Ernest Hemingway was one of the most influential American writers of his time. He used a plain, yet a forceful choice of style characterized by simple sentences and few adjectives or adverbs. He wrote vague, accurate dialogue and exact descriptions of places and things. Hemingway’s style has been widely used amongst other writers. Hemingway became not only the voice of the “lost generation”, but the preeminent author if his time. He was one of the most important influences in the development of short stories and novels in American history. When comparing the two short stories, “Hills Like White Elephants” and “The Killers”, although the theme and characterizations are similar, both plots differentiate.
In the story “Hills Like White Elephants”, the story is set in Spain. An American man and a teenage girl are casually sitting at a cafe located at a Spanish train station, waiting for a train that will take them to Madrid, where the girl will have an abortion. They drink beer and discuss what the American man refers to as a “simple operation” for the girl. The tension between the two are sizzling throughout the whole story. The man, urging the girl to have this operation, says repeatedly that he doesn’t want her to do it if she doesn’t want to. However, it is clear that he is insisting that she do so. The girl is trying to be brave but is clearly frightened of making a commitment to the procedure. The girl constantly is looking for ways to not talk about the surgery by making fanciful figures of speech. She notes that the hills beyond the train station “look like white elephants”. The man insist talking more about the operation and states that the operation is “natural” and its “not really an operation at all”...
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...markably written stories, Hemingway’s true talent is radiated. He changed the traditional way of writing for twentieth century writers and for all writing in general. Hemingway showed that you don’t have to do what everyone else does. He took his stories and made them more of a puzzle for readers. Creating more dialogue and less actual storytelling. Without a doubt, he changed the way we write today immensely. His writing is a form of individuality and art. I am forever grateful for Ernest Hemingway and his beautiful way of writing.
John W. Aldridge, "Hemingway: Nightmare and the Correlative of Loss," in his After the Lost Generation, McGraw-Hill, 1951.
"Ernest Miller Hemingway." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 11 May 2014.
Ernest Hemingway. Peter L. Hayes
Encyclopedia of World Biography: Volume 7.
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