Hemingways Hills Like White El

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“Hills Like White Elephants,'; by Ernest Hemingway In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,'; the two main characters, Jig and the unnamed American man, are at a train station in Spain trying to decide whether or not they (actually just Jig) should go through with an abortion. The first time I read the story it wasn’t very clear to me what type of an operation it was that they were talking about. Hemingway doesn’t really spell it out for the reader. After reading the questions at the end of the text and reading over the story again I realized that the operation they were talking about was in fact an abortion. Although Hemingway provides very little information about the character’s situation or their pasts, the use of symbolism in the character’s dialogue throughout the story makes it a whole lot easier to understand. The only thing I really noticed the first time I read the story was the tension between the two main characters throughout the story. In the first dialogue, there seems to be some tension between Jig and the American man. They speak to each other in short sentences and Jig starts getting sarcastic with her male companion (Hemingway doesn’t state whether they are married) when he says that he’s never seen white elephants. At first impression, seems like the lady is the antagonist. For most of the beginning of the story all they talk about is drinks. At one point Jig says “That’s all we do, isn’t it—look at things and try new drinks?';(445) These people must have a pretty meaningless relationship if that’s all they do. Even after they’re done talking about having the operation on page 446, they go back to more drinking. The whole dialogue about the operation made me question the American man’s love for Jig. Was he sincere? At first he’s convincing her that the operation is simple and how “it'; is the only thing that has made them unhappy. One can tell that Jig doesn’t really want to go through with the operation by the way she talks. She asks him, “And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they used to be and you’ll love me?'; It sounds like she really doesn’t think that he’ll love her if she does have the kid. It also sounds like he isn’t really concerned about her safety either.

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