I’ve choosen to analyse the short story “Hills like white elephants”, which is written by Ernest Hemingway. First I wanna talk about Hemingway’s way of writing. He once said: The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. He wrote only a little part of the text over the surface, but if you wanted to find the deeper meaning behind the story, you would have to read between the lines. My analyzis of “Hills like white elephants” • A man and a woman are sitting at a bar, discussing an abortion while trying new drinks. The story takes place at a train station in Spain, near the river Ebro. • Since “Hills like white elephants” was published in 1927, I think the story takes place around that time. Characters The American man: • His behavior is very arrogant. • The man’s selfish nature appears in the line “But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else…it’s perfectly simple. ” He is saying that he does not want a baby in their relationship. The American wants nothing else but his carefree lifestyle with her. • The American is the dominant part in their relationship.
He seems like the boss, because he controls his girlfriend. • He has the qualities of a monster, because he refuses to do good to them whom he is bound to love. I think he is kind of a murderer when it comes to the abortion part. The woman, Jig: • It is mentioned in the story that”They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural. ” This sound like an abortion and an actually medical abortion can take as little as 5 minutes. • Jig seems very naive because she has a lack of knowledge, judgment and experience about pregnancy and abortion.
At the beginning of the story, she considers abortion as a possibility, just to make her boyfriend happy. She thinks an abortion won’t affect her life, and that everything will be the same afterwards. • She is an underdog, because she has to ask her boyfriend if it’s okay and if she got his permision to order a drink. • Jig is very confused, and she doesn’t know what to do. If she keeps the baby, she looses the American, but if she chooses to be with the American, she looses her baby. The unborn baby: • The unborn baby feels unwanted, because his parent’s conversation is about getting rid of him. Undesirable. The unborn baby feels not worthy of being chosen. • This fetus is technically voiceless, because he can’t express himself with his voice. The unborn has no opportunity to tell his parents how he feels about the abortion. • The baby is synonymous to the title of the short story. A white elephant is a gift you don’t really want, its huge and it takes a lot of place. You have to feed it, take care of it and most important keep it alive. You might have to start living a new lifestyle, and give up your old one.
A baby is as much responsibility as an elephant. Themes I think it can be several themes in the story. One of them can be life and death; the girl wants to keep the baby, but the man wants to take an abortion. Another theme can be lack of communication; both have difficulties in facilitating their feelings and in the end their conversation frustrates the girl who tells the man “Would you please please please please please please stop talking? ” A third theme can be equality; the male has more power than the female because the characterization proves it very well.
The girl is very weak and consults the man before doing anything, as if she could not make a decision by herself. Hemingway also refers the female as “the girl” throughout the story. This is in contrast to Hemingway’s naming of the other character as “the American” or “the man. ” Symbols You can find a lot of symbolism in this short-story, but you need to “read between the lines” to find the deeper meaning. Some examples: The landscape can tell you something about life and death. The Green Side of the Station represents life, the baby and a new beginning.
The dry side represents dissipation and death. Another example is that the railroad tracks run side by side but never meet. It could symbolize the relationship of Jig and the American. In the story, the girl remarks that the hills look like white elephants. A white elephant is a gift you don’t really want. From the perspective of the American, it can be a symbol of the enlargement of the uterus becomes clearer as Jig’s baby grows. A white elephant is pretty much a useless thing that can be expensive to own and maintain.
From the perspective of Jig, one of the hills represents a lifestyle for her and the man. Point of view The story has a third person point of view, and uses pronouns like he, she and they, but the story contains mostly of dialogue. The narrator takes not part of it. Conclusion Abortion is a very sensitive topic to discuss, but the man made it appear as if it’s something that could be done with just one breath of the air. And the very naive Jig seemed to take in every word he said. It is very apparent the decision on what should be done with their “little problem” was controlled by the man alone.
There is very little conclusion to this story. The man and woman are arguing over whether or not she should have an abortion. The woman pleads for the man to stop talking to her about it, threatening too make a public scene if he doesn’t. He moves their bags and gets himself a drink. When he returns, he asks if she is ok, she responds that she is fine. Obviously she isn’t. But by this word, she has ended the argument. No decision has been made. I mean that by giving up the argument, the woman is agreeing to be led by the man and agreeing to take the abortion.