Analysis Of ' Hills Like White Elephants ' Essay

Analysis Of ' Hills Like White Elephants ' Essay

Length: 932 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Gender in “Hills Like White Elephants”
Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 short story “Hills Like White Elements” explores the way a couple discuss an ‘operation’ (42) which the woman is to receive, which is implied to be abortion without actually mentioning the word itself. It is set at a table at a train station somewhere between Barcelona and Madrid in Spain. The couple consists of an American male and a ‘girl’ (5), whose name is later revealed to be Jig (42), which might imply that perhaps she is younger, but not a local of Spain since she asks the American to translate for her in the first few lines of their conversation (15). Jig resists the idea of aborting the child throughout the course of the story and the American tries to convince her by reassurance to do it. By the end of the story it is uncertain whether Jig decides to board the train to get the operation or not, but she does smile when the man decides to take the bags closer to the where the train would arrive, and insists that she feels fine (110) when he returns. This story depicts communication as something that can be characterized by gender. The communication in the relationship between Jig and the American seem to imply the kind of power and leverage that each of them have, and the dialogue even further proves this. Noting that both genders have an equal amount of dialogue in this story, they are very succinctly differentiated by multiple grammatical and literary devices such as tone, detail, and the general content of the dialogue.

One critic, Pamela Smiley, identifies the conversational style used as gender-marked language in her critique of the story in the University of Wisconsin’s Fall 1998 Hemingway Review. She suggests that male-female conversation is cross-cult...

... middle of paper ...

... to” (58). Jeremy’s dialogue and general synopsis is seemingly much more detached than the American’s and within good reason since he is a college student whose life would be halted by an accidental child. China was also unsurprisingly much more emotionally able than was Jeremy, refusing to abort the child even though it would be done in secrecy from her parents. In both stories, it is obvious that the male role is dominant and decision making while the female role is emotional and whimsical, however it can’t only be the gender-marked language that is the deciding factor of the leverage of power but also might have much to do with how the different genders are nurtured and how cultural stereotypes of each gender affect speech and dialogue. These two short stories make these cultural stereotypes clear and both Hemingway and Boyle have distinct voices for both genders.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Setting in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay example

- Swaying trees in the distance, blue skies and birds chirping, all of these are examples of setting. Setting can create the mood and tone of characters in a story. In the story Hills Like White Elephants, the story starts out with our two characters, Jig and the American, also referred to as the man, on a train overlooking mountains. “The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry” (Hemingway). In the case of this short story, the hills provided Jig something to take her mind off of the grueling conversation she was having with the Man....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Essay about Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway

- Kenneth G. Johnston once wrote, "His stories came back in the mail, slipped through the slit in the saw-mill door where he lived, 'with notes of rejection that would never call them stories, but always anecdotes, sketches, contes, etc,'" (Johnston). This statement that may suggest that Hemingway's stories were not very well liked, but in the end they were a big hit. Literature is a very interesting topic and is a very helpful tool to the future. The best kind of literature are short stories....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
2925 words (8.4 pages)

Essay about Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants

- “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way” (E. Hemingway, Brainy Quote). It is evident that this is why Ernest Hemingway writes the literary pieces he writes. Hemingway proves this by writing his short story, Hills Like White Elephants. Hemingway also quoted, “I never had to choose a subject - my subject rather chose me” (E. Hemingway, QuotesPedia). This also relates to Hemingway composing Hills Like White Elephants along with many of his other works....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
1902 words (5.4 pages)

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

- The story “Hills Like White Elephants” is about a couple who discuss an abortion. The American in the story addresses it as a “simple operation,” (487) while Jig seems to feel it is the wrong choice. I feel the man is encouraging her to have the abortion done in his own selfish way. I feel the American is being very selfish and thinking what a simple operation it would be. He tells Jig, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig.” (487)”It’s not really an operation at all.” (487)How easy it would be for the American to have an opinion like this since he would never have to experience the pain....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
759 words (2.2 pages)

Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants Essay

- Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants “Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway, is a short story published in 1927 that takes place in a train station in Spain with a man and a woman discussing an operation. Most of the story is simply dialogue between the two characters, the American and Jig. This couple is at a critical point in their lives when they must decide whether or not to have an abortion. Certain themes arise from this story such as choices and consequences, doubt and ambiguity, and how men and women relate....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay about Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

- In the story 'hills like white elephants' by Ernest Hemingway, we read about two characters, a girl and an American man. They have short conversations between them, and these conversations can hint of many clues about them and their relationship. In the story, we discover what the characters are like, through what they say, and also through the things they don't say. First, in the story, we understand that the American man has money, and he is an adult because he seems to knows what he is doing....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Free Essays
401 words (1.1 pages)

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

- Herodotus and ‘Rhampsinitus and the Thief’ BY: Layla Brown Herodotus, the first Greek historian, has been called by some "the father of history" and by others "the father of lies." Born in 485 B.C to a wealthy family at Halicarnassus, in Asia Minor, he was exiled to Samos soon after his birth because of his family’s opposition to the Persian domination of Ionia. During his youth, he traveled widely, studying the manners, customs, and religions of the people he encountered. His histories are made up of tales told to him by people from Egypt, Syria, Babylon, Colchis, Paeonian and Macedonia....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Free Essays
1235 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Questions on Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

- Questions on Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway Reading: Hills Like White Elephants/Ernest Hemingway 1. What are they talking about. (Evidence…) The man and the girl are talking about getting an abortion. Evidence: the "white elephants" ~ White elephants are sacred in some countries, but usually a white elephant is not considered to be something good…the idea is that it would be really nice to own a white elephant, but once you get one it becomes clear that it has no real value and costs a lot to maintain…also, rulers of India often sent white elephants to those who they hated b/c then the person would be financially destroyed trying to maintain such a pri...   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Free Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Dependence to Independence in Hills Like White Elephants

- Dependence to Independence in Hills Like White Elephants   In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” the lives of Jig and the American, the main characters, are put on display for a brief period of time.  Jig and the man have had a romantic relationship for quite some time, and now their future together is in jeopardy.  The impregnation of Jig has caused the American to pressure her into getting an abortion.  We find these two individuals in the Valley of the Ebro.  Traveling from Barcelona to Madrid, the couple takes these few minutes to discuss the future of their baby.  Jig now must make one of the most important decisions of her life – to have the abortion and stay with the...   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Better Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Trouble with Women in Hills Like White Elephants Essay

- Trouble with Women in Hills Like White Elephants The short story, "Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway, has a lot to do with how the author lived. The time period the story mostly relates to is when he was married to Hadley and having an affair with Pauline. The story shows problems within a relationship and a lack of communication between a couple. While Hemingway was writing this story, he wrote a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald about Pauline. He wrote about sitting in the shade and talking with her while waiting at a station....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Free Essays
520 words (1.5 pages)