”

How I will use this evidence: Given the symbolism here (the “hills” being the baby, “white elephants” being something that nobody wants, “the coloring of their skin” being the idea of the baby, and trees being their worries about the alterations that would come to their life if they were to add a child into the mix), I will try to communicate the significance of this one line of text, and the overall value that it holds when applied to the rest of the story.

3. Jig realizes that going through with the operation won’t change anything in their life, and that it won’t make them any less unhappy than they...
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